There are various funding options available from different levels of government and non-profit organizations. They are available to families with children and youth with special needs ranging from developmental support needs to physical and mobility needs. These financial supports provide funding to compensate or financially assist families for expenses, services, or devices related to their child’s disability, to give families specific income tax credits, and to help youth and young adults purchase technology tools and materials to pursue their studies in secondary-level adult education or university.
Here’s a great Money Matters Literacy Guide for Caregiver from ABC Life Literacy Canada.
- The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec administers public health insurance plans and medication insurance plans, medical dental and optometric services, and even specific Aid Programs that cover a wide range services for special needs including Visual and Hearing Aids.
- The Supplement for Handicapped Chidren provides financial assistance for parents whose children have an impairment or developmental disorder. The Supplement for Handicapped Children Brochure details the eligibility criteria for the program and how to fill-out the Application for a Supplement for Handicapped Children Form.
- Children who are receiving the Supplement for Handicapped Children, and who have multiple serious handicaps or who require complex care at home, may also be eligible for additional assistance through the Supplement for Handicapped Children with Exceptional Care Needs, which details the eligibility criteria for the program and how to fill-out the Application for a Supplement for Handicapped Children with Exceptional Care Needs.
- Under the Allowance for Special Needs Program – Youth your child may be eligible to receive an allowance to cover the costs of the technical tools and material they require at home to compensate for their disability and pursue their studies in a private preschool, elementary school or secondary school not accredited for purposes of subsidies, located in Québec.
- Under the Allowance for Special Needs Program – Adults your child may be eligible to receive an allowance to cover the costs of the technical tools and material they require to allow them to pursue their secondary-level adult education and vocational training, college and university education.
- The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps families with children with disabilities in order to help them reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. The purpose of the DTC is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs, since these are unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.
- The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under age 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit. Not all children with disabilities will qualify for this benefit. Only children with severe and prolonged disabilities according to the Income Tax Act are eligible.
- The Guide to Government of Canada Services for People with Disabilities and their Families gives a broad overview with more specific information detailed on Eligible medical expenses you can claim on your return and what Disability supports deductions are available for individuals who have an impairment in physical or mental functions and have paid for certain medical expenses.
- A registered disability savings plan (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). Contributions to an RDSP are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.
- The Government of Canada’s Student Financial Assistance Webpage is packed with Information on student loans and grants, various tools and even scholarships, designed to help you save, plan and pay for post-secondary education, the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities and the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit are but two examples.
You may be able to file claims for past expenses (filing for tax credits retroactively) if you are just learning about the tax credits mentioned above, and haven’t claimed them yet. You can still claim these credits up to 10 years retroactively. To re-file your income tax returns for previous years, visit the Canada Revenue Agency Website and download the T1 Adjustment Request Form.
Non-Profit Organizations & Charities
- The Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) is a “non-profit organization for families committed to future planning and securing a good life for their relative with a disability”.
- The mission of the Fondation d’Aide aux Handicapés du Québec is to insure the well-being of disabled people. Their website is in French only, but please contact them for English services.
- The Fondation de bienfaisance aux handicapés is a non-profit organization which informs and heightens public awareness to the growing needs of the handicapped person. The organization also offers advise on adapted equipment, services needed, etc. Contact information: 1-866-975-1221
- Fondation Hippo makes therapeutic riding financially accessible for children. Their website is in French only, but please contact them for English services.
- Fondation Noël au printemps was created by business people wanting to invest in a cause they held at heart: the well-being of sick and children with special need. Their website is in French only, but please contact them for English services.
- The Fondation Sydrome Angelman of Quebec has various projects within Montreal, but they also provide financial help for those in need with medical and rehabilitation care and services.