By: Fadzai Cruz
As the aging population grows in Ontario, there is a growing need for home care services that can provide assistance with daily living tasks. For individuals who want to manage their own care or for their loved ones, the Self-Managed Attendant Services (SMAS) program provides a flexible and customizable option. However, concerns about the cost of home care services may make some hesitant to explore this option. In this blog, we will explore the available financial resources for SMAS in Ontario to help alleviate those concerns.
The SMAS program allows individuals to recruit, train, and manage their own personal support workers (PSWs) to provide in-home care services. These services may include bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, medication reminders, and light housekeeping. SMAS provides a great deal of flexibility and control to those who choose to manage their own care. However, the cost of hiring a PSW may be a barrier for some.
Fortunately, there are several financial resources available to help offset the cost of SMAS in Ontario. Here are some options:
The Direct Funding Program: This program provides eligible individuals with a cash budget to purchase their own attendant care services. The amount of funding provided is based on the individual’s assessed needs and may be used to hire a PSW or to purchase equipment or supplies. Visit https://www.dfontario.ca/ to find out if you are eligible for the Direct Funding Program.
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): ODSP provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities who have limited income and assets. This program may help cover the cost of SMAS for those who qualify. Visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-disability-support-program to find out if you are eligible for ODSP.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: This ministry provides funding for home care services through the Home and Community Care Support Services specifically the Family Managed Care Program. This program allows eligible caregivers to receive funding to purchase home care services or employ care providers. Visit https://www.healthcareathome.ca/home-care/family-managed-home-care/ to get started with your application.
The Canada Caregiver Credit: The Canada caregiver credit (CCC) is a non-refundable tax credit that may be available to you, if you are providing care for a family member with a physical or mental impairment. Find out if you qualify for this tax credit and what you need here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/canada-caregiver-amount.html
In conclusion, the cost of SMAS may seem daunting at first, but there are several financial resources available to help offset the cost. By exploring these options, individuals can enjoy the flexibility and control that SMAS provides, while also ensuring that their loved ones receive the care they need. If you are considering SMAS for yourself or a loved one, it is important to explore all available resources to ensure that you are getting the best possible care at a reasonable cost.