Proposed Regulation Amendment Regarding Grants for Persons with Disabilities
- March 7, 2017
- Kimberly Srivastava
The Ministry of Community and Social Services has announced newly proposed changes to Ontario Regulation 367/94: Grants for Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act, RSO 1990, c. M. 20. You can view a summary of the proposed changes here (link).
The changes pertain to the Direct Funding Program which is intended to provide funding for daily living activities to adults with physical disabilities. Currently, the program has various eligibility criteria (i.e. must be 16 or older, have a physical disability which requires attendant care services, etc.). The flaw in the current system is that applicants are required to be capable of managing the attendant care services they require (such as hiring, paying, dismissing, etc.). The result of this additional criterion is that applicants who would otherwise be eligible because of a physical disability and the needs arising from that disability, may not be eligible to receive funding because they are unable, due to a mental disability, to manage the funding to secure their attendant care services.
The newly proposed amendment would allow for the applicant’s substitute decision-maker to be responsible for the management of the funding. This would expand the number of individuals who would be able to take advantage of this program.
This discriminatory provision has long been criticized for excluding a whole group of people with comparable needs from attendant services based on their concurrent mental disability. The government is to be congratulated on making this change, with the provisio that additional funds must be provided so that the increase in number of persons eligible for the benefits does not result in a reduction of support for all participants in the program (“equality with a vengeance”).
Comments on the proposed regulation amendments are due on April 10, 2017. See the announcement here (link) for further details and get your comments in.