N.B. veterans fight to receive disability tax credit – New Brunswick


Three military veterans from New Brunswick say their daily battles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not being taken seriously by Revenue Canada.

All three have applied for the federal disability tax credit on multiple occasions and have been denied every time.

Canada’s disability tax credit program needs major overhaul, Senate committee urges

“Bottom line, they say I am not affected more than 90 per cent of the time,” said Roland Buchanan, who suffers from military-related PTSD.

Buchanan says his anxiety is so severe that he’s unable to leave his home. His doctor and psychiatrist have filled out the required forms several times, recommending that he be approved, but it’s not working

“I mean, who is on the committee making these decisions? They don’t know me,” he said. “Shouldn’t they be taking another professional’s word?”

The disability tax credit is intended to help people living with disabilities by reducing their income tax.

Global News reached out to the Canadian Revenue Agency, which wouldn’t comment on specific cases.

But in a statement, CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said: “The mental functions category is very broad, including all kinds of mental illness and developmental disorders. The CRA assesses eligibility on a case-by-case basis, based on information we receive from the individual and their medical practitioner.”

Last June, a Senate committee studying the disability tax credit said the program needed to be overhauled, saying that less than 40 per cent of people living with disabilities are approved, in part because of the strict eligibility criteria.

The CRA makes it so hard to get the disability tax credit, many don’t even try

But the battle continues for veterans like Cynthia Bishop, who had been getting the tax break for three years. She says that since getting a PTSD service dog, which has enabled her to go back to work as a civilian, she’s been denied three times.

“I am being penalized for trying to go on with life, for trying to heal,” Bishop said.

She says that without her dog, she can’t leave the house, and her $2,000-a-year tax credit would have helped to pay for its care.

“That doesn’t even cover his insurance, vets, food, grooming,” said Bishop.

Steven Landry qualified for PTSD disability benefits from the military but was turned down for the tax credit.

“We are being sacrificed in this country; we are a lamb,” said Bishop. “The running joke is deny, deny and pray the vet dies.”

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