In-home care, called “attendant care” by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), is care given by an attendant who does personal tasks which a person cannot do for himself or herself. You can claim the amounts paid if the attendant is not related to you and is not under 18 years of age, however by hiring your own attendant, you may be responsible for the attendant as an employee including EI, CPP, and income tax remuneration. Hiring a private company relieves you of this responsibility while the services remain a tax write off.
You may claim these expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or a dependent, including children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces, provided they lived in Canada at any time in the year.
For these individuals, you can claim the entire amount for nursing home care or for the period you are at home and need care or help, including food preparation, housekeeping services, laundry services, health care (registered nurse, practical nurse, certified health care aide or personal support worker), activities, salon services (if included in the monthly fee), transportation and security for a secured unit.
To be eligible to claim these services as a medical expense you must either be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit or have a written certification from a medical professional that states the services are necessary.
Visit the CRA website “Medical Expenses” for more information and documentation required to apply.
Many health insurance providers will offer coverage for in-home support service, but may not advertise that this coverage is available. Some life insurance providers may also allow your plan to be converted to a long-term care benefit plan to be used to pay for in-home senior or adult care. If you have health or life insurance, it is best to contact your provider directly to see what they coverage they will offer.
The Income Support Program is available for those who cannot work due to chronic health problems or other barriers to employment. It may also cover expenses for special dietary requirements for pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with diabetes, renal insufficiency, heart disease, and more. Contact or visit your nearest Alberta Supports or Alberta Works Centre to inquire about applying for Income Support and complete the Income Support Application Form. You may also apply online at Alberta Supports.