This is an Ontario Government initiative, funded by the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, intended to provide support to families caring for a children with a developmental and/or physical disability.  It is often referred to by the acronym SSAH.

What is it for?
The funding is intended to support families with costs associated with helping the child learn new skills and abilities, as well as for paying respite providers.

Who is eligible?
According to MCCSS, families can apply for this funding if their child:

  • has a developmental and/or physical disability
  • lives in Ontario; and,
  • needs more support than most families can provide
  • is living at home with their family, or
  • is living apart from their family, unsupported by other residential services

How do I apply?
More information, as well as the most up-to-date application form can be found here.  The application must be supported by an attached medical statement or psychological assessment.  This support documented by a physician, psychologist/psychological associate, or in the case of hearing and/or visual impairment, an audiologist or ophthalmologist.  It should state that your child has ongoing functional limitations as a result of their disability. 

The completed application can be mailed to your local MCCSS regional office.  The form is quite thorough, and will ask about things such as program goals, specific needs of your child, family factors that may impact your ability to provide the required level of care, as well as what other supports are currently available to you.

What is included/excluded from this funding?
MCCSS provides the following lists of inclusions/exclusions in its SSAH guidelines:

Eligible Supports
Mainstream camp/recreation programs
Specialized camp/recreation programs
Advertising for recruitment of a special services worker
Special Services/Support worker to provide respite and/or personal development
Travel costs associated with transporting special needs child for the worker
Basic supplies to implement a program for the special needs child (e.g: Flash cards)
Membership fees for special needs associations (Special Olympics, Down Syndrome Association.)
1:1 support worker at camp or recreational program
Training for a family member or worker that enhances the understanding of the child with a disability’s needs
Extraordinary cost of childcare (for children aged 12 and above)
Nursing for medically fragile children
Routine homemaking tasks – light housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grass cutting, and snow shovelling
Gym membership fees for the special needs child
Daycare/nursery school as respite or if recommended for socialization

Ineligible Supports
Tutoring and academic programs
Camp fees for siblings
Basic care (i.e. clothing, food, diapers, routine medical costs)
One-time admission costs (i.e. movies, amusement parks, museums)
Regular child care fees for children under 12 years
Fees and tuition costs for education and employment
Assistive devices, specialized equipment, home modifications
Dental Services
1:1 support in a school setting
Professional services: junior and senior therapists (e.g. IBI, ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy)
Sports equipment
Electronics (i.e. phones, computers, tablets)

MCCSS SSAH Guidelines