The Ontario Ministry of Health implemented the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) to offer financial assistance for medical equipment and devices for Ontario residents. The ADP’s objective is to offer funding and support to Ontarians with long-term physical disabilities as well as to provide access to personalized assistive medical equipment and devices.
The program’s goal is to increase independence and improve quality of life through access to medical devices that are responsive and appropriate to the individual needs of people with physical disabilities.
Ontario residents with a valid Ontario Health Card who have had a physical disability for six months or longer are eligible for the Assistive Devices Program. The equipment must be required on a daily basis inside and outside of the home. Eligibility is not based on income or financial situation.
The Assistive Devices Program covers more than 8,000 supplies, devices, and pieces of equipment. The categories are as follows.
- Wheelchairs, specialized seating systems, and mobility aids
- Test strips and monitors for diabetes
- Hearing aids
- Children’s insulin pumps and supplies
- Enteral feeding supplies
- Visual and communication aids
- Oxygen delivery equipment
- Respiratory equipment
Some exclusions apply, however. This includes sports equipment, medical devices that are covered to Group “A” veterans, and equipment available under WSIB. In addition, specific eligibility criteria apply to each category of devices and equipment. Some items are restricted to people who meet specific medical criteria while others are restricted to certain age groups.
Some excluded items include air conditioners and purifiers, automobile modifications, bath and shower aids, blood pressure monitoring devices, chair and stair lifts, sleep apnea devices, dialysis equipment, dentures, diapers, hospital beds, implants, medication pumps, raised toilet seats, regular eyewear, telephones, stethoscopes, catheters, ramps, and wigs. A complete list of exclusions can be found here.
Fact sheets for each category are available and offer additional information on eligibility, exclusions, and the steps for applying.
Initial access to the Assistive Devices Program typically comes through a general practitioner or medical specialist who gives a diagnosis. A qualified authorizer must assess your individual needs and prescribe the appropriate supplies or devices for most categories. These authorizers are healthcare professionals who typically work in home care agencies, hospitals, or private practice.
Finally, equipment or supplies must be purchased through an authorized vendor. In some cases, the authorizer and the vendor are the same person, such as for prosthetic devices and adult hearing aids.
The amount of funding offered varies depending on the device category. For some equipment and devices, such as hearing aids, ADP contributes a fixed amount, while for others, such as wheelchairs, breathing aids, orthopedic braces, and prostheses, ADP contributes up to 75 percent of the cost.
Grants covering 100 percent of costs are provided directly to the individuals for ostomy supplies, insulin needles and syringes for seniors, and breast prostheses. Those requiring long-term oxygen therapy due to a dysfunction or chronic illness may be eligible for home oxygen funding. This program is funded at 100 percent of the cost for seniors over 65, those on social assistance, those on home care, or those living in a long-term-care facility.
In the majority of cases, clients pay for a share of the cost when purchasing the equipment, supplies, or devices. The vendor would then bill the ADP the balance.
For the client’s share of the cost of equipment or devices, there are many sources of additional funding available, such as insurance companies, social assistance, and charitable organizations such as Lions Clubs, The Easter Seals Society, March of Dimes, and Kiwanis.
For More Information
Want to learn more? Contact the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care directly:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Assistive Devices Program
7th Floor, 5700 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5