There are many ways for people with disabilities to receive assistance from the provincial or national government, including the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Some of these, (like the DTC), are well known and subscribed to while others passed into law without much fanfare and have remained relatively unknown. Here we’ll shed light on as many of them as possible, particularly the ones offering assistance to disabled persons in Ontario, on top of the Ontario Disability Tax Credit.
Major Assistance Programs in Ontario: Disability Tax Credit and Beyond
The following programs can help alleviate the unique financial burden of disabled citizens in Ontario.
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities
What is it? – Financial assistance for parents of a minor child or children with severe disabilities.
Who is eligible? – A parent or guardian with a child under 18 that lives at home and has a severe disability. Certain income restrictions may apply. You can find out more about child disability tax credit here.
Major benefits include – $25 – $440 per month to help defray costs associated with:
● Traveling to the doctor.
● Assistive devices.
● Hearing aids.
● Wheelchair maintenance.
● Special shoes/clothes.
How to apply – Contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to request an application.
The Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
What is it? – The ADP exists to provide funding, support and assistive devices appropriate to a disabled person’s individual needs.
Who is eligible? – Any Ontario resident with a valid Ontario Health card who has a disability of six months minimum duration. Specific eligibility criteria exist for each device type.
Major benefits include – Coverage of up to 75% on equipment including:
● Orthopaedic braces.
● Artificial limbs.
● Breathing aids.
How to apply – Contact the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Assistive Devices Program to request an application.
Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
What is it? – The DTC is one of the nation’s most comprehensive programs for delivering aid to the disabled.
Who is eligible? – In Ontario Disability Tax Credit benefits are reserved for those who have a marked impairment that negatively affects one or more of life’s normal daily activities. A very preliminary list of disability tax credit eligible disabilities includes:
● Cerebral Palsy
● Cystic Fibrosis
Major benefits include – In Ontario, Disability Tax Credit benefits are designed to provide substantive tax relief to allow the disabled to cover the unique costs associated with their disability.
How to apply – To apply for Ontario Disability Tax Credit benefits you will need to complete form T2201 from the Canada Revenue Agency. For more information about disability tax credit eligibility, read more here.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
What is it? – Sometimes confused with the Ontario Disability Tax Credit the ODSP provides career assistance and direct financial assistance to help defray essential living expenses for the disabled and their families.
Who is eligible? – To be eligible for ODSP assistance you must:
● Be at least 18 years old.
● Be an Ontario resident.
● Be in grave financial need.
● Conform to the program’s definition of a disabled person.
Major benefits include – The ODSP delivers 2 primary methods of support:
● Employment support – Helps disabled people obtain and keep a job.
● Income support – Supplies direct financial assistance to help cover basic needs.
How to Apply – Applications can be made either online, by phone or in person by visiting a local Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services office.
ODSP Dental Care
What is it? – The ODSP dental care program is an offshoot of the Ontario Disability Support Program intended to help the disabled mitigate the cost of dental care.
Who is eligible? – Eligibility is limited to:
● Those already enrolled in ODSP program.
● The spouse of those enrolled in the ODSP program.
● Minor children of those enrolled in the ODSP program (under the “Healthy Smiles” program)
Major benefits include – Coverage for basic dental services or more advanced services if your disability directly affects your oral health. The Healthy Smiles program for minor children of ODSP recipients helps cover the cost of:
● Regular cleanings.
● Basic check-ups.
● X-rays and extractions.
● Emergency dental care.
How to apply – If you have been approved for ODSP benefits you will receive a dental card with your monthly payment that will cover dental services for the following month.
The Ontario Disability Tax Credit and the rest of the programs listed here should help alleviate the significant financial burden imposed on you via the maintenance of your disability.