Claiming T5 this year?

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Claiming T5 this year?

Postby carolyn » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:14 pm

Is anyone going of try claiming D supplies, CGMS sensors etc as a disability aid under T5 net medical expenses on their tax this year?

My accountant is reluctant to do it but I told her T1 fits under the ATO definition of a disability and it describes an aid as "...an aid to the functional capacity of a person with a disability..."
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby melissa » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:37 pm

That could be a difficult one because "A disability is defined as a restriction or impairment" along with "receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term condition or ailment, and still restricted". While I would like to be able to claim some of this on tax, I would not consider myself restricted. This claim appears to be for people who are unable to lead what would be considered a normal life even with aids. Yes I hypo - a lot when I'm trying to keep my bsl at the right rate, but it does not generally stop me from being able to work/drive/do what most people do.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby artemis » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:06 pm

I'd say 'try it'. If it gets knocked back. you havent really lost anything, and for people with an autoimmune cluster syndrome (T1 + CKD + Hashimoto's +++} it sounds as though it would definitely be worth trying. Anyway cgm helps a T1 live a normal life.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby carolyn » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:25 pm

I guess it would depend on the assessor and what they describe as restricted - I'd say as T1s we're restricted from some jobs, we 're pretty much expected (by others and/or ourselves) to test before driving so that restricts us from just jumping in our car and going for a drive, when hypo we can be restricted from doing a lot of things because our body just won't do what it's meant to.

As a reasonably healthy, single, child-free person with a full-time job I don't get anything else from the govt so maybe this year I'll give it a try :)
Half the people you know are below average.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby tedos » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:15 pm

I hate it that we are not able to claim anything since we spend so much on medical supplies every year. Previously that have i think a minimum $2000 spend before you can claim on medical. But they got rid of it. $2000 is already a lot as a threshold that must be met but supplies could easily hit that mark if you are on a pump. I"m not sure about the T5, if your accountant says no, then I wouldn't. Could we ring the ATO to clarify?
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby Catapult » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:47 pm

T1 diabetes is 100% a disability (on multiple levels) as defined by Australian legislation.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) defines disability as:

total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions
total or partial loss of a part of the body
the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness
the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body
a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction
a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment, or that results in disturbed behaviour;

[We have a partial loss of body part (pancreatic beta cells), total loss of many bodily functions (insulin production and glucose level control are just the start - insulin is known to work on over 1000+ functions in the human body not just putting glucose in cells) eg there is hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia, fat regulation. We also have an ongoing autoimmune response, often lowered immunity to disease, then there's complications of vision loss etc. Our hypers and hypos can cause change in perception of reality, unruly emotions and disturbed behaviour. We usually require dietary and exercise modifications, injection or pump infusions, frequent regular daily blood glucose testing, it's an invasive disorder where you must make multi-level decisions on an hourly basis just to stay alive.]

...To be deemed a disability, the impairment or condition must impact daily activities, communication and/or mobility, and has lasted or is likely to last 6 months or more.

...they may require some form of adaptation/adjustment to enable them to do certain things in the same way as people without disability.

Many T1s like to say they are not disabled and are as healthy as the next person - but simply put without insulin injection or pump, we would be dead in 3 days. THAT is a huge adaption of doing many things just to live life which people without this disability take for granted.

Personally if I had a CGMS I would go for the Tax refund myself. It's my money after all, part of my tax refund, not stealing from anyone else or even getting welfare or charity. MY money earned at work and taken as tax.

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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby carolyn » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:44 pm

First time I rang the ATO I was pretty well told diabetes isn't classed as a disability for tax purposes but today I rang again with a slightly different approach - I asked if costs associated with a prosthesis would be allowed under T5. She was reading the T5 regs and prosthetic limbs and eyes were mentioned so I asked about insulin pumps. She has at least heard of them and said "they're the surgically implanted prosthesis ones". She also looked at the disability description list on the ATO website and thought it sounded like it could be covered (sounds like she might knows a T1) but of course couldn't give me a definite yes or no.

She said I can try and the worst they can say is no.

If paying full price $75 per CGMS sensor, I'd have to buy 30 to reach the $2,265 spend and then I'd get 20% off the rest - so might work out a few hundred dollars offset, not be much in the big picture but it's better than nothing.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby artemis » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:38 pm

I pay $3000 p.a. for sensors (Medtronic) and then, of course, there are all the lines, reservoirs, etc for the pump. Worth trying, I reckon.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby tedos » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:52 pm

But the thing is, would they say actually tell you no once you have submitted? I would think they would just fine you if they considered it not claimable, i don't think they will bother to tell you this is not claimable.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby trisha » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:09 pm

I am a tax accountant and did not even consider that my pump would be classified as a disability aid. There are some really good arguments here so I am considering applying for a private binding ruling with the ATO. This gives you a definite answer to a particular question for a particular person.

While this would only provide me a guaranteed answer personally I could provide details of what I did if it was successful and let you know if I wasn't.

Cat, am I able to use some of your wording?

tedos wrote:But the thing is, would they say actually tell you no once you have submitted? I would think they would just fine you if they considered it not claimable, i don't think they will bother to tell you this is not claimable.


From my experience claims may not rejected immediately but may be questioned at a later date, sometimes years later, then they may charge you interest and penalties if they decide you should not have made the claim.

Trisha

Just like the no medical advice rule I am not giving any tax advice here, simply letting you know what I plan to do personally.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby artemis » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:59 pm

As a mod, and a friend of Cat, I would say 'go ahead' and use the wording if you think it will help, Trish. Hope it helps you, and then others.
Jane
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby Catapult » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:46 pm

Thanks Jane, yes, Trisha, go for it, most stuff I got from the legislation which is online and I just wrote briefly how it applies to us. Theoretically every medical aid that goes into making us manage our diabetes should be counted. Meters, strips, lancets, cgms, pumps, reservoirs, sites, wipes, the whole shebang. If I made the rules haha.

People with bowel stomas pay $20 a year to their state stoma association and then ALL their products are supplied free. Wipes, stoma bags etc. it's not cheap. If the product doesn't quite work the nurses visit and then recommend which new product would be better suited and orders it. No questions asked. No thousands of dollars cost to the patient.

Why does diabetes not have a similar situation? The technology allows us to work, be productive, produce taxes and be healthy and not drain the govt on welfare or hospital admissions.

I can't even

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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby Smee! » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:31 pm

Any update on this yet Trisha?? I agree, it is only getting our own money back.

I have often wondered what will I do when I eventually stop working - whether I will be able to continue to afford pump consumable costs, let alone the freestyle libre sensors. At least the cost was minimal when I started out on MDI given that the needles were free. Obviously the D community had to lobby for that small step so we need to continue to lobby for more affordable access to pump/CGM supplies and other advancements in technology.
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Re: Claiming T5 this year?

Postby abs » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:54 am

Smee! well the under 21's who meet a fairly loose criteria now have access to full subsidised CGM... the fight for the rest of us is continuing full steam ahead
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