Blog Post 2020

Assistive device and mobility aid programs to help clients keep their independence

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By VHA
Women in wheelchair feeds cat

An assistive device and/or mobility aid can change the life of a person with disabilities or the elderly. With the help of these technologies, people can perform daily activities and keep their independence for longer. However, some individuals require help getting these devices. In Ontario, there several federally and privately funded programs which can help cover the costs of ability aids or certain types of equipment.

What is Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP)?

The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides funding to people with long-term physical disabilities to obtain personalized assistive devices appropriate to their basic needs. Assistive aids and devices are used to replace, compensate for, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. To qualify, you must be an Ontario resident, have a valid Ontario health card and have a disability requiring the equipment or supplies for six months or longer. Generally, the government of Ontario will cover 75% of the cost for equipment and supplies. For these items, we are billed directly by the supplier, and you pay 25% when you buy the item. Learn more about the Assistive Devices Program on the government of Ontario website.

If you are receiving Ontario Disability Support Program income support or are receiving Ontario Works assistance, you are eligible for the Assistive Devices Program under the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Are there other programs if I don’t quality for Ontario’s ADP?

  • If you are a low-income Toronto resident, the city offers a Hardship Fund. Funds may be available to pay for certain medically based items/services such as eyeglasses, emergency dental work, medication, medical items (walkers, hearing aids, hospital beds and more) or funeral expenses. Low-income Toronto residents who are not receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can apply regardless of their immigration status in Canada. To find out more information on the Hardship Fund, please visit the City of Toronto website.
  • March of Dimes Canada Assistive Devices Program assists adults with physical disabilities who are in financial need to purchase assistive devices that increase their mobility and functional independence. The program can help to buy, repair and maintain a wide variety of mobility or assistive equipment. The program may also have contact information or resources to assist you in locating additional funding sources. To quality, the applicant must have an Ontario resident with an ongoing physical disability that requires the use of an assistive device, be in financial need and be 19 years of age or older. To find out more information on the program and how to apply, please visit the March of Dimes Canada website.
  • A similar program is provided for those who are under the age of 19 through Easter Seals Ontario and their Equipment Funding Program.
  • Ceridian Cares offers the Quality of Life Grant for applicants of median total income or lower. Applicants must have permanent residence in Canada. Funding is based on the cost of the item and goes up to a maximum $5000 for assistive devices. For more information, please visit their website.
  • Current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, or their family members, are eligible for funding through Veterans Affairs Canada’s Assistance Fund for select assistive devices for daily living based on specific health needs. For more information please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website or contact your local VAC Regional or District office to determine if you are eligible for this type of support.