There are many programs available to assist families with some of the costs associated with raising a child with special needs.
Assistance For Children With Severe Disabilities (ACSD): ACSD assists children with disabilities to live as normal a life as possible under parental care by providing a financial benefit to parents to help meet the ongoing extraordinary costs arising from the disability.
Note: Verification from a physician regarding the child’s disability is required as part of the application.
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- Who can apply? Parents who are residents of Ontario and have a child under the age of 18 who lives at home, and has a severe functional loss, with ongoing extraordinary costs.
- What type of assistance? Financial entitlements vary from $25 a month to a maximum of $500 a month. Entitlement is income tested based on gross income. The amount of entitlement depends on family size, gross family income, and approved ongoing extraordinary costs directly related to the child’s disability, (ex. transportation to treatment related or medical appointments, parking fees for appointments, parental relief, extraordinary babysitting costs, medical costs, summer camp fees, and other items based on individual needs of a child may be considered). Additional benefits once ACSD is approved include: drug card, dental card, eyeglasses, and/or hearing aids coverage.
- How to apply? Applications are available by calling your local Ministry of Community and Social Services office at (519) 254-1651 ext. 2298 or 1-800-387-7327 ext. 2298, or at the following link: http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/disabilities.aspx
- Application form for Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
for a step-by-step guide to completing the ACSD form.
Disability Tax Credit (DTC):
The DTC is known as the “disability amount” on your income tax return. The DTC reduces the amount of income tax that a person with a disability, or their supporting person, might otherwise have to pay. If you have a child with a physical disability or autism spectrum disorder, you may be eligible to submit Form T2201 with your tax claim. A qualified practitioner must certify on Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, that the child’s impairment meets certain conditions.
For more details contact Canada Customs and Revenue Agency at 1-800-387-1193 or visit the CCRA website
Application form for Disability Tax Credit
Child Disability Benefit (CDB):
The CDB is a tax-free monthly benefit for families who care for a child under the age of 18 with a severe and prolonged physical or mental impairment. An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Families, who are eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) for a child, will receive the CDB only if the child is also eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
Submit a completed Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit certificate to The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA will determine whether or not you are eligible to receive the disability amount and the CDB supplement. You can send the form in any time during the year. Visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/child-disability-benefit.html
for more information.
Registered Disability Savings (RDSP):
An RDSP is a savings plan that is intended to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a person who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). The Government of Canada will pay matching grants to a person’s RDSP depending on the beneficiary’s family income and the amount contributed. The Government of Canada will also pay Canada disability savings bonds of up to $1000.00 a year to low-income Canadians with disabilities. No contributions are required to receive the bond.
- Who is eligible? Persons eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, with a valid social insurance number (SIN), residents of Canada at the time the plan is entered into, and under the age of 60 years.
- How to apply? To open an RDSP, a person who qualifies to be a holder of the plan (person making or authorizing contribution of behalf of the beneficiary) must contact a participating issuer that offers RDSP’s. Generally, financial institutions are the issuers of RDSP’s. Contact 1-800-959-2221 or visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/registered-disability-savings-plan-rdsp.html for more information.
Special Services At Home (SSAH):
The SSAH program provides funding to assist with: Personal Development and Growth. These are individual developmental programs that are time-limited and help the individual achieve a specific goal; and/or Family Relief and Support. This provides respite/relief for the caregiver and is related to support services in and out of the home of the family.
Note: Verification from a physician regarding the child’s disability is required as part of the application. Family income is not considered as part of eligibility assessment.
- Who can apply? Parents, who have a child between the ages of 0 and 18 years old, with a developmental and/or physical disability and who are residents of Ontario.
- To Apply: Please contact Family Respite Services at (519) 972-9688
The Diaper Grant is also known as the Incontinence Supplies Grant Program for Children & Youth with Disabilities
, which is administered through the Easter Seals Society.
Note: Persons with bedwetting (enuresis) or stress incontinence are not eligible to receive this grant.
- Who can apply? Ontario residents between the ages of 3-18 years of age, who have a chronic disability resulting in irreversible incontinence or retention problems requiring them to use incontinence supplies, (such as diapers or catheters).
- What type of assistance? For children age 3-5, $400/year; for children age 6-18, $900/year.
- How to apply: Applications are available by calling 1-800-278-7797 or by visiting https://services.easterseals.org/incontinence-supplies-grant/
Child Care Supplement for Working Families:
If you are in a low-to-middle income family and you have children under age seven, the Ontario Child Care Supplement for working families can provide you with assistance for childcare. Call toll-free at 1-866-668-8297 or 1-800-263-7776 for TTY or visit: www.fin.gov.on.ca
Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy:
Individual membership is open to all people with cerebral palsy, their parents/family members as well as professionals/supporters who have an interest in the welfare of persons with cerebral palsy. Individual members who have cerebral palsy are eligible to apply for funding assistance from OFCP for equipment, vacation and community based day programs.
Ontario Ministry of Health: Assistive Devices Program (ADP):
This program from the Ontario Ministry of Health provides assistance for paying for certain equipment and supplies. Coverage includes: wheelchairs, mobility and seating, ostomy supplies, prostheses, respiratory equipment and hearing aids. For assistance with diapers, see Easter Seals.
- Eligibility: Applicants must have an: Ontario Health Insurance number and a long-term physical disability (varying eligibility depending on device).
- How to Apply? Applications available at the John McGivney Children's Centre’s Seating Department and pamphlet rack located in waiting room or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Call 1-800-268-6021 or visit www.health.gov.on.ca for more information.
Funding & Supports Guide For Children with Disabilities
: A downloadable PDF
containing a list of some government funding programs, charitable organizations, recreation and housing funding sources and other financial resources that may be helpful to families, published by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.