Provincial and Territorial Benefits for People with Disabilities
Disability supports at the federal level include the disability benefit available from the Canada Pension Plan, the Disability Tax Credit, and the opportunity to apply for the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). At the provincial and territorial level, supports for people with disabilities vary. All jurisdictions provide some support, but the various provinces and territories each take their own approaches, at least as it applies to online information.
The listing below provides some information, as well as links to more. People who think that they may be eligible for provincial or territorial support due to disability would do well to discuss the matter with their doctor or social worker.
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
- You have a medical condition that substantially limits your ability to earn a living.
- Your medical condition is likely to remain permanent.
- There is no medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation or training available that will help improve your ability to earn a living.
- You are at least 18 years old and not eligible to receive an Old Age Security pension.
- You live in Alberta and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- You are not in a correctional facility or some mental health facilities such as Alberta Hospital Edmonton.
- You meet financial eligibility criteria.
- More details about eligibility can be found here.
AISH coverage includes the following: Living Allowance, Child Benefit, Health Benefits, and/or Personal Benefits. More details of benefits are found here.
To be eligible, you must:
- Show that you meet financial eligibility to receive assistance
- Be 18 years old (you can start the application process when you are 17 ½)
- Have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to continue for more than two years
- Be significantly restricted in your ability to perform daily-living activities
- Require assistance with daily living activities from
- Another person
- An assistive device, or
- An assistance animal
Information about assets and trusts is available here.
When you’re on disability assistance the amount of financial support you receive depends on the size of your family. It also depends on whether another person in your family has the Persons with Disabilities designation.
Additional information about the range of benefits available to a person with disabilities can be found here. Disability Assistance rate tables for the Support Allowance and the Shelter Allowance can be found here.
Employment and Income Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EIA)
To Receive EIA as a Person with a Disability
- You live in Manitoba and are 18 years of age or older.
- You have a mental or physical disability that is likely to last more than 90 days and this disability keeps you from earning enough money to pay for your or your family’s basic needs.
- You are in financial need.
You may be eligible for assistance if the total cost of your or your family’s monthly basic needs and shelter costs are more than your total financial resources. Your financial resources are based on your income and assets.
For EIA, the cost of basic needs is based on:
- the EIA basic allowance amount for your family size, the number of people in the family, their ages and relationships to each other
- the cost of some of your ongoing medical needs
Rent Assist is based on the cost of your shelter, utilities, and fuel.
Details of the benefits available, including the impact of financial assets are also found on the same page.
Disability Support Program
You may qualify for this program if:
- You are a resident of New Brunswick
- You are 19 to 64 years of age
- You have a long-term disability (this does not include a medical condition that does not result in long term disability or services required to address drug, alcohol, nicotine or gambling addictions).
- You require disability related supports in order to address unmet needs and to establish or maintain your living arrangement in the community, to assist or enhance the capacity of your natural support networks to provide support in the community, or to help you participate in the community, thereby helping to avoid long-term inactivity and stress on yourself or your caregivers.
- You require disability related supports in order to address unmet needs and to assist or enhance the capacity of your natural support networks to help you personally or to help you participate in the community.
Disability supports that might be provided under this program include:
- Home Support Worker
- Personal supports and assistance within and outside the home
- Supports for community involvement and participation
- Personal living skills training
- Transportation supports that are disability specific
- Technical supports and assistive devices not covered under other programs
- Residential facility services
Some supports and services are currently provided under other government programs and will not be provided or funded under this program such as:
- Addiction services
- Vehicle retrofitting
- Major home adaptations or subsidized housing
- Mental health services
- Employment services (except if provided through ADAPT agencies)
- Child care services
- Income support
- Medical services or prescription drugs
- Residential facility services
The Social Assistance Program provides information on income assistance here. Those who are certified by the Medical Advisory Board as blind, deaf or disabled qualify for income supports under the Extended Benefits Program. The rates for payments under this program are shown here.
Additional supports for Persons with Disabilities are provided here. This page covers the areas of:
- Health Services;
- Housing, Disability Supports and Residential Services;
- Employment and Labour Market Information; and
- Driving and Vehicles
Newfoundland and Labrador
Health and Community Services: For Persons with Disabilities
General information about the various programs available for persons with disabilities is provided here.
Eligibility for Income Support Benefits for persons with disabilities is not specifically identified. To qualify for income support a person must:
- Be 18 years of age;
- Be a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Submit an application for benefits;
- Be determined eligible according to a financial assessment.
Monthly Basic Income Support Benefits are documented here. Links to more information on other supports, such as prescription drug programs, supports for medical equipment and supplies, home support, therapeutic and professional services, residential options, transportation, employment and training, and housing modifications are provided here.
Services for Persons with Disabilities
The webpage, Services for Persons with Disabilities, links to a PDF, the GNWT Programs and Services for Persons with Disabilities Inventory.
I was unable to find specific information about eligibility criteria online. Residents of the Northwest Territories should contact Seniors and Continuing Care Services, Department of Health and Social Services.
The above-noted PDF describes the wide range of services available to persons with disabilities or their caregivers. To provide a sense of the information available, the following shows the content titles in the PDF.
- Parent/Caregiver of a Child/Youth with a Disability
- Health-Related Services for Persons with Disabilities
- Information Related to Income and Persons with Disabilities
- Legal Information to Help Persons with Disabilities
- General Information about Disabilities and Related Services
- Person (Or Caregiver) with a Disability and Live in Own Home
- Senior with a Disability
- Additional Living Options and/or Help With Finances
- Education, Training, and Employment
- Other GNWT Services That May Relate to Persons with Disabilities
- Justice Programs and Services
Disability Support Program
Criteria for eligibility are described in the Disability Support Program Policy document. In broad strokes, the criteria are:
- Disability Requirement
- Intellectual Disability
- Long-Term Mental Illness
- Physical Disability
- Age and Residency Requirements
- is 19 years of age or over;
- is lawfully entitled to be in or to remain in Canada;
- makes their home in and is a resident of Nova Scotia; and
- has a valid Nova Scotia Health Card.
- There are also age criteria exceptions
- Standard Household Rate
The new Standard Household Rate for Employment Support and Income Assistance clients, and Disability Support Program participants, takes effect January 1, 2020. Learn more about Standard Household Rate.
- Alternative Family Support Program
The Alternative Family Support Program (AFS) supports persons with disabilities in an approved, private family home.
- Independent Living Support
Independent Living Support (ILS) is a community-based option that provides funding for hours of support services from a Service Provider, based on the assessed needs and circumstances of an eligible participant who is semi-independent and requires support to live on their own.
- Licensed Homes For Special Care
These settings provide support and supervision in homes with three or more beds.
- Direct Family Support for Children
Direct Family Support for Children (DFSC) and Enhanced Family Support for Children (EFSC) provide funding to enable families to support their child with a disability at home. DFSC and EFSC provide funding for the purchase of respite services to assist with scheduled breaks for family care givers. An enhanced funding component may be available for children and families who meet EFSC eligibility criteria.
- Flex Program
The Flex Individualized Funding program provides supports and services to adults with disabilities who live at home with their families or who live independently with support from their family or personal support network. The program provides self-directed and self-managed funding to eligible participants.
- Adult Service Centres
Adult Service Centres provide community-based vocational programs for youth and adults with disabilities.
- Protection For Persons in Care
Under this Act, abuse may be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, neglect, theft or medical abuse.
- Wheelchair Recycling Program
Wheelchairs for children and adults with a net family income that falls within program guidelines.
- Personal Directives Act (on the Department of Justice site)
This act enables Nova Scotians to document their wishes regarding what personal care decisions are made for them in the event that they are unable to make these decisions themselves. See also the DCS Service Provider Sample Forms.
- Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities
This program offers services to support people with disabilities.
- Community ACCESS-Ability Program
This program offers cost-shared grants to community groups for accessibility related capital improvements.
For more information:
Income Assistance and Incidental Allowances
The Income Assistance Program is a program of last resort intended to help Nunavut families and individuals meet their basic needs when for various reasons, including disability, illness, low-income or periods of unemployment, they are unable to provide for themselves.
There is an expectation that you apply to all other programs that you may be entitled to such as employment insurance, various pension programs, worker’s compensation and child maintenance, and that you access all other financial resources that you may have available first, such as money in the bank and RRSPs, before you apply to the government’s program. Annual filing of your annual tax return is also required.
Income Assistance clients may receive the Incidental Allowance of $175 per month in addition to other benefits, provided they meet the conditions set out in this document. To qualify for the Incidental Allowance, Income Assistance recipients must be placed in the Community Living Assistance category and be disabled (with documentation) or have reached their 60th birthday.
To receive the Disabled Incidental Allowance, the client must be considered disabled from a medical point of view. A physician (or Registered Nurse in communities without a physician) must complete a Certificate of Disability form and the client must submit it to an Income Assistance Worker (IAW). The purpose of the Incidental Allowance is to help the client maintain their quality of life.
For the Aged Incidental Allowance, the client must have reached their 60th birthday.
Any person 18 years of age and older in financial need living in Nunavut may apply for Income Assistance.
- You will be required to have a monthly financial assessment completed with an Income Assistance Worker.
- You will be required to develop a Productive Choice with your Income Assistance Worker to become more self-sufficient
- Productive Choices may include upgrading of your schooling, training, parenting under certain circumstances, employment, community work, harvesting and/or individual mental health or alcohol and drug counseling.
- Individuals who have a disability or are over the age of 60 are exempt from engaging in a productive choice.
Other than the $175 per month Disabled Incidental Allowance, no other details are described online. Nunavut residents will need to contact the Department of Family Services.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
To qualify for ODSP income support, you must:
- be at least 18 years of age
- be an Ontario resident
- have assets no greater than the limits set out in the program
- be in financial need
- meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability or be a member of a prescribed class
- Prescription drug coverage
- Dental coverage
- Vision coverage and glasses
- Mandatory Special Necessities Benefit
- Transportation for medical appointments and treatment
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Nutritional Allowance
- Coverage for assistive devices
- Hearing aids and devices
- Batteries and repairs for mobility devices
- Special Diet Allowance
- Guide Dog Benefit
- Health benefits for people leaving ODSP
- Extended Health Benefit
- Transitional Health Benefit
Income Support from ODSP
If you are eligible to receive ODSP income support, you will receive a monthly payment.
The amount you receive depends on your living situation.
If you rent or own your own home, your monthly payment will include two parts:
- basic needs
- a shelter allowance
The amount you can receive for your ODSP income support is $1,228 a month and may be adjusted based on your situation.
Future annual ODSP rate increases are tied to inflation.
Prince Edward Island
Potential recipients meet with a staff person who will conduct an assessment to determine how disability affects daily life and how AccessAbility Supports can help meet needs.
Help is available under five areas of support, as follows:
Personal Supports help with personal daily living assistance such as:
- life skills training in areas like meal preparation, budgeting, grocery shopping, recreational activities;
- technical aids and assistive devices such as a wheel chair; and
- supports that enable an individual to be self-sufficient and live independently such as in-home supports or personal care workers.
Housing Supports help with independent living and may include assistance such as:
- financial assistance for a caregiver to provide daily supervision and guidance in a community-based residential setting; and
- financial help for required home and vehicle modifications – $10,000 every 10 years for home modifications and $6,000 every eight years for a vehicle.
Community Supports help increase active participation in the community and may include:
- assistance with finding or keeping a job including coaching, skills training, and supports for youth transitioning from the education system to the workforce; and
- supports to enable active participate in the community such as day programming, personal aid or specialized transportation.
Caregiver Supports help family members or caregivers and may include:
- respite for caregivers to allow for time for breaks to recharge; and
- support to provide supervision for adults who are unable to stay home alone safely so that caregivers can go to work or school.
Financial Supports help with basic living expenses, if needed, and may include:
- assistance for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, household and personal supplies through what is called Assured Income.
People with Disabilities
The public website appears not to provide any specific information about eligibility criteria.
Benefit areas that are presented online include:
- Transportation and Paratransit
- Employment and Adapted Jobs
- Education and Studies
- Family and Support for Individuals
- Recreation, Sports, Tourism, and Culture
- Tax Measures and Pensions
- Health and Technical Aids
Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID)
You may be eligible for SAID if you:
- Are a Saskatchewan resident, 18 years of age or older, including individuals in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel;
- Lack financial resources to provide for your basic needs; and
- Have a significant and enduring disability that is of a permanent nature, substantially impacts daily living activities, and which result in a person requiring assistance in the form of an assistive device, assistance of another person, a service animal, or other accommodation.
A Disability Impact Assessment is a part of the application process and is designed to identify the presence of a significant and enduring disability.
SAID benefits include three main components:
- The Living Income – a fixed amount of monthly income that allows beneficiaries the opportunity to make decisions and have more control over how to spend their income. Participants make decisions on how much to spend on shelter, food, basic transportation and other items.
- The Disability Income – is designed to help with costs related to the impact of disability.
- The Exceptional Need Income – helps individuals with a number of special circumstances. For example, additional income is available for clothing recommended by a health professional, special food items, food and grooming costs associated with service animals, and home care.
As of July 1, 2019, annual (calendar year) earned income exemptions are:
- $6,000 for single beneficiaries
- $7,200 for couples
- $8,500 for families
Information about rates can be found here.
Information about income exemptions can be found here.
Adult Community Services
You must be:
- a Yukon resident;
- 19 years or older; and
- either assessed as unemployed because of severe or long-term disability; or
- receiving Old Age Security or reached an age that you can receive it.
If you are eligible, you can earn up to $3,900 per year that isn’t calculated as part of your annual income.
Adult Community Services programs
Get care and self-management support if you have a chronic condition.
Get benefits if you have a chronic disease or a serious functional disability.
The community day program provides:
- daily recreational activities;
- therapeutic programs;
- socialization; and
- maintaining of daily routines and independence.
Children’s Disability Services provides support to care for children up to 19 years of age with a disability.
Care at home
The home care program provides acute, chronic, palliative, rehabilitation services and respite care. We work closely with other government departments, First Nation governments, medical facilities and community partners.
People on social assistance
If you receive or are eligible to receive social assistance you may be eligible to receive the Yukon supplementary allowance.
At the library
Find out about services to library users of all ages with print disabilities.
The Yukon Recreation Advisory Committee administers funding for sport and recreation groups. People with disabilities are 1 of 5 target groups for funding.
Going to college or university
A student with a disability can apply for post-secondary funding.
Staff can accommodate an inmate’s special needs. Nursing staff are available to dispense medication and monitor medical conditions.
Support for victims and offenders
- provides services to victims of crime and to spousal abuse and sexual abuse offenders; and
- the Sex Offender Risk Management Program which helps people with developmental disabilities.
In the Public Service Commission
Disability Services offers a variety of programs and supports for job seekers with disabilities.
Support for women
The Women’s Directorate has an extensive resource library on issues related to women. This includes “Options, Choices, Changes for Women in Abusive Relationships.” It contains more than 50 listings, including videos, reports, books and articles, under the category “people with disabilities.”
At Yukon University
The Learning Assistance Centre offers services for students with:
- visual, mobility and hearing impairments;
- with hidden disabilities, such as chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities, and psychiatric and emotional disabilities.
Staff work with faculty and students to minimize the impact of the disability in the learning process.
Loans for home repairs
Low-interest loans to homeowners seeking to repair their homes for a variety of reasons, including improving accessibility. Subsidies on loan repayment may be available to people with low incomes.
Help with discrimination
The Yukon Human Rights Commission provides information to Yukoners about their human rights. They provide help in cases of discrimination on the basis of mental or physical disability, sex, race, etc.
Help for workers on the job
The Workers’ Advocate Office supports advocacy services for workers:
- with on-the-job injuries or disabilities; and
- who are dealing with Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board.
The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board provides services to workers who’ve been injured or disabled on the job. The rehabilitation services unit helps injured workers access appropriate medical, physical and vocational rehabilitation services.
Compensation benefits may include:
- permanent impairment;
- medical aid;
- spousal, guardian or children’s pensions; and
- a range of disability supports and rehabilitation.
This is the 169th blog post for Russ Writes, first published on 2022-10-24.
If you would like to discuss this or other posts, connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Click here to contact me for an appointment.
You may be interested in a half-hour no-cost, no-obligation financial planning conversation with me. Click here to sign up for a free session of FinPlan30.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for general information and discussion purposes only. It should not be relied upon for investment, insurance, tax, or legal decisions.