Employment

Tax Tips for Workers with a Disability

  

Thanks to the Tax Detective, here are some tax tips for the person with a disability who decides to work, even for a low amount of income. There are incentives to work, some new, some old, in the tax system. Some government benefit programs are dependent on the calculation of net income and may be affected by increased net income, but there are several claims for expenses that may reduce the calculation of net income. 

A program for the working poor, Working Income Tax Benefit will actually pre-pay benefits if you can figure out how to claim. More information: Line 453 WIT

Medical Expenses

By claiming medical expenses you may find a supplement you are entitled to, a credit of a bit over $1,000 per year…see Line 452: Refundable Medical Expense Supplement

Child Care
If you work and pay for Child Care, child care is usually only deductible by the lower income spouse, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a parent in school, infirm, jail or hospital.  The result of claiming child care is to lower net income. If the claimant is a person with a disability, reducing their net income will aid in preserving tax credits for a claim by a supporting spouse or other family members and may also reduce the impact on other government benefit programs that rely on the calculation of net income, such as Persons with Disability Benefits, Pharmacare and MSP premiums.

Disability Supports Expense
If a person with a disability works and has specific medical expenses that qualify, including attendant care and various devices and equipment,  they may be claimed on Line 215 to reduce net income. All qualifying medical expenses are listed HERE.

A benefit of disability supports expense claims is other credits such as the disability tax credit may still transferrable to supportive family because net income is lower than the total of other credits.
The family may also claim other credits such as the caregiver or infirm over 18 tax credits. These credits are all dependent on the calculation of net income, so it makes sense that if the disability supports reduce net income, this is a good thing.
Normally medical expenses don’t reduce net income. They are reported on Line 330 as a medical expense credit and the taxpayer must deduct 3% of their net income or on Line 331 if paid by the supportive relative net of 3% of the net income of the person with the disability who is supported.
Only the person with the disability can claim Disability Supports on Line 215 and only for the calendar year. There is no carry over for 24 months in year of death or flexibility of claiming any 12 months that end in the year, or having their spouse claim instead if it’s more advantageous, all of which are possible with medical expenses, both on Line 330 for self, or if paid by someone else on Line 331 net of 3% of the supported persons’ net income.
Eileen Reppenhagen, CGA, ACG, CL
www.taxdetective.ca

Trouble navigating the disability system?

  

Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing: http://www.abilitytax.ca/navigator/home.html

 

 

 

 

Different Approaches for Finding Employment

  

Know the different approaches that agencies use to find employment for people with intellectual disabilities. Some agencies conduct ongoing
training until the person with a disability is ready for a job. However, we hear and know that traininga person wiuth a disability until they are "ready" for a job has not been effective – people have been in “training” for many years and they have not graduated to employment. An alternative approach to getting sutainable employment for a person with an intellectual disability is to place the person with a disability in a job carved out based on their preferences and then systematically train for the tasks to achieve a real job for real pay.
This approach, according to the literature, creates more success for
people with disabilities (in Real Work for Real Pay: Inclusive Employment for
People with Disabilities
)
.

A Strength Based Approach when Planning for Employment

  

I have learned that looking at strengths rather than deficits is a better way to move a system forward (Cooperrider & Whitney 2005).

When thinking about employment for a person with an intellectual disability it too makes sense to plan based on their strengths and preferences.

So the focus is on what a person can do, not on what they can’t do. Its really common sense but as humans we often take the problem-solving approach, that starts with looking for a problem and then trying to fix the deficit. Another approach is Appreciative Inquiry that is an asset based approach that is focused on the good things about us. Try it when planning a working future for your loved one.

Social Enterprise and Micro-loans

  

Are you looking to start up your own enterprise? Vancity offers loans for social enterprise and micro-loans for small business start-up. Vancity also offers advice with business planning and mentorship with its ABLED program for people with disabilities.

*UPDATED April 8, 2012*

Tax Tips for Working Folks

  

Thanks to the Tax Detective, here are some tax tips for the person with a disability who decides to work, even for a low amount of income.  There are incentives to work, some new, some old, in the tax system.  Some government benefit programs are dependent on the calculation of net income and may be affected by increased net income, but there are several claims for expenses that may reduce the calculation of net income.

A program for the working poor, Working Income Tax Benefit will actually pre-pay benefits if you can figure out how to claim.  More information: Line 453 WITB

By claiming medical expenses you may find a supplement you are entitled to, a credit of about $1,000 per year…see Line 452: Refundable Medical Expense Supplement

If you work and pay for Child Care, child care is usually only deductible by the lower income spouse, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a parent in school, infirm, jail or hospital. The result of claiming child care is to lower net income.  If the claimant is a person with a disability, reducing their net income will aid in preserving tax credits for a claim by a supporting spouse or other family members and may also reduce the impact on other government benefit programs that rely on the calculation of net income, such as Persons with Disability Benefits, Pharmacare and MSP premiums.

Disability Supports Expense

If a person with a disability works and has certain medical expenses that qualify including attendant care and various devices and equipment, all listed on the T929, they may be claimed on Line 215 to reduce net income.

A benefit of disability supports expense claims is other credits such as the disability tax credit may still transferrable to supportive family because net income is lower than the total of other credits.

The family may also claim other credits such as the caregiver or infirm over 18 tax credits. These credits are all dependent on the calculation of net income, so it makes sense that if the disability supports reduce net income, this is a good thing.

Normally medical expenses don’t reduce net income.  They are reported on Line 330 as a medical expense credit and the taxpayer must deduct 3% of their net income or on Line 331 if paid by the supportive relative net of 3% of the net income of the person with the disability who is supported.

Only the person with the disability can claim Disability Supports on Line 215 and only for the calendar year.  There is no carry over for 24 months in year of death or flexibility of claiming any 12 months that end in the year, or having their spouse claim instead if it’s more advantageous, all of which are possible with medical expenses, both on Line 330 for self, or if paid by someone else on Line 331 net of 3% of the supported persons’ net income.

Eileen Reppenhagen, CGA, ACG, CL

www.taxdetective.ca 

It’s who you know… that gets the jobs!

  

I read in Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam (2000) that its "who you know" that gets you or your loved one a job. He says that, "there is an impressive body of research suggesting that social ties can influence who gets a job, a bonus, a promotion, and other employment benefits. Social Networks provide people with advice…[and] jobleads" (p.319).

He distinguishes between "weak ties" or our aquantainces in society and or "strong ties" or our friends and families. Putnam says it is the weak ties that provide the most opportunity for jobs.He also says that over one-half of people getting a job have done so through a friend or relative.

So, it makes sense to map out all of the possible connections to see what the possibilities may exist in a person’s social network, family and friends, and casual aquaintances.

BC Employment Program for People with Disabilities

  

Did you know that the Minsitry of Housing and Social Development has a program for people with disabilities to find work? Yes.. its true. Their website says that they provide support in the following areas:

  • Pre-Employment
    Services
  • Planning
    and Employment Services
  • Self-Employment
    Services
  • Disability
    Supports
  • Assistive
    Technology

Give them a call….1 866-866-0800

WorkINK – Good employment INFO site

  

Another website to check out is WORKink BC where you will find information on resume development, interviews, you can post your resume and look at job postings.

Persons with Disabilities Online – Employment

  

Check out the persons with Disabilities Online Employment Section to find information to assist you in getting a job.