Supporting Informal Caregivers

Despite their tremendous value, informal caregivers, like family and friends, receive little in terms of tax breaks, respite or leave. The CMA recommends that the federal government deliver immediate support to caregivers by making the Family Caregivers Tax Credit refundable.

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Supporting informal caregivers in a new Health Accord

Canada's health sector relies heavily on unpaid caregivers to look after seniors. Approximately 8.1 million Canadians are currently serving as informal, unpaid caregivers to family members and friends.

 

In 2007, informal caregivers provided over 1.5 billion hours of home care more than 10 times the number of paid hours that year. The value of this contribution to the economy was estimated at approximately $25 billion in 2009.

 

Despite their tremendous value, most informal caregivers receive little or no support in terms tax breaks, leave and respite support. Employment flexibility is limited and tax credits are insufficient to cover costs.

What is the CMA recommending?

As an initial step, the CMA recommends that the federal government amend the caregiver and family caregivers tax credits to make them refundable.

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