What is Passport?
Passport is a type of individualized funding provided by the Ontario government, through the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services (MCCSS). It provides financial assistance to adults with developmental disabilities by giving additional means and flexibility for community participation supports and services and caregiver respite.
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) manages the application process for Passport funding. It is considered individualized funding because the funds are allocated to the person requiring support. The person and/or their family can choose to manage this funding on their own or ask a support agency such as the Alice Saddy Association to do so on their behalf. The amount of funding one receives is based upon a number of factors, including the individual needs identified in the application process.
Our local Passport agency is the Community Services Coordination Network (CSCN) and each recipient has a Passport Coordinator at this organization.
All reimbursements for Passport funding in Ontario processed by PassportONE which is connected to Family Service Toronto.
How Can Passport Funding be Used?
Community Participation and Daily Living Activities
- Fees and supplies for programs and classes which support independent living and skill improvement such as literacy, daily living, financial and computer skills
- Fees or admission costs to participate in community events, or club and recreational memberships
- Employment training and supports
- Transportation costs for activities
- Covering the wage and fees for a support worker if needed to attend community participation events or activities
Respite for Caregivers
- Supervision and/or support provided to offer a temporary break for primary caregivers
- Can be used day, evening, weekend at home, or out-of-home
- Funds can be used to develop a person-directed plan which identifies the supports needed to achieve the goals and build on the interests of the individual
- This can be purchased from independent facilitators or a developmental service agency such as the Alice Saddy Association
- If you choose an MCCSS-funded transfer payment agency (TPA), such as the Alice Saddy Association to manage your funding, they can charge an administration fee of up to10% of your total Passport allocation
- This covers some employer-related benefit costs for employees such as Employment Insurance, WSIB premiums and CPP contributions and other costs such as supervision, scheduling, bank fees and bookkeeping costs, to name a few
Your individualized funding options with the Alice Saddy Association:
1. “Alice Saddy Association (ASA) Managed Support
People/families can access our employees for their support needs. We meet with the person/family and gather more information about what you are looking for exactly, how you want to utilize this funding (direct support and/or purchases). If it is for direct support we would find out where and when you would like support and for what purposes. Also we’d ask about important qualities or preferences we should consider when looking for support workers. We would aim to find the best possible match for the person, from our available employee pool. In collaboration with the person/family, we would develop a written “Passport Plan” and corresponding Cost Summary about how these funds are to be used. As the employer we are responsible to schedule, supervise and evaluate the employee, which we would do with input from the person/family. The hourly rate for ASA-managed Passport is $35.30, plus 10% administration fee, for a total of $38.83/hour. To access our employees, we would have to manage your Passport funding. We can also purchase items on behalf of the person if we are managing their funds.
There are benefits to hiring an agency to provide support. At the Alice Saddy Association, our Direct Support Professionals are trained in CPR and First Aid, Nonviolent Crisis Prevention Intervention, WHMIS, and other Health and Safety-related courses. Also, criminal reference and vulnerable sector checks and professional reference checks are all completed at the time of hire. Our employees are also fully insured, including on-the-job injury protection. When hiring an agency, all aspects of administration are also taken care of, including billing, and having the support of a Human Resources department.
2. “Individual or Family-managed Passport”
We are available to assist people/families in a variety of ways that do not involve ASA managing your Passport funds or utilizing our employees. For example, assistance and support to engage with independent contractors. Although we would not be managing your Passport funding we would provide information or act as a resource. This may include creating and circulating individualized job postings, organizing and co-facilitating interviews, screening potential applicants, training, mentoring etc… as ways to assist people/families to find your own self-employed contractors.
We also have templates and resources available so this can be done in the best possible way, mitigating risk to the person/family. In this option we have no role in managing the finances – that responsibility remains with the person/family.
Contact Cathy Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, 519.433.2801, ext. 271
There are benefits to managing your own Passport funding. It means you can set the wage rate and because your workers are self-employed contractors and not employees of an agency, there are no employer-related benefit costs, which can mean a lower hourly rate, more funding for direct support. It also means you are responsible to monitor or evaluate the services you receive from an independent or self-employed contractor.