Temporary wage increase for direct support workers

Temporary wage increase extended

On August 23, 2021, this temporary wage increase was extended until October 31, 2021.

Learn about temporary financial support to cover a wage increase for people and families who pay for services from eligible direct support workers with funding from the following children’s direct funding programs:

On this page

Eligible workers

To be eligible, workers must do some or all the following in their work with your child:

A worker’s job title, qualifications and training do not impact their eligibility for this temporary wage increase. And workers may provide care in person or virtually/online.

For example, eligible workers can include staff of daycares, recreational programs and camps, as well as family members, friends and neighbours who provide respite. If the worker is employed by the daycare, recreational program or camp, the employer will pay the wage increase. If you employ or buy services from the support worker, you must apply for the temporary support.

However, regulated health professionals, such as nurses, are not eligible for this temporary wage increase.

Eligible direct funding programs

People and families who employ or buy services from eligible workers with funding from the following children’s direct funding programs will be eligible for this temporary support:

You must use funding from one of these programs to pay for your worker to be eligible for this temporary funding.

Similar support for this temporary wage increase is also available for people receiving funding from the Passport program.

When the temporary support is available

The temporary wage increase came into effect for eligible workers on October 1, 2020.

You can apply for temporary support for the period dating from October 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021. This is the eligibility period.

How much funding you can get

You can get temporary funding to pay your eligible worker $3 per hour on top of their existing hourly wages, for all hours worked during the eligibility period that are paid for with funding you get from your direct funding program.

Funding you receive for this temporary wage increase will be in addition to the funding you get from your direct funding program.

How the funding may be used

Funding that you receive for this temporary wage increase must only be used to increase your worker’s wage. Other uses are not permitted. You must return any funds not used for this purpose.

How to get the temporary support

Apply online

To get this temporary support, you must apply by November 30, 2021. Applications submitted after November 30, 2021 will not be processed.

You can apply for this temporary support for expenses dating from October 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021. That means you can claim expenses incurred until October 31, 2021.

Information you will need to apply

When you apply, you will need the following information:

  1. Your child’s identification/reference number for the eligible direct funding program. This may also be called your registration or Member ID number. You will find it on the letter you received from the ministry at the beginning of the year, confirming your registration or continued receipt of the program. For Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities recipients, you can find your child’s Member ID in your monthly statement.
  2. The number of hours your eligible worker worked (or is scheduled to work) by month (for example, the number of hours worked in October) during the eligibility period for each eligible worker your family employs.
  3. Your banking information, such as from a cheque, to set up direct deposit.

We will use this information to help us confirm your family is receiving funding from one or more of the eligible children’s direct funding programs and using it to pay an eligible worker.

Submitting your application

You can apply for support for more than one worker and program in a single application form.

You can submit one application for all the hours worked during the eligibility period or submit multiple applications during this period.

At the end of the application form, you will be asked to attest that all the information you have submitted is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Also, you must agree to follow the terms and guidelines for this initiative.

After you apply for temporary funding

Changing information you submitted in your application

If you applied online and need to change info in your application, please log in to your application and make the updates as soon as possible.

Assessing your application

After you submit your application, we will assess it. It will take at least three to four weeks to review your application.

We will follow up with you if we need more information. If we need to follow up with you, it could take longer to assess your application.

We will notify you once we approve your application.

After your application is approved

Getting your temporary wage increase funding

You will receive a payment based on the total amount approved for each claim in your application. You can then use this funding to pay your worker.

From the time you submit your application, it could take more than one month to receive a payment. It could take longer if you request payment by cheque. Direct deposit is faster.

Submitting invoices and expense claims for your direct funding program

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities recipients

As usual, you do not need to submit invoices for reimbursement. You will receive funding for the wage enhancement based on claims made through this online application process, which is separate from the funding that you receive through the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities program.

Ontario Autism Program Childhood Budgets and Interim One-time Funding recipients

Please do not claim any funds you received for this temporary wage increase in the expense forms that you submit for a childhood budget or interim one-time funding. This will make it easier and faster for us to reconcile your expenses.

Enhanced Respite and Special Services at Home recipients

Please continue to submit invoices from your direct support workers to the ministry for reimbursement.

Invoices should include only the base amount you have (or would have) paid your worker(s) and not include the $3 per hour temporary wage increase.

If the wage increase is included in the claim amount, please clearly show the difference between the regular wages and the temporary wage increase. If you receive an overpayment, we will reduce the amount of future program payments to balance your funding.

Unused funds

If you received funding for this temporary wage increase that you cannot use, you must return it to us. Please contact us to find out how to return unused funds.

Contact us

If you have questions or need more information, please contact us as follows:

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities, Enhanced Respite and Special Services at Home recipients: Please contact your ministry regional office.

Ontario Autism Program Childhood Budgets and Interim One-time Funding recipients: Please contact the ministry’s central resource team.