Life-sustaining Therapy

This provision dates from the 2000 federal budget to extend the DTC to individuals when the amount of time dedicated to life-sustaining therapy significantly restricts his or her ability to undertake normal everyday activities.The legislation requires that the therapy: 

(i) is essential to sustain a vital function of the individual,

(ii) is required to be administered at least three times each week for a total duration averaging not less than 14 hours a week, and

(iii) cannot reasonably be expected to be of significant benefit to persons who are not so impaired,

The term "therapy" is not defined in the Income Tax Act. In a Tax Court of Canada decision, Mullings v. The Queen, Judge Gaston Jorre ruled that a child diagnosed with phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder that eliminates or severely restricts the body’s ability to metabolize phenylalanine (PHe), where the therapy consists of strictly regulating the amount of Phe consumed, meets the 14-hour legislation requirement to measure and control PHe intake of the child.

Note: CRA guidelines provide the following directive: Do not include the time a portable or implanted device takes to deliver the therapy, the time spent on activities related to dietary restrictions or regimes (such as carbohydrate calculation) or exercising (even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication), travel time to receive therapy, medical appointments (other than appointments where the therapy is received), shopping for medication, or recuperation after therapy.