Community Living Welland Pelham General Membership Meeting - A Packed House
Parents, Advocates, Members and employees filled Sutherland Place to hear about the proposed changes to the SSAH and Passport delivery by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
These proposed changes may affect all families who received this funding to support their relative.
After the presentation, there were lots of meaningful discussions on next steps and how to let the ministry know parents’ concerns. It is important for family’s to let the ministry know how this will affect the daily lives of their child or relative. Transfer Payment Agencies such as Community Living Welland Pelham can advocate on behalf of families but it does not carry the same weight as the voices of families
Here are some of the issues and changes:
(At the bottom of this article are links to related information from Community Living Ontario, Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario, and The Ombudsman Ontario. There are also form letters you can download and send to the Ministry)
Two types of PASSPORT
Passport Respite Personal Development and Growth (RPD&G)
What was once called SSAH for adults
(SSAH for Children is still in existence)
Passport Community Participation Supports (CPS)
Individualized funding that some people have received
Merging Of Both PASSPORT’S
With the merging of the SSAH and Passport programs, MCSS has stated that changes are needed to:
- Align eligibility and access requirements for the Passport program with requirements in the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008;
- Address the differences between the two programs; and Clarify and increase accountability for funding.
From Ministry of Community and Social Service
Effective April 1, 2012, SSAH became a program solely supporting children. Children currently receiving SSAH funding (excluding those who will turn 18 next fiscal year) will receive a letter from the ministry in the near future advising them that they have been automatically approved for SSAH in 2013/14, at the same level of funding as in 2012/13. These recipients will not be required to submit an SSAH renewal application for 2013/14.
SSAH recipients with a developmental disability who will turn 18 between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 have received a prorated SSAH funding approval to their 18th birthday. These individuals are required to apply through Developmental Services Ontario (DSO), and have their eligibility confirmed, should they wish to be considered for ministry-funded adult developmental services and supports, including Passport.
Adults with a developmental disability who were SSAH recipients, and transitioned to the Passport program in 2011/12 and 2012/13, will receive one additional year of Passport transition funding, to March 31, 2014. Communication of this extended approval is underway from Contact Hamilton, HNR’s Passport Agency
Passport program funding would normally be used to hire a support worker to help the individual access and participate in community-based activities. Without this support, the individual would not be able to access and participate in these activities on their own.
Passport program funding should not be used to purchase goods, services, or fees associated with entertainment, recreation, sports, hobbies, etc.
The ministry will provide a list of admissible and inadmissible expenditures to be clear about what can and cannot be approved.
Caregiver respite will become available as a support under the Passport program.
Respite is to be primarily a benefit for the individual with a developmental disability to help him or her to achieve their goals and outcomes.
Indirect respite supports would not be admissible expenditures.
CLWP has been made aware that as a result of complaints from the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario, Community Living Ontario, and other stakeholders that the Ministry has released the following statement “the Ministry is now reconsidering its approach to the Passport guidelines, particularly allowable expenses under the program, to respond to some of the concerns that were raised."
Current ODSP income support levels, for persons 18 and older that many rely on, do not typically provide enough income to allow a person the money needed to participate in community activities after housing, food and other essential expenses have been addressed.
Adults who receive SSAH funding have been eligible to access ODSP Employment Supports. People have not, however, been eligible
to access both Passport and ODSP Employment Supports and the Ministry appears to be maintaining this restriction for Passport.
Given that many people who have an intellectual disability remain in school after their 18th birthday, some until they are 21, they could experience a significant delay in their eligibility for Passport funding. Since Passport funding is not available while you are attending school.
This will be particularly true for those who previously received SSAH funding and were reliant on the supports it provided.
What We Know
There is a wait list for PASSPORT funding
There is a waitlist for SSAH (Children)
No new money has been allocated for either
We have been told that the actual new guidelines that the Ministry will develop will not be finalized until this February.
At that time the guidelines will first be shared with the Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) in order that they can fully comprehend the changes and potential effects and to develop appropriate systems for the change.
It is expected that the changes will be shared will families and agencies sometime by the end of February or early March.
It is anticipated that the changes will be effective April 1, 2013.
The Ontario Ombudsman is currently investigating the province’s system for adults with Developmental Disabilities.
Below are articles and related information on the changes to the Passport Funding Model.
Ontario Ombudsman announced an investigation into the province’s services for adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis situation.
Communication with the Ontario OMBUDSMAN
To make a complaint to the OMBUDSMAN
Information from Community Living Ontario
Press release: Community Living Ontario predicts more families will abandon their children
Ministry of Community and Social Services
Changes to the Passport Program Ministry of Community and Social Services
Moving to Adulthood – Services and supports for adults with a developmental disability.
Community Living Welland Pelham is a member of the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario
Feedback on the Changes to the Passport Program
Direct Funding News Sheet One
Direct Funding News Sheet Two
Community Living Welland Pelham
Community Living Welland Pelham Membership Meeting Presentation
Form letters for families and concerned citizens to the Ministry and local MPP
For more information please call Theresa Terreberry at 905-735-0081 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org