The Canadian federal government and provincial governments provide funding programs for medical supplies, equipment and care, but in many cases, these programs do not cover the full cost of the equipment.
For residents of Ontario, there are several alternative programs that offer funding for essential medical supplies.
1. Assistive Devices Program
The Assistive Devices Program, or ADP, was created by the Ontario Ministry of Health to provide funding to local residents “who have long-term physical disabilities.” The program also provides access to personalized assistive devices.
The program covers more than 8,000 different pieces of equipment and supplies, including: mobility aids, prostheses, test strips for diabetes, eating and drinking aids, hearing aids, respiratory equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and more.
To qualify, you must:
- Live in Ontario
- Have a disability requiring the supplies or equipment for at least six months
- Possess a valid Ontario health card
Income is not considered when applying.
2. Ontario Disability Support Program
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is run by the Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services. The program assists Ontario residents who have disabilities by providing income and employment.
Patients who are part of the program may also be eligible to receive assistance with:
- Dental coverage
- Medical supplies
- Prescription drug coverage
- Medical transportation
- Nutritional allowance for pregnant/breastfeeding mothers
Medical supply coverage includes: diabetic supplies, surgical supplies, incontinence supplies and surgical dressings.
To quality for this program, applicants must:
- Meet the definition of a person with a disability
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a resident of Ontario
- Be in financial need
For patients under the age of 18, the application process can start up to six months before their 18th birthday.
3. Ontario Public Drug Programs
The Ontario Ministry of Health offers six programs that provide drug benefits, which includes related medical supplies, treatments and even equipment.
These programs are available to patients of all ages who live in Ontario and possess a valid Ontario Health Card.
4. Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services program provides assistance to qualifying residents to cover the costs of caring for a child with severe disabilities.
This program, which is income-dependent, can provide a parent or guardian with assistance for children:
- Who are under the age of 18
- Who have a severe disability
- Who live at home
Benefits can range between $25 and $440 per month, and can be used to cover the costs of: medical transportation, assistive devices, wheelchair repairs, special shoes, dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses and prescription drugs.
5. Veterans Affairs Canada
The Department of Veterans Affairs Canada can provide special funding for medical-related equipment, including mobility devices, assistive devices and home modifications.
6. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Bond, or WSIB, is an independent agency that provides compensation and insurance to Ontario workers.
The agency may provide funding for health care equipment and supplies prescribed by a doctor provided it fits the appropriate criteria. Items that may be funded by the agency may include: assistive devices, adjustable bed frames, braces and supports, TENS units and more.