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Special Services at Home (SSAH)

The Special Services at Home (SSAH) Program helps families caring for people under the age of 18 with a disability. If approved, families are provided with funding to purchase supports and services which they could not normally provide themselves and are not available elsewhere in the community.

What can I use the funding for?
  • Personal Development and Growth – This could include helping a person acquire new skills and abilities, such a improving communications skills or supporting a person as he or she undertakes more and more of the activities associated with daily living.
  • Respite and Support – respite provides a break for the family and may help avoid burn-out, stress and fatigue. It provides an opportunity for the family to have a different experience, build new relationships and learn new skills.
Who can apply?
  • Parents, family members, and legal guardians of children with a developmental or physical disability under the age of 18
  • Individuals over the age of 18 may be eligible for the Passport program. For more information, contact Developmental Services Ontario. www.dsontario.ca/ or by phone at 1 (888) 941 1121.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible, the individual with the disability must be:
  • Residents of Ontario;
  • Have ongoing functional limitations as a result of a disability;
  • Require support beyond that which is a normal family responsibility; and
  • Be living at home with their families or living away from their family's home but not residing in a Ministry-funded residential setting
How do I apply?
  1. You can apply by filling out an application on your own or with the assistance of an agency or professional. You can obtain an application by clicking on the following link Special Services at Home Application or by contacting your local Regional Office.
  2. You will need medical documentation clearly confirming the diagnosis of the individual with the disability.
How are funding decisions made?
Applications are reviewed and assessed by a Special Agreements Officer who sets priorities based on several factors such as:
  • The type and amount of service your family needs;
  • What you need in order to enhance your ability to cope with providing care;
  • The complexity of the support required as a result of the level of the ongoing functional limitation;
  • Supports and services currently available in the community;
  • Support networks of the individual and family;
  • Locally identified priorities; and
  • Availability of funds.
Since SSAH operates on a fixed allocation of funding, it is necessary to re-apply for services every year.

If you are reapplying for SSAH for personal development and growth, you can use a copy of the Special Services at Home Progress Report.

Who do I contact for more information?

Visit the SSAH program website for information and links.Your local Ministry of Community and Social Services' regional office can help you find your local service provider.

In the Waterloo Region, contact Denise Dietrich-Lelivre, at Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region, 519 741 0190 or denisedl@eafwr.on.ca.

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