MP Cheryl Gallant Introduces Private Member’s Legislation to Protect Disabled Canadians

November 5, 2012

 

Staff from Cheryl Gallant’s office at a Saturday constituency clinic assisting residents apply for Federal Government programs and services.

Ottawa, Ontario – Today in the House of Commons, Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, introduced a Private Member’s Bill to restrict the fees charged to disabled Canadians by third party consultants to complete the form to receive the disability tax credit- “BILL C-462; An Act restricting the fees charged by promoters of the disability tax credit and making consequential amendments to the Tax Court of Canada Act.

“My decision to introduce legislation restricting the fees charged by promoters of the Federal Government’s disability tax credit is the direct result of the aggressive tactics employed by some promoters who objected to my decision to issue a ‘consumer alert.’ I wanted constituents to know they can access their federal Member of Parliament regarding any federal tax credit without being charged a percentage of the tax credit.”

“Changes were put in place in 2005 that made benefits receivable on a retroactive basis.  This change created a new incentive for those claiming to be “consultants” to work with Canadians on their claims. Unfortunately, without regulation in this area, some Canadians have been charged 20, 30, even 40% of eligible payments for the services of these “consultants”.  Often the only work involved is the completion of a two page form” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP.

“I think that those kinds of charges are unfair, especially when we consider that the purpose of the Disability Tax Credit is to support Canadians living with a serious disability.”

There have been concerns raised by medical professionals who feel they are dealing with an increasing number of fraudulent claims and have at times felt pressured to fill out forms fraudulently by consultants. Some consultants have even taken the step of employing ‘in-house’ medical practitioners to sign the medical portion of the disability tax credit application, perhaps having met the applicant only once and with no prior knowledge of the applicant’s medical history.

“This bill will allow the Government to set new limits on the fees that consultants can charge in this area, and allow better oversight of the industry. I am proud to introduce a bill that will ensure that the benefits of the Disability Tax Credit will go to those who need it, not to unregulated “consultants,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.