Tips and resources to help you throughout your caregiving journey

Government assistance and funding for caregivers in Canada

Is there a caregiver allowance? Can I get paid to take care of mom and dad?  I can’t tell you the number of times I have been asked these questions. While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, my shoulders are broad enough to be this bearer. The only province in Canada that has such an allowance is Nova Scotia (known as The Caregiver Benefit Program). Yes, you read that right. Nova Scotia.

Before you pack your bags and your parents, and head out to this fine eastern province, check out the federal tax benefits and insurance benefits that are available to all Canadian citizens. Bookmark this page, because it’s not if, but when, you are going to need this information. Did someone say financial stress?

Federal tax credits and insurance benefits

Here are steps you can take to minimize financial stress for both you as a daughter/son and for your parent:

  • Learn about the federal government’s Compassionate Care Benefit (CCB) program. Employment Insurance benefits and job protection are provided to eligible family members for up to twenty-eight weeks while caring for someone.
  • Claim the Canada Caregiver Credit when you file your income tax.
  • Consider an application for the Disability Tax Credit. A person with a “severe and prolonged” impairment in physical or mental function may claim the disability amount once they are eligible. Caregivers of dependents or spouses/common law partners may be eligible to have the disability tax credit amount transferred to their own tax return.
  • Reach out to the local constituency office of your provincial government (MPP, MNA or MLA) or federal Member of Parliament (MP) for the most up–to-date provincial and federal assistance available to you (the staff will also guide you and help you with applications, if needed).

Additional programs and funding

If your parent requires special equipment or assistive devices such as a wheelchair or walker, the following programs can help:

  • The Home & Vehicle Modification Program is funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by March of Dimes Canada to help Ontarians whose mobility and daily living activities are substantially restricted by an injury, birth defect, or long-term illness. If you live in British Columbia, PEI, Quebec, or Manitoba, click here to learn about similar programs available to you.
  • For more than 50 years, the Canadian Red Cross has been offering the Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP). This program is available to residents of British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Assistive Devices Program provides financial assistance to purchase medical equipment and supplies for those who qualify.
  • Ceridian Cares provides grants for not only assistive devices, but also clothing and footwear, food and basic household needs, and personal development and recreation to those who qualify.
  • I also recommend contacting national disease/illness-specific organizations (such as Muscular Dystrophy Canada, The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS] Canada) for funding that they may provide.
  • Individual or local branches of national charitable organizations may provide funding for assistive devices. You can use the national websites to access the contact information for local clubs. Each club or local branch may have different offerings and application processes.

Government and charitable organization programs often change and evolve. It is a good idea to regularly check the above websites for the latest in financial assistance and support.

Bookmark this page. I would bet money you are going to need it at some point!

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  • Jennifer Horton
    Fri Jun 14 2019, 00:41
    I'm caring for my brother who is quadriplegic, and I was wondering do I qualify for funding for caring for him.
  • Mary Sicoli
    Wed Jul 17 2019, 21:31
    I live and care for my mom but she does not support me financially so I have to work at least part-time. Is there any program that could help me financially part-time so I can spend more time and have the flexibility to bring her to her appts? Mary
  • Susan Trevino
    Fri Jul 26 2019, 13:12
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  • Dana Colosimo
    Fri Sep 06 2019, 17:50
    I am caring for my elderly 90 yr old mother. She is currently living with me. Even though I am not well from a car accident and apparently did not qualify for disability pension plan :( and could not work for the last 10 years, I now have my mom staying with me after coming out of the hospital. Would I qualify for any type of income that can help me out ??????? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
  • Terry Bruley
    Sun Sep 15 2019, 22:53
    Hi --i live in Thunder Bay Ontario and take care of my wife as it is quite a job as she has deminia and really not sure when she will be going in long term care ---this ilness of her/s ( Joyce Bruley started last nov ) and what im asking you is there any kind of a goverment grant that i could possibly get for taking care of her ? As i have to dress her --cook and the list goes on and on ---Thanks Terry Bruley
  • Jennifer Burston
    Sat Oct 05 2019, 01:33
    Hey my auntie is caring for my grandmother who recently had a stroke. My auntie is having to quit her job as my grandmother still needs around the clock care. Is there anything that she can do to be able to get extra funds for daily living. Is there a way she can become homecare to my grandmother? Are there other services that we can look into to be able to help financially?
  • Linda Annett
    Tue Oct 15 2019, 02:20
    I have a sister in LTC community care in a secured area because she has Alzheimers and M.S. I need someone to help me with dressing her when we are swimming as I have a disability and can no longer help her.
  • shawna bigelow
    Thu Oct 24 2019, 18:06
    Hi I am going to my mothers 2 times a week so she can stay in her house and my sister goes the other 2 days and in between there are care workers. The problem is I don't get any gas money or anything to watch my mother when I do even have a job myself .is it wrong to get money for my gas ect for watching my mother .thanks