The Passport Program Guidelines have been updated and are now in effect as of September 1, 2021.

Additional information about these changes, including videos, tip sheets and direct links to e-filing options can be found at: Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)

Temporary wage increase for direct support workers extended

As of October 1, 2020, workers who provide personal support services are eligible for a temporary wage increase. This temporary increase has been extended until March 31, 2022.

We are offering temporary support to cover this wage increase for people and families who pay for services from eligible direct support workers with funding from Passport. These changes apply to support workers who provide:

  • direct assistance with personal care
  • respite care
  • community activity participation

Learn more about this temporary funding and how to get it.

Temporary changes

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made temporary changes to the Passport program to help recipients. These changes came into effect April 1, 2020. Read on for more details about these changes.

New eligible expenses

We expanded the list of eligible expenses under the Passport program to support people and their families while community-based activities and settings are closed. These changes allow you to use your funding for goods and services that may make it easier for you to stay at home during this time and practise physical distancing.

New eligible expenses include:

1. Sensory Items

  • To support recipients who rely on sensory items to alleviate anxiety/stress and/or support any clinical or behavioural plans.
    • e.g. multi-sensory related products and technologies.

2. Technology

  • Provide program recipients the means and ability to stay safe, connected, and occupied and engaged at home, including virtual and online learning and skill development activities. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Laptops and tablets;
    • Online educational and e-learning activities and resources;
    • Videogames and videogame systems;
    • Webcams and microphones;
    • Media service subscriptions and platforms (e.g. Netflix, Xbox Live, Disney+) Note: this will not include cancellation fees);
    • E-readers (e.g. Kindle or Kobo); and
    • Remote monitoring devices and medical alert services and devices (e.g. to support people living in Supportive Independent Living settings or independently).
  • The approval of technology will also support the virtual engagement of people with disabilities and connections for families, providing some relief from caregiving requirements and alleviating some of the impacts of physical distancing.

3. Items to support home-based recreation and fitness activities that would otherwise be accessed through day programs and other community-based programs:

  • Supplies to support home-based hobbies and activities. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Arts and craft supplies;
    • Hobby supplies;
    • Puzzles and games; and
    • Books for leisure/learning.
  • Supplies to support home-based physical activity and fitness. This may include but is not limited to:
    • Indoor items and equipment (e.g. skipping rope, yoga mat, resistance bands); and
    • fitness/sport equipment and supplies that may be used on the individual’s property (e.g. basketball net, trampoline, frisbee, badminton set)

4. Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies, When Available

  • This is intended to enable program recipients and their support workers to be supported more safely at home or as required, in the community, which may be of heightened importance to adults who are immunocompromised:
    • Gloves;
    • Masks;
    • Gowns;
    • Cleaning supplies (disinfectant wipes, sprays, and hand sanitizer); and
    • Goggles and face shields.

5. Essential Service Delivery Fees

  • Recipients and their families may be unable to easily leave their homes for groceries and pharmacy needs. To support households in this situation, delivery/service fees associated with the delivery of groceries or medication are deemed a temporary eligible expenditure.
  • Service delivery fees for essential items such as groceries and medication will be an admissible expense. (Note: this does not include the food and/or medication costs, just the service fee for delivery).
    • e.g. Instacart by Loblaws, pharmacy deliveries

6. Behavioural Support Plans and Related Interventions

  • Development of behavioural support plans and recommended interventions (delivered in person or remotely/virtually) and/or support strategies to reduce challenging behaviours or potential crisis situations intended to assist families to more safely support their family member at home.
    • Note: This does not include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Read more about these temporary changes in the April 2020 addendum to the program guidelines.

All other inadmissible expenditures outlined in the program guidelines remain in effect.

Funding in advance

We are giving eligible Passport recipients funding in advance of processing their expense claims. This is to help people manage financial challenges they may be facing and to help them purchase eligible supports and items quickly.

Advance payments for 2019/20

To help with the financial challenges faced by Passport recipients who have not been able to submit claims or receive reimbursements for admissible expenditures associated with their 2019/20 Passport funding, active Passport recipients received an advance payment of up to $1,000 from their remaining 2019/20 budget amount. Recipients received this funding by the end of June 2020.

Save all your receipts, invoices and supporting documents with proof of payment for these expenses. Please continue to submit claims for these expenses to keep your Passport budget amount updated.

Advance payments for 2020/21

Passport recipients get 25 per cent of their approved funding for 2020/21 in advance so they could purchase the goods and services that may make it easier for them to stay at home during this time and to practise physical distancing. Recipients started receiving this funding in late May 2020.

Save all your receipts, invoices and supporting documents with proof of payment for these expenses. Please continue to submit claims for these expenses to keep your 2020/21 Passport budget amount updated.

These measures are part of the government’s action plan to protect vulnerable people and staff caring for them.

What is Passport?

Passport is a program that helps adults 18 years or older with a developmental disability to participate in their communities. It also helps caregivers of an adult with a developmental disability take a break from their caregiving responsibilities.

Passport provides funding for services and supports so adults with a developmental disability can:

  • take part in community classes or recreational programs
  • develop work, volunteer, and daily life skills
  • hire a support worker
  • create their own life plans (this is called person-directed planning) to reach their goals
  • get temporary respite for their  caregivers

Passport is funded by the Ontario Government and administered by local Passport Agencies.

Who does the Passport program serve?

The Passport program is for people with a developmental disability who are 18-years-old or older and:

  • need support to participate in the community while they are still in school, or;
  • have left school and are living on their own, with family or independently in a supportive living arrangement.

Developmental Services Ontario manages the application process for all provincially-funded developmental services and supports for adults with a developmental disability in Ontario.

Learn more about how applicants are prioritized and funding amounts are determined.

Contact Developmental Services Ontario to apply for adult developmental services, including Passport. If you’re eligible, staff there will help you complete a developmental services application package to assess your needs and connect you with available services and supports.

Find a Passport Agency