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How Does the Passport Program Work?
What is the Passport Program?
Passport is a funding program. Funding is used to help adults with a developmental disability to live more independently by developing skills and to be involved in their community. The Passport Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS).
The Hamilton-Niagara Passport Program is locally run by Contact Hamilton for the communities of Hamilton, Niagara, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
What are the Goals of the Passport Program?
The key goals of the Passport Program are to:
- help people to live on their own or with support and develop their skills and abilities;
- give people a chance to be a part of their community;
- give families a break from their care-giving;
- help young people to prepare for life after school;
- support people to develop meaningful relationships.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Passport Funding?
Adults (18 years of age and older) who have a developmental disability. Young adults aged 16 years and older who are still in school may also apply for Passport funding but are not eligible to receive Passport funding until they are at least 18 years of age.
How Do I Apply for Passport Funding?
To apply for Passport funding, call Developmental Services Ontario (DSO). You can reach the DSO Hamilton-Niagara Region at 1-877-376-4674 or visit the DSO Hamilton-Niagara Region website. The DSO will confirm if you are eligible to receive MCSS-funded adult developmental services including Passport. If you are eligible, they will complete an application with you.
What Can I Use My Passport Funding For?
Passport funds can be used for:
- Community Participation Supports
Services and supports to assist people with activities of daily living (such as meal preparation and banking). People with Passport funds may also hire a worker to help them participate in social and recreational activities (ie. sports), job and work-related activities, volunteer activities and other supports.
- Activities of Daily Living
Services and supports to assist people to live as independently as possible with their family. Such supports may include hiring a worker to support the person in developing skills like meal preparation, personal hygiene, grooming, dressing and training related to using the bus, banking and other life skills.
- Caregiver Respite
Services and supports to provide caregiver relief to the person’s primary unpaid caregiver; this can involve in-home and out-of-home activities.
- Person-Directed Planning (up to $2,500)
To hire a person-directed planner who will assist the person and their family in developing a written plan about the goals they have for themselves that builds on the person’s strengths and interests. The plan also states the supports needed to achieve the person’s goals.“A Guide on Person-Directed Planning – Creating a Good Life in Community” is a free resource that explains how to create a plan.Additional person-directed planning resources are also available at the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network website. This provincial network exists to inform, support and promote independent facilitation and planning in Ontario.
- Administration of Funding (up to 10% of funds)
A maximum of up to 10% of the person’s Passport funding may be used for help managing your Passport funding like bookkeeping, payroll, scheduling support workers and bank fees for Passport-dedicated bank accounts.
More detailed information on what you can use your Passport funding for can be found in the Ministry’s “Passport Program: Guidelines for Adults with a Developmental Disability and Their Caregivers (October 2014)”. For examples of what you can use your Passport funding for, please click here.
What are my Passport Funding Options?
Under the Passport Program, you may choose how your funding is managed:
- You can directly manage your own funds and hire your own support workers and service providers (this is called ‘Self-Directed Funding’); or
- You can work through a Ministry-funded service agency and receive the services you want from them (the service agency would receive the funding directly on your behalf and this is called ‘Agency Services’); or
- You may also choose a combination of these two options.
Passport recipients who choose to directly manage their own funding may also choose a person or agency to act as a ‘broker’ to help them manage their Passport funding. A ‘broker’ is a person or business who works with you to manage your Passport funding paperwork and administrative needs. A maximum of up to 10% of the person’s Passport funding can be used for this purpose.
Do I have to reapply for the Passport Program every year?
You do not need to apply or reapply for Passport funding every year; however, every five years, recipients will need to update their application through the local DSO to identify changes to their service and supports needs. Individual funding amounts are subject to adjustment based on needs.
How Can I Get More Information About the Passport Program?
General Information Inquiries:
If you would like more information about the Passport Program or are interested in applying for the Program, please call DSO Hamilton-Niagara Region toll-free at 1-877-376-4674. Call the same number if you are not receiving Passport funding and would like information about it, or if you have some Passport funding but feel you need more.
Passport Funding Recipients:
If you are a Passport funding recipient and you have questions about your funding (such as allowable/eligible expenses), or you are having some challenges in using your funding, please call the Passport office toll-free at 1-866-288-9659 or 905-529-5100.
Passport Funding Guidelines:
You can get a copy of the Ministry of Community and Social Services “Passport Program: Guidelines for Adults with a Developmental Disability and Their Caregivers (October 2014)” by clicking here.
Last modified May 20, 2016 @ 6:52 pm