What can you claim as medical expenses?
Full-time care or specialized care
Generally, you can claim the entire amount you paid for the following facilities:
- nursing homes (full-time care); and
- schools, institutions, or other places (providing care or care and training).
We consider the care to be full-time care when a person needs constant care and attendance.
Other places could include an outpatient clinic, such as a detoxification clinic.
What is a nursing home?
A nursing home is generally considered to be a facility that gives full-time care.
Any facility could be considered a nursing home if it has the same features and characteristics as a nursing home.
All regular fees are eligible as medical expenses, including those for the following:
- nursing care;
- administration fees;
- maintenance fees; and
- social programming and activities fees.
However, extra personal expenses (such as hairdresser fees) are not eligible.
Salaries and wages
You can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for part-time attendant care.
Also, you can claim the fees for salaries and wages paid for attendant care services or care or supervision in the following facilities:
- self-contained domestic establishments (such as your private home);
- retirement homes, homes for seniors, or other institutions;
- group homes in Canada; and
- nursing homes. Special rules apply to this type of facility. See the chart.
Expenses you can claim
You can claim as medical expenses the salaries and wages paid to all employees that do the following duties or services:
- food preparation;
- housekeeping services for a resident’s personal living space;
- laundry services for a resident’s personal items;
- health care (registered nurse, practical nurse, certified health care aide, personal support worker);
- activities (social programmer);
- salon services (hairdresser, manicurist, pedicurist) if included in the monthly fee;
- transportation (driver); and
- security for a secured unit.
If you are receiving attendant care services in your home, you can only claim for the period when you are at home and need care or help. For an expense to be eligible as a medical expense, you must:
- be eligible for the disability tax credit; or
- have a written certification from a medical practitioner that states the services are necessary.
Expenses you cannot claim
You cannot claim the cost of:
- rent (except the part of the rent for services that help a person with daily tasks, such as laundry and housekeeping);
- cleaning supplies;
- other operating costs (such as the maintenance of common areas and outside grounds); or
- salaries and wages paid to employees such as administrators, receptionists, groundskeepers, janitors (for common areas), and maintenance staff.
Sample statement for attendant care expenses
To claim attendant care expenses paid to a facility (other than full-time care in a nursing home or specialized care) such as a retirement home, you have to send us a detailed breakdown from the facility.
The breakdown must clearly show the amounts paid for staff salaries that apply to the attendant care services listed under Expenses you can claim.
The breakdown should also take into account any subsidies that reduce the attendant care expenses (unless the subsidy is included in income and is not deductible from income).
The following sample statements show the detailed information we need.