Life-sustaining Therapy

This provision dates from the 2000 federal budget to extend the DTC to situations in which the amount of time dedicated to the therapy significantly restrict the individual's ability to undertake normal everyday activities.The legislation require that an individual needs this therapy to sustain a vital function, at least three times a week for an average of at least 14 hours per week. 

The term "therapy" is not defined in the Income Tax Act. In a recent Tax Court of Canada decision (Mullings v. The Queen), Judge Gaston Jorre has 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 dircetive: 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.