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Glossary

A

Activities of daily living

The activities of daily living are activities related to personal care. They include bathing or showering, dressing, getting in and out of bed or a chair, walking, using the toilet, and eating.

All or Substantially all of the time

An individual’s limitations are generally considered to exist all or substantially all of the time if the individual’s impairment limits their ability to perform activities or functions in a DTC (Disability Tax Credit) category at least 90% of the time. If they are not limited at least 90% of the time, the individual may not meet the eligibility criteria.

Allowable income

The portion of your earned income you will be able to keep in addition to the financial support you receive through Income Assistance.

Annuity

A form of insurance or investment entitling the investor to a series of annual sums.

Area Reviewer

The individual who is responsible for reviewing your Request for Review form.

Arrears

Money that is owed and should have been paid at an earlier date. 

Assessor

A medical professional who evaluates a person’s medical signs, symptoms, and effects on daily living.

Asset

Property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.

Asset Exclusions

Assets that will not impact your eligibility to receive Income Assistance.

Assistive device

A device to help you with mobility or to perform other tasks of daily living, such as a cane or wheelchair.

B

Basic living expenses

The costs associated with the things necessary for basic living and to maintain a good health. This includes shelter, utilities, and food.

Basic needs

Specific things that are necessary to maintain a minimum standard of living. This includes things such as food, shelter, and utilities.

Beneficiary of an RDSP

The beneficiary of the RDSP is the person with the disability who will receive the money in the future.

Beneficiary of an RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan)

The beneficiary of the RDSP is the person with the disability who will receive the money in the future.

Benevolent organizations

Unincorporated, non-profit organizations with the main purpose of doing good to others rather than the benefit of their own members.

C

Child care

Have the responsibility for children.

Co-applicant

A spouse, common-law partner, or any adult in your household above the age of 18 who has an income.

Contractual competence

The financial institution needs to know that you can manage your own financial affairs as the holder of the RDSP. Based on their assessment, they may request you have a legal representative open and manage the RDSP on your behalf.

Contributory period

The time in which you contribute to the Quebec Pension Plan. The contributory period beings the month after your 18th birthday. The contributory benefits ends at the end of the month that you become disabled.

Cumulative effect of significant limitations

To be eligible for the DTC under the cumulative effect of significant limitations category, an individual must have limitations in two or more categories (except life-sustaining therapy) that:

  • exist together all or substantially all of the time (generally interpreted as 90% or more)
  • have a combined impact that is:
    • equivalent to being unable, or taking an inordinate amount of time, in one category
    • present all or substantially all of the time (generally interpreted as 90% or more), even with appropriate therapy, devices, and medication.
D

Daily living activities

The tasks of everyday life. This includes activities such as eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet.

Debt

Money you owe.

Diagnosis

The identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms.

Directly and significantly restrict

‘Directly’ and ‘significantly’ restrict your ability to perform ‘daily living activities’.  This could be either continuously (all the time) or periodically (some of the time, but for long periods).

Disability

You must have a severe mental or physical disability that impairs your ability to function in daily life. The impairment must meet all the criteria (rules) set out by the government for the benefit you are applying for.

Duration

The time during which something continues.

E

Earned income

All income from employment. This includes income from employment, self-employment, as well as income from hunting, trapping, and fishing.

Earned Income Exception

A portion of your earned income that you can keep while receiving Income Assistance.

Earnings Exemption

Income you can earn through employment that is partially exempt. You will be able to keep the first $200 plus 30% of any additional income you earn.

Estate

All the money and property owned by a particular person, especially at death

Excluded Income

Sources of income that do not impact your eligibility for Social Assistance.

Exempt Assets

Assets that will not affect your eligibility to receive Income Assistance.

Exempt Income

A type of income you receive that does not influence your eligibility to receive Income Support benefits.

F

Family Unit

All individuals who will be included on your application, including your spouse or common-law partner or any dependents.

Financial need

When your basic needs cost more that your total monthly income.

Fixed assets

Assets that contribute to your ability to maintain a livelihood.

G

Grave medical condition

A rapidly progressive medical condition.

Gross annual employment income

The income you earn each year before deductions are taken away.

H

Health professional

A person who may provide health care treatment and advice based on formal training and experience.

Holder of an RDSP

The plan holder is the person who opens the RDSP and makes or authorizes contributions on behalf of the beneficiary. As long as conditions are met, there can be more than one plan holder at any time. The beneficiary and plan holder can be the same person.

I

Impairment

A diminished or loss of function or ability.

Income

All sources of money you or your co-applicants receive.

Inconsistencies

Facts being inconsistent or not the same.

Inordinate amount of time

An inordinate amount of time is a clinical judgment made by a medical practitioner if they observe a recognizable difference in the time it takes an individual to perform an activity or function in the listed categories, even with therapy and the use of appropriate devices and medication. Generally, that difference must be at least three times longer than is required by persons of similar age who do not have an impairment in the particular category.

Interest income

Money (revenue) earned on money you have invested in other organizations, for example a bank, over a specific period of time.

Intermediate resource or family-type resource

A housing facility for people in need of adaption or rehabilitation.

L

Legal capacity

The qualification for someone to be able to do something legally.

Lien

A right to keep property you own until you have repaid your debt.

Life-sustaining therapy

Life-sustaining therapy, which must meet all the following criteria:

  • The therapy is needed to support a vital function, even if it eases the symptoms.
  • The therapy is needed at least three times per week.
  • The therapy is needed for an average of at least 14 hours per week.
Liquidated

To turn an asset into a liquid asset (i.e., an asset that can be turned into cash in a short amount of time).

M

Marked restriction in Dressing

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in dressing if, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example, button hook, occupational therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to dress themselves.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).

Dressing oneself does not include identifying, finding, obtaining, or shopping for clothing.

Marked restriction in Eliminating

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in eliminating if, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example, ostomy, biological therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to personally manage bowel or bladder functions.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).
Marked restriction in Feeding

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in feeding if, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example, assistive utensils, occupational therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to feed themselves.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).

Feeding yourself does not include identifying, finding, obtaining, or shopping for food.

Marked restriction in Hearing

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in hearing if, even with the use of appropriate devices (for example, cochlear implant, hearing aid), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to hear so as to understand spoken conversation with a familiar person in a quiet setting.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).
Marked restriction in Mental Functions necessary for everyday life

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in performing the mental functions necessary for everyday life (described below) if, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example, memory aids, assistive technology, cognitive-behavioural therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to perform these functions by themselves.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).

Mental functions necessary for everyday life include:

  • adaptive functioning, which includes abilities related to:
    • self-care, such as attending to personal hygiene
    • health and safety 
    • initiating and responding to social interactions
    • common, simple transactions such as grocery shopping or paying a bill
  • memory, which includes the ability to remember:
    • simple instructions
    • basic personal information such as date of birth and address, or material of importance and interest
  • judgment, problem-solving, and goal-setting taken together (for example, complying with prescribed treatments and selecting weather-appropriate clothing)

An impairment in problem-solving, goal-setting, or judgment that is a marked restriction in adaptive functioning all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time) would qualify.

It is important to address what occurs at home or out in the community, not only what occurs in a work or school environment.

Marked restriction in Speaking

If even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example, voice amplifier, behavioural therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to speak so as to be understood by a familiar person in a quiet setting.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).
Marked restriction in Vision

A person is considered blind if, even with the use of corrective lenses or medication, both eyes meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The visual acuity is 20/200 (6/60) or less on the Snellen Chart (or an equivalent).
  • The greatest diameter of the field of vision is 20 degrees or less.
Marked restriction in Walking

A person is considered to have a marked restriction in walking if, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices (for example: cane, occupational therapy), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to walk.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).
Markedly restricted

A marked restriction means that, even with appropriate therapy, devices, and medication, the individual is unable or takes an inordinate amount of time to perform activities or functions in one of the impairment categories, and this is the case all or substantially all of the time.

Medical expense

An expense necessary for medical purposes.

Medical practitioner

A professional who practices medicine. Examples include medical doctor, nurse practitioner, optometrist, audiologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, and speech-language pathologist.

N

Navigator

An experienced person who will provide support with challenging processes or systems.

Net monthly income

Amount of monthly income remaining after all deductions have been taken.

Net salary

The wage that the employee actually receives before income tax is deducted.

Non-exempt assets

Assets that you can own, but will be counted when considering your eligibility for AISH benefits.

Non-exempt income

A type of income you receive that will be counted towards your total income when determining if you are eligible to receive Income Support benefits.

Non-refundable tax credit

A type of income tax break that reduces the amount of tax you pay on your taxable income. If you do not owe any tax, you will not get back any money.

Notice of determination

Canada Revenue Agency’s decision on your Disability Tax Credit Certificate (application).  It will show you which year(s) you are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

O

Objection

This is a formal process to dispute the Canada Revenue Agency’s decision on your application form.

Overpayment

Additional financial support that you are not eligible to receive.

P

Partially exempt income

A type of income you receive that will be partially counted towards your total income when determining if you are eligible to receive Income Support benefits.

Pending income

Income you are owed and will receive, but have not received yet.

Personal identification information

Information that can identify an individual. This could include your name, social security number, date and place of birth.

Personalized support

Support tailored to you and your personal needs due to your disability. AccessAbility Supports offers personalized support in five areas: personal supports, housing supports, community supports, caregiver supports, and financial supports.

Preferred beneficiary designation

Trusts that are set up for someone approved for the Disability Tax Credit can make a preferred beneficiary designation.  Earnings can be taxed according to income tax rates of the person with a disability.

Prescribed professional

A professional who is acceptable to provide a written opinion for your medical report.

Primary document

A primary identity document is an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada.

Prognosis

A forecast of the likely course of a disease or ailment.

Prolonged

An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted for a continuous period of at least 12 months or it is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

If an impairment is severe and prolonged but does not cause the individual to be blind or to otherwise have a marked restriction, the individual may still qualify under cumulative effect of significant limitations or life-sustaining therapy.

R

Real property assets

Land or other assets that are permanently attached to the land. This can include land, crops, ponds, or machinery.

Registered disability savings plan (RDSP) trust

A registered disability savings plan trust for a taxation year is a testamentary trust created on the death of an individual who jointly elects (using Form T3QDT, Joint Election to Have a Trust Be a Registered Disability Savings Plan Trust), with one or more beneficiaries of the trust, on the individual's T3 income tax return for the year to be a registered disability savings plan trust for the year.

Registered professional

The professional must be working for the provincial government, or if in private practice, they must be registered or licensed to practice under their profession (example: a social worker).

Representative

A person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others.

Request for Redetermination

Completing and filing the Disability Tax Credit Certificate application.

Respite hours

Short-term relief for primary caregivers.

Retroactivity

Taking effect from a date in the past.

S

Service animal

An animal, such as a guide dog, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Severe

An inordinate amount of time or all or substantially all of the time.

Significantly restricted

The cumulative effect of significant limitations category, an individual must have limitations in two or more categories (except life-sustaining therapy) that:

  • exist together all or substantially all of the time (generally interpreted as 90% or more)
  • have a combined impact that is:
    • equivalent to being unable, or taking an inordinate amount of time, in one category
    • present all or substantially all of the time (generally interpreted as 90% or more), even with appropriate therapy, devices, and medication.
Substantially gainful

An occupation that provides a salary or wages equal to the maximum annual amount a person could receive as a disability pension.

Support Plan

A plan that is tailored to you to meet all of your needs that are currently unmet.

Symptom

An indication of a disorder or disease, especially a subjective one such as pain, nausea, or weakness.

T

Tax rate

The percentage of your income a person or company has to pay in taxes.

Taxable

Subject to being taxed.

Taxable income

The portion of an individual’s or a company’s income used to calculate how much tax they owe the government in a given tax year.

Temporary assets

Money that AISH does not count as income that you would like to be considered as exempt asset. This money must be invested in an exempt asset within a year (365 days). If it is not, it will be considered a non-exempt asset.

Temporary disability

A disability lasting for at least six months but is not expected to be permanent.

Testamentary trust

A trust that is set up after someone dies.

Trust

An arrangement where a person (trustee) holds property for the good of one or more beneficiaries.

U

Unearned income

Income you receive from sources that are not earned through employment.

What province are you from?

Knowing your province helps us make this tool the best experience for you.

Important information about benefits for Indigenous Peoples

If you are Indigenous there are many things that affect the benefits you can get and the dollar amounts you can get from them. These include the agreements your band or governing body has with provincial, territorial, and federal governments. Before applying to any benefits, you should speak with your governing body, if applicable.

AFOA Canada and Prosper Canada are currently seeking funding to develop an online tool that serves the needs of Indigenous people living in Canada.