Funding Sources for Families

Ontario Government Funding Sources For Families With Children With Special Needs
1. Assistance to children with severe disabilities (ACSD)
This funding is income based. The program is geared toward families of children (0-18 years) who are severely disabled and have a major loss of ability to engage in any activity necessary to normal daily living (walking, self-feeding, dressing, hygiene, and communication). The goal is to provide funding which may help children with severe handicaps live as normal a life as possible in their home. Funding is variable, but may include a monthly payment and help with the cost of prescriptions and dental care. ACSD looks at the total family income, number of family members, and types/costs of special expenses expected for the child to determine the amount of benefits. Information is subject to verification through income tax forms. This funding rarely covers children less than 1 year as it is assumed that all expenses are the same as those of infants without a handicap. Forms are available from the Ministry of Child Family Community or many agencies.

2. Special Services at Home (SSAH)
The special services at home program is available for children and adults with a developmental disability and children with a physical disability who are residents of Ontario. The SSAH program is focused on meeting needs described as (a) family relief and support, and (b) personal development and growth. This program is NOT income based. Family Relief and Support provides respite/relief for the caregiver in or out of the home of the family. Personal Development and Growth These are individual developmental programs that help the individual achieve a specific goal. These programs are reviewed regularly and are time limited. The family may get help from a Centennial staff to complete the forms.

Canada Revenue Agency: There are a number of claims and deductions that can be included on your tax forms. These are:


1. Child Care Expenses
The child care expenses can be used: a) If both spouses are working and making an income. Then the fees can be deducted as a child care expense. b) If the fee is to be considered a medical expense, then a written and signed report is need from a Physician explaining the need for service such as PT/OT, cognitive enhancement, etc. (see Medical Expenses). Please contact Revenue Canada, Toronto area 416-954-3500 to obtain more information.

2. Medical Expenses
You are entitled to a tax credit for 17% of medical expenses for your child for any twelve month period ending in the current taxation year to the extent that the expenses are not reimbursed by a health plan and are more than $1,542 or 3% of your net income (whichever is less). This is explained in The Guide “Line 330″. The tax credit is claimed by completing Schedule 4, which comes with your income tax return. The receipts for all medical expenses claimed must be attached to your return. The fees that you pay for your child to attend Centennial Infant and Child Centre are deductible as a medical expense if you have certification from an appropriate person that your child requires the care or training of the school. While the fees paid may be eligible for a medical expense tax credit or a child care deduction, they are not eligible for both. It is necessary for you to review your particular situation to determine under which classification, if either, you should claim the fees.

3. Child Disability Benefit
In addition to the tax credit that you can claim for any child under the age of 18 (see The Guide “Line 304″), you may be able to claim an additional disability amount for a non-refundable tax credit of up to 17% of $3,327 in 1990. The Guide “Line 316″ and “Line 318″ and the Revenue Canada Taxation pamphlet “How You Claim The Disability Credit” (which accompanies this letter) explains this credit, who is eligible, and how to claim the credit. The attached pamphlet “How You claim The Disability Credit” contains Form T2201 which must be filed with your return the first year you claim the credit. It is necessary to have a physician complete and certify Part B of this form.

4. Registered Disability Savings Plan
introduced in 2009 as a new savings plan for those with disabilities.

5. Assistive Devices Program
administered by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. To be eligible, the child must be an Ontario resident who has a valid Ontario Health card issued in their name and have a disability of six months or longer. Equipment cannot be required exclusively for sports, work or school. Initial access is often through a medical specialist or general practitioner who provides a diagnosis. (e.g. Paediatrician, CICC’s Therapists or Teachers may refer children to an Orthotist for AFO’s or to a Seating Clinic for a wheelchair). An authorizer assesses the specific needs of the person and prescribes appropriate equipment or supplies. (E.g. Therapist at Seating Clinic at Women’s College Hospital is an ADP authorizer). Finally, a vendor sells the equipment or supplies to the client. (E.g. Toronto Orthopaedics sells Orthotics or seating systems & Motion Specialties sells wheelchairs and seating systems at Bloorview MacMillan Seating Clinic) ADP pays up to 75% of the cost of equipment such as artificial limbs, orthopaedic braces (AFOs), wheelchairs. For other items, such as hearing aids, ADP contributes a fixed amount. In most cases, the client pays a share of the cost at time of purchase and the vendor bills ADP the balance. There are many sources of funding for the client’s share of the cost including:

  • clients

  • charitable organizations like Easter Seals Society, Kiwanis, Lions Club

  • social assistance

  • insurance companies

  • relatives, friends