Eligible medical expenses in depth (Part 1)

You can claim only eligible medical expenses on your tax return if you, or your spouse or common-law partner:

  • paid for the medical expenses in any 12-month period ending in 2016
  • did not claim them in 2015.

Generally, you can claim all amounts paid, even if they were not paid in Canada.

For all expenses, you can only claim the part of the expense that you or someone else have not been and will not be reimbursed for. However, the expense can be claimed if the reimbursement is included in your or someone else’s income and the reimbursement was not deducted anywhere else on the income tax and benefit return.

What documents do you need to support your medical expenses claim?

Do not send any documents with your tax return. Keep them in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them later.

  • Receipts – Receipts must show the name of the company or individual to whom the expense was paid.
  • Prescription – The List of common medical expenses below indicates if you need a prescription to support your claim. A medical practitioner can provide the prescription.
  • Certification in writing – The List of common medical expenses below indicates if you need a certification in writing to support your claim. A medical practitioner can provide the certification.
  • Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate – The List of common medical expenses below indicates if you need to have this form approved by the CRA for your claim.If the person for whom you are claiming the medical expense is already approved for the disability tax credit for 2016, you do not need to send a new Form T2201.

ELIGIBLE medical expenses


Medical expense

Prescription needed? Certification in writing needed? Form T2201 needed?
Acoustic coupler Yes No No
Air conditioner Yes No No
Air filter, cleaner, or purifier Yes No No
Altered auditory feedback devices Yes No No
Ambulance service No No No
Animals No No No
Artificial eye or limb No No No
Assisted breathing devices No No No
Audible signal devices Yes No No
Baby breathing monitor Yes No No
Bathroom aids Yes No No
Bliss symbol boards Yes No No
Blood coagulation monitors Yes No No
Bone conduction receiver No No No
Bone marrow transplant No No No
Braces for a limb No No No
Braille note-taker devices Yes No No
Braille printers, synthetic speech systems, large print-on-screen devices Yes No No
Breast prosthesis Yes No No
Cancer treatment No No No
Catheters, catheter trays, tubing or other products No No No
Certificates No No No
Chair Yes No No
Cochlear implant No No No
Computer peripherals Yes No No
Cosmetic surgery before March 5, 2010 No No No
Crutches No No No
Deaf-blind intervening services No No No
Dental services No No No
Dentures and dental implants No No No
Devices or software Yes No No
Diapers or disposable briefs No No No
Doctor – see Medical services provides by qualified medical practitioners No No No
Driveway access No No No
Drugs and medical devices bought under Health Canada’s Special Access Program No No No
Elastic support hose Yes No No
Electrolysis No No No
Electronic bone healing devices Yes No No
Electronic speech synthesizers Yes No No
Electrotherapy devices Yes No No
Environment control system (computerized or electronic) Yes No No
Extremity pump Yes No No
Furnace Yes No No
Hearing aids No No No
Heart monitoring devices Yes No No
Hospital bed Yes No No
Hospital services No No No
Ileostomy and colostomy pads No No No
Infusion pump Yes No No
Injection pen (such as an insulin pen) Yes No No
Insulin or substitutes Yes No No
In vitro fertility program No No No
Kidney machine No No No
Laboratory procedures or services Yes No No
Large print-on-screen devices Yes No No
Laryngeal speaking aids No No No
Laser eye surgery No No No
Lift or transportation equipment (power-operated) Yes No No
Liver extract injections Yes No No
Medical marijuana No No No
Medical services provided by qualified medical practitioners No No No
Medical services provided outside Canada No No No
Moving expenses No No No
Needles and syringes Yes No No
Note-taking services No Yes No
Nurse No No No
Optical scanners Yes No No
Organ transplant No No No
Orthodontic work No No No
Orthopedic shoes, boots, and inserts Yes No No
Osteogenesis stimulator (inductive coupling) Yes No No
Oxygen and oxygen tent Yes No No
Oxygen concentrator No No No
Pacemakers Yes No No
Page-turner devices Yes No No
Personalized therapy plan Yes No Yes
Phototherapy equipment No No No
Premiums paid to private health services plans No No No
Pre-natal and post-natal treatments No No No
Prescription drugs and medications Yes No No
Pressure pulse therapy devices Yes No No
Reading services No Yes No
Real-time captioning No No No
Rehabilitative therapy No No No
Renovation or construction expenses No No No
School for persons with an impairment in physical or mental functions No Yes No
Scooter No No No
Sign-language interpretation services No No No
Spinal brace No No No
Standing devices Yes No No
Talking textbooks Yes No No
Teletypewriters Yes No No
Television closed caption decoders Yes No No
Tests Yes No No
Therapy Yes No Yes
Training No No No
Treatment centre No Yes No
Truss for hernia No No No
Tutoring services No Yes No
Vaccines Yes No No
Van No No No
Vehicle modification Yes No No
Vision devices Yes No No
Visual or vibratory signaling device Yes No No
Vitamin B12 Yes No No
Voice recognition software No Yes No
Volume control feature (additional) Yes No No
Walking aids Yes No No
Water filter, cleaner, or purifier Yes No No
Wheelchairs and wheelchair carriers No No No
Whirlpool bath treatments No No No
Wigs Yes No No

Tax tip: Compare the amount you can claim with the amount your spouse or common-law partner would be able to claim. It may be better for the spouse or common-law partner with the lower net income (line 236) to claim the eligible medical expenses.

to be continued…