"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Your Mileage May Vary... Increasing Provincial Benefits for the Adult Child who Lives at Home

In a recent post, I noted the discrepacy between what we were advised at The Disability and Estate Planning Seminar and the contents of the relevant portion of the Canada Revenue Agency site. And I suggested that it might be prudent for a person interested in claiming that particular credit, the Caregiver Credit, to consult with a tax lawyer.

The same advice might well apply here. I'm just going to pass on what we were told at the Seminar. Which went something like this:

If your adult child with a disability lives at home with you, he or she will be eligible for a certain amount of "provincial benefits". However, if that same adult child were living in some other environment, such as a supported living environment like a group home, they would be eligible to receive a much higher amount.

[Ed. note: We know that under the SPD policy, the child who lives at home would receive benefits pursuant the Direct Family Support policy and the child living in a different situation would receive benefits under the policy appropriate to that situation.]

You can increase the amount you receive for your adult child who lives at home by having that child enter into a written lease with you. Make the lease payment slightly higher than the provincial shelter amount and the child will become eligible for the increased benefit. Although the Department of Community Services may tell you that in order for your child to be eligible for the "shelter amount", they must live in a self-contained unit, you can point out that many individuals who live in rooming houses receive the shelter amount. And although the Department may not be too happy with situation, it is said that you should have a pretty good chance of success if the child can help with shopping and cooking. And even if it doesn't work, its still worth a try as you've lost nothing.

If you're interested in knowing what the provincial shelter rate is at the moment, go here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. The "shelter allowance" is the very fist item under Appendix A. But remember, I am just passing on information on this one. As I said in the title, your mileage may vary ... which may be why God invented lawyers in the first place.


**With grateful acknowledgment to Mr. Ken Pope and the Nova Scotia Downs Syndrome Society for 'bringing him to town'.

Update: I neglected to mention that, both as I understand it and as set out by Mr. Pope, you will not be required to report the monies paid to you by your adult child on your Income Tax Return as you are providing support to a dependant. But its always good to double check with your accountant and lawyer.

2 comments:

LawSchoolBlogger said...

Just wanted to say I'm enjoying your blog here. Definitely stuff I'd never learn about if it weren't for you blog. That's all.

MMC said...

Hey, Rick. Nice to see you here.
I'm surprised that the blog interests you. But thanks for stopping by and telling me. I appreciate it.