Getting Funding for Accessibility Equipment in Canada
You may be eligible to get funding for your accessibility devices
Did you know that you may be eligible for financial assistance to fund your mobility aids and/or home modifications? Some programs may cover mobility aids but not home modifications, and vice versa, so it is important to know which category your product is under:
Various programs are available nationally and provincially that provide financial assistance for mobility aids and other medical devices.
National Funding/Financial Assistance
National funding and financial assistance are available to people with various disabilities who wish to purchase equipment that will help them live more independent lives. While coverage and eligibility requirements may differ between programs, all programs are designed to help the disabled. Some of the programs available are:
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)
- Health Care Benefits—Veterans Affairs Canada provides financial assistance to eligible veterans. There are 14 Programs of Choice (POC) available. Examples of these programs are POC 1, which covers aids for daily living (such as walkers and various bathroom aids) and POC 13, which covers special equipment (such as wheelchairs and power mobility devices). For items covered under POC 13, they must be prescribed by a VAC-approved health professional and supported by another health professional. Coverage may differ by province/territory. For more information or to see if you are eligible, contact your local VAC regional or district office. Find your local office by visiting the Veteran Affairs Canada website.
Medical and assistive devices are exempt from HST, although some items (e.g., lift chairs and eyeglasses) require a written prescription from a medical practitioner. You can also claim medical expenses on your province tax return.
- Federally, you can claim eligible medical expenses you paid in a calendar year totalling 3% of your net income or $2,208, whichever is less. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for further information.
- The amount you can claim on your provincial/territory tax return will differ depending on the province/territory. For more information on provincial/territory claims, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Easter Seals is dedicated to improving the quality of life for disabled Canadians, offering programs and support throughout Canada to promote active living, family and community support and funding/financial assistance for assistive devices. To learn more, visit the Easter Seals website.
March of Dimes provides a wide array of support and services to people with physical disabilities all over Canada, including funding for mobility and assistive equipment. Visit the March of Dimes website for further information.
Muscular Dystrophy of Canada offers support and resources to help people with neuromuscular disorders lead independent lives. They provide resources for topics such as symptom management and nutrition as well as financial assistance with mobility and other assistive devices. For more information visit the Muscular Dystrophy of Canada website.
Provincial Funding/Financial Assistance
Most provinces offer programs to help seniors and people with disabilities by providing services and financial support to purchase mobility aids and other medical devices to assist with various daily living tasks. Some of the programs available are:
- Alberta—Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) provides assistance for people with long-term disabilities, chronic or terminal illnesses to maintain independence. AADL offers funding for basic medical equipment and supplies. For more information visit the Alberta Aids to Daily Living website.
- Manitoba—Home Care Services provides support and services to people who need assistance with daily living or other health services. Equipment and supplies may be covered after assessment by a case co-ordinator. Visit the Home Care Services for Manitoba website for further information.
- Manitoba—Disability and Health Support Unit assesses requests for equipment and other health related items on behalf of financial assistance programs offered by the province of Manitoba. Visit the Disability and Health Support Unit website for more information.
- Ontario—Assistive Devices Program provides financial assistance for equipment to people with long-term physical disabilities to help them perform daily living tasks. Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website for information.
- Prince Edward Island—Supports for People with Disabilities provides support and services for people with disabilities including technical aids and assistive devices to improve their functional abilities. Visit the Prince Edward Island Department of Family and Human Services website.
- Saskatchewan—Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living (SAIL) provides assistance to people with physical disabilities to help them live more independently by providing equipment to help with daily living and other benefits. To learn more visit the Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living website.
There are many programs available that provide financial assistance for home modifications. Installation of stair lifts, wheelchair lifts and roll-in showers are considered home modifications because permanent changes are made to the home to assist the elderly or disabled person living there.
Speak to a local dealer for more information on available funding and financial assistance in your area. More programs other than the ones outlined here may be available. There may also be assistance available on the municipal level. Contact a pre-qualified dealer in your area.