*** Temporary Changes To Passport Funding Due To Pandemic ***
April 24, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is temporarily expanding the list of eligible expenses under the Passport program to support people and their families while community-based activities and settings are closed.
These are awesome changes with the flexibility needed for individuals! Read the official release HERE or read below:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily expanding the list of eligible expenses under the Passport program to support people and their families while community-based activities and settings are closed. These changes allow you to use your funding for goods and services that may make it easier for you to stay at home during this time and practise physical distancing.
New eligible expenses include:
1. Sensory Items
- To support recipients who rely on sensory items to alleviate anxiety/stress and/or support any clinical or behavioural plans.
- e.g. multi-sensory related products and technologies.
Provide program participants the means and ability to stay safe, connected, and occupied and engaged at home, including in virtual and online learning and skill development activities:
- Laptops and tablets;
- Online educational and e-learning activities and resources;
- Videogames and videogame systems;
- Webcams and microphones;
- Media service subscriptions and platforms (e.g. Netflix, Xbox Live, Disney+);
- E-readers (e.g. Kindle or Kobo); and
- Remote monitoring devices and medical alert services and devices (e.g. to support people living in SIL or independently).
The approval of technology will also support the virtual engagement of people with disabilities and connections for families, providing some relief from caregiving requirements and alleviating some of the impacts of physical distancing.
3. Activities and items to support home-based recreation and fitness activities that would otherwise be accessed through day programs, school and other community-based programs:
Supplies to support home-based hobbies and activities. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Arts and craft supplies;
- Hobby supplies;
- Puzzles and games; and
- Books for leisure/learning.
Supplies to support home-based physical activity and fitness. This may include but is not limited to:
- Indoor items and equipment (e.g. skipping rope, yoga mat, resistance bands); and
- fitness/sport equipment and supplies that may be used on the individual’s property (e.g. basketball net, trampoline, frisbee, badminton set)
4. Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies, When Available
This is intended to enable program participants and their support workers to be supported more safely at home or as required, in the community, which may be of heightened importance to children/adults who are immunocompromised:
- Cleaning supplies (disinfectant wipes, sprays, and hand sanitizer); and
- Where required, goggles and face shields.
5. Essential Service Delivery Fees
- Families caring for people with physical and/or developmental disabilities, particularly families caring for family members who are medically fragile, may not be able to leave their homes for groceries or pharmacy needs because of the vulnerability of their family member and/or because of their care requirements.
- If necessary, service delivery fees for essential items such as groceries and medication will be an admissible expense.
e.g. Instacart by Loblaws, pharmacy deliveries
6. Behavioral Support Plans and Related Interventions
- Development of behavioural support plans and recommended interventions (delivered in person or remotely/virtually) and/or support strategies to reduce challenging behaviours or potential crisis situations intended to assist families to more safely support their family member at home.
All other inadmissible expenditures outlined in the program guidelines remain in effect.
These changes are temporary and the existing program terms and conditions will continue to apply upon the government providing notice. You will be given as much advanced notice as possible to prepare for the return of regular business once the government provides notice.
To make it easier for people who receive this funding to take advantage of these changes quickly, we are also giving you 25 per cent of your funding for this year in advance. You should save all receipts, invoices and supporting documents with proof of payment for these expenses. In response to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, we are also waiving the deadline to file your claims.
These measures are part of the government’s action plan to protect vulnerable people and staff caring for them.