Individualized Funding Programs and Approaches in Ontario
When the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario was established in 1994, there were 2 types of individualized funding approaches available in Ontario. This included: Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding for children with disabilities and adults with developmental disabilities, and the Direct Funding Program – self-managed attendant care services for adults with physical disabilities.
At that time other individualized funding arrangements were emergent. In some parts of the province, and within some agencies in the province, funds were allocated to people that were individualized through base budgets of transfer payment agencies. Sometimes people received an allocation of funds when they left an institution, and sometimes an allocation was through a regional office – all done on an individual basis to meet specific needs. In most situations, lives were changed forever with these arrangements, and full citizenship appeared closer. Such arrangements continue to exist in various forms on a very individual basis in Ontario. More opportunities arose during various time limited projects and initiatives over the last 2 decades.
There is a move among people and families who want to live their lives as everyday citizens in Ontario for more enhancements to some of the individualized funding programs.
Many people living with a disability are looking to receive an amount of funding that would support their whole life instead of only one part. For example, for some people who would like to move into a home option of their own, Passport funding does not provide enough support funding for some.
Seniors who would like to stay in their homes and not move to long term care need more hours of support at home – for personal care and/or other types of support. For some seniors and their families, the agency funded model of home care is too difficult. Seniors and their families often speak about the coordination time spent on the phone with the agencies, the cancelling and re-arranging of support hours at the last minute, and the incredible stress this brings. The many different workers that come and go in the home can be unsettling, especially when people are living with some dementia, and when trust is so much a part of personal care.
The province of Ontario currently offers a variety of different individualized funding programs with different titles, purposes, and eligibility conditions. Each of the programs has their challenges, but what they all have in common is people and their families being able to use the funds in a way that meets their personal needs and interests.
Please note: The descriptions on the following web pages of individualized funding programs in Ontario are for information purposes only. The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario does not provide support to access funding or detailed information about each program. Please go to the various government sites for more information on how to apply to the programs.