I hear this every week - "I would so LOVE to work with you - I really need your help - but I just can't afford it!"
Trust me - I know it's tough. I've been there - and I'm still there.
My older boys are 21 (today in fact!). Born at just 1 pound each at 26 weeks, the costs to provide for their needs and care have been astronomical. Thank God for our health system (and all you tax payers) but anything over and above - integrated sports, development workers, technology, respite, special footwear, tutoring...
Well, I've turned over hundreds of rocks to find the money.
The great news for you? I am now a pro! And I have become really, really good at finding money.
So I've pulled together this blog post sharing just some of the sources I know of to help you navigate the system and find some well deserved funding for you or your child.
Here are some of my top picks:
1. PROVINCIAL FUNDING
** This is for Ontario but funding is available in other provinces as well.
A. SSAH - Special Services at Home (rates vary based on need but could be up to $500ish per month) This funding is for children with physical and developmental disabilities (under which they consider learning disabilities, autism, Asperger's...) They offer both:
- Respite funding for parents
- Programming funding for a worker (example, a Life Coach working on social skills)
KEY ** Not income dependent. So all families can apply.
B. ACSD - Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilties (Children - up to $435 month)
This funding source is similar in some ways to SSAH but will also pay for travel to appointments and other needs. This one is income dependent and your child must meet the criteria for a severe and prolonged disability.
C. ODSP - Ontario Disability Support Program (Adults - about $800-$1,000 month)
This funding is extremely helpful for parents who's young or adult children are still living at home and attending school or another program. The funding is for home and shelter but can also be used for others needs. If the adult or young adult gets a job, the funding is slightly reduced but not totally wiped out so it really encourages independence without a harsh penalty.
D. Other sources (such as the drug benefit and vehicle modification credit) can be found here
2. FEDERAL FUNDING
A. Disability Tax Credit
This credit can save parents up to $1,500/ year in taxes and is for people who have a severe mental or physical impairment which impacts the basic activities of daily living. The impairment has to have lasted or is expected to last for a period of 12 continuous months...and your tax returns can be reassessed as far back as 10 years!! Children who have ADD, ADHD. FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), autism, Asperger's, bi-polar disorder, manic depression and anxiety disorders can be eligible for the Disability amount.
This tax credit can save parents/ caregivers up to $500 a year when caring for their 18+ young adult. The cost of textbooks, tuition and specialized education can be transferred to parents and claimed if not needed by the 18+ young adult for additional tax savings.
C. Other credit to look into
- Grant for students with permanent disabilities will provide up to $2,000 a year to help pay for expenses.
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) assists homeowners and landlords in modifying their property to make it more accessible.
- Registered Disability Savings Plan will provides a 300% (!) match or up to $3,500 a year for individuals with a disability. This provides peace of mind to parents who are concerned about their adult child's future.
- Working Income Tax Benefit Disability supplement is provided in addition to the basic WITB, so you may also be eligible for the disability supplement. The disability supplement is available to persons who qualify for the disability tax credit.
- The Home Buyer’s Tax Credit allows people to claim an amount for a home purchased for the benefit of a person with a disability.
- And many other credits can be found here
Did you know?
- The City of Ottawa - offers help with program fees so that all residents can take part in recreation and culture activities regardless of their ability to pay? Check out city programs where you live. Click here to find out more
- Local organizations, service clubs and foundations - write a letter to one of your local service clubs such as the Kinsmen, Lions, Optimists or Rotary Club. They will often provide help to families in need.
- The Poppy Fund - if you are a member of the military (or retired) and your child or you has special needs, then you can apply to your local Legion for a grant. Where do you think all that poppy money goes? For the Legion click here
As you can see, there is a LOT of funding out there - if you know where to look. And many other sources are also available depending on the specific need.
So please share this post widely with anyone you can think of who who could benefit.
And contact me directly if I can help you find the money you need to provide for yourself or your child. I'm here to help because I've done it - and I've been successful.
Now go and turn over some rocks!
Judy Mouland has 20 plus years experience personally and professionally working with individuals with LD, ADHD, OCD and other co-conditions. She is the former C.E.O. of the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada and now works as a Life Coach to empower individuals with these conditions to live life on their own terms - no excuses.