Temporary wage increase extended

On October 28, 2021, the temporary wage increase was extended until March 31, 2022.

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 Passport program.

On this page

Eligible workers

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

  • provide personal care (such as feeding, dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, managing medication)
  • provide necessary supports required to access and participate in community activities
  • observe and plan daily living routines
  • supervise and monitor safety
  • provide respite services

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 family members, friends and neighbours.

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 Passport program will be eligible for this temporary support.

You cannot get this temporary funding if you use personal or non-Passport funds to pay for the worker.

Similar support for this temporary wage increase is also available for people and families receiving funding from the following programs:

When the temporary support is available

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

The eligibility period for this temporary support is from October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022.

How much funding you can get

You can get funding to pay your eligible worker $3 per hour on top of their existing hourly wages, for all hours worked within the eligibility period.

Funding you receive for this temporary wage increase will not come out of or decrease your annual Passport budget.

How to get the temporary support

To get the temporary wage increase for an eligible worker you pay with Passport funding, please submit regular Passport reimbursement claims with supporting receipts/invoices by April 30, 2022. Any claims submitted for hours worked after March 31, 2022 will be reimbursed in full out of the recipient’s Passport authorization.

It is not a support worker’s responsibility to submit a claim or apply for this wage increase.

Recipients and families do not have to submit anything in addition to their regular claim.

The amount per hour that is submitted on any claim should include the additional $3 per hour. Only the worker’s base hourly wage will be deducted from your Passport funding authorization – not the $3 per hour temporary increase. Your receipts and invoices should clearly show the temporary wage increase in addition to the base hourly wage.

If you previously submitted claims for an eligible worker that did not include the temporary wage increase, please submit a new claim that includes the wage increase for the worker’s hours.

Eligibility criteria and the process to submit claims remain unchanged, with one exception. Employees are now eligible for the temporary wage enhancement top up for up to three days of paid leave relating to COVID-19, as described in the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021 legislative amendment to the Employment Standards Act. Where recipients directly employ a support worker as an employee (as defined under the Employment Standards Act), recipients can submit these hours as part of the online application to receive only the temporary wage enhancement top up.

See the updated Guidelines for the Administration of Temporary Targeted Wage Enhancements for Passport Program or the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.

Recipients paying a flat rate

If you pay your support worker a flat rate for hours worked, you will need to break down the flat rate into hours worked and hourly wage in your claims to be reimbursed for the $3 per hour increase.

For example, you pay a worker a flat rate of $100 for five hours of work:

$100 divided by 5 hours = $20 per hour

You would be eligible to claim $15 for the temporary wage increase:

$3 per hour wage increase x 5 hours = $15 total

Your total claim submitted would be for $115:

$100 (total base hourly wage) + $15 (total wage increase) = $115

It is the responsibility of the Passport recipient/family to:

  • negotiate this temporary $3 per hour wage increase with the eligible support worker
  • submit claims that include the temporary increase

If you previously submitted claims for an eligible worker that did not include the temporary wage increase, please submit a new claim that includes the wage increase for the worker’s hours.

After you submit your claim

Changing your claim

If you need to change information you submitted in your claim, please contact your local Passport agency.

Assessing your claim

After you submit your claim, we will assess it in the same way that we assess other Passport reimbursement claims that you submit.

We may ask you to provide further information if your claim is incomplete.

Getting your temporary wage increase funding

You will receive a payment based on the total amount approved for your claim.

Temporary wage increase guidelines

The information on this webpage is based on the guidelines for this initiative. People submitting claims for funding from this initiative must follow these guidelines.

Contact us

If you have questions or need more information, please contact your local Passport agency.