I have a developmental or intellectual disability. Can I get help from the government?
Question & AnswerI have a developmental or intellectual disability. Can I get help from the government?
2. Learn which services and supports you may be able to get
You may be able to get services and supports from Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) that will help you:
- find a place to live
- complete daily housekeeping and personal care tasks
- do things in the community
- give family members or friends who take care of you a break
- get professional services such as a speech language therapist or social worker
- plan your life goals
- pay for services and supports
Finding a place to live
You may get help to find:
- an intensive support residence
- a supported group-living residence
- a host family residence
- a supported independent living residence
With an intensive support residence, one or two adults with a developmental disability live together. They get full-time services and supports.
With a supported group living residence, three or more adults with a developmental disability live together. They get some services and supports.
With a host family residence, one or more adults with a developmental disability live with a family that isn't their own. The host family is paid to give support. Sometimes people call this living in a “family home” or “home share”.
With a supported independent living residence, one or more adults with a developmental disability live on their own. For example, they may share an apartment together and get some help from an agency.
Completing daily tasks
You may get help with daily tasks such as:
- making meals
- getting dressed
- personal care such as bathing, brushing teeth and using the toilet
- taking medication
You may also get training on how to manage money, use a bank, use public transit and taxis, and other life skills.
Doing things in the community
You may get help doing things in the community such as:
- joining a local club
- using community centre programs
Getting relief and professional services
Depending on what you need, you may get help from professionals such as:
- a psychologist
- a social worker
- a speech language pathologist
- an adult protective service worker
You may also get the type of help that gives your family members or friends who support you some time for themselves.
Planning your life goals
You may get help to:
- identify your life goals
- plan how you will achieve your life goals
- find services and supports to make your plan happen
This is called a “person-directed plan” because you decide what you want to do.
DSO may give you money that you can use to pay for the supports and services you need. This is called direct funding. With direct funding, you're in charge of what services you get and who does them for you.
For example, you can use direct funding to:
- hire your own job coach, personal support worker, or
- pay for help to develop a person-directed plan
Since 2014, direct funding has mainly been provided through a program called the Passport Program. The most money that can be given to a person each year is $35,000. You can use money from this program to pay for respite for your caregiver. You can also use it to pay for services and supports from an agency.