Finding funding for wheelchairs in Ontario
Finding funding for wheelchairs in Ontario is easier than you might think. The government actually has a program designed to help people who need wheelchairs and other mobility devices. It is called the Assistive Devices Program (ADP). It covers potential funding for over 8,000 pieces of equipment. Through the ADP program the government pays up to 75% of the cost of a mobility device required for daily use.
In many cases, there are other funding sources available to help cover the remaining portion. Some of these include: charitable organizations, insurance companies, relatives, social assistance, friends and family, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
How do you begin the process of knowing whether you fit the criteria to receive an ADP-funded device, and what devices are covered? The Assistive Devices Program funds walkers, some types of crutches, scooters, as well as pediatric mobility devices, power and manual wheelchairs and wheelchair seating such as cushions, backs, and customized positioning products. The first step to applying for funding is to be properly assessed by an Occupational or Physio Therapist who is ADP-authorized. This means they have obtained the necessary credentials to apply to the government on your behalf.
Most people choose to be assessed in their own home. This is normally arranged at no extra charge which helps greatly for those whose mobility challenges make it difficult to get to a store or rehab facility. When the therapist comes to see you, they will ask a series of questions about your health and mobility. This information will help them determine what type of device would be most appropriate. The therapist will then help you decide on a vendor (supplier of wheelchairs and other mobility devices).
After the therapist takes all the necessary measurements, a mobility consultant will bring in a wheelchair for you to trial for a week or so. Once the prescription is finalized, the ADP forms are sent into the government for approval. This process can take 3-4 months.
In some cases the clients may require a wheelchair much sooner, and can’t wait 4 months for the approval. Often the client portion can be paid up front, and the vendor will supply the necessary equipment. However, it should be made clear that if government funding is denied, the ADP portion will need to be paid through other sources.
All of these questions and more can be answered by your prescribing therapist or vendor. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about ADP, please click here Assistive Devices Program