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Ontario Grants for Family to Care for the Elderly 905-436-2328

By Crystal Bonser, eHow Contributor

Informal caregivers provide relief to the Canadian health care system.

According to the Ontario Caregiver Coalition (OCC), about three million Canadians
were informal caregivers in 2001 and provided more than 80 percent of the
care needed by people living with long-term health care issues. As such, the OCC
estimates that informal caregivers save the Canadian health care system up to two
billion dollars a year.

Although a major criticism in Ontario is the scarcity of grants for caregivers of the
elderly, there is some financial assistance available to those who qualify.

1. Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
(RRAP-Secondary/Garden Suite)

o
The RRAP is provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(CMHC) and is available to caregivers and entrepreneurs who wish to
create an affordable and self-contained unit for a low-income adult living
with a disability or for a senior. The unit can either be a secondary suite-
-also known as an in-law suite--within the home, or a garden suite--also
known as a granny flat--separate from the home but on the same property.
The RRAP-Secondary/Garden Suite is a forgivable loan of up to $24,000 in
Ontario, and does not have to be repaid provided the homeowner complies
with the program’s conditions.

2. Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for
Persons with Disabilities (RRAP-Disabilities)

o
The RRAP-Disabilities program offers homeowners and landlords financial
assistance to modify their homes in order to make them more accessible
to an individual living with a disability. Eligible modifications include those
that eliminate physical barriers, increase safety and enhance one’s ability to
meet the demands of daily living. The RRAP-Disabilities is a forgivable loan
of up to $24,000 in Ontario, and does not have to be repaid provided the
homeowner complies with the program’s conditions.

o HASI is also provided by the CMHC, and offers low-income seniors or
caregivers of seniors financial assistance to make minor modifications to
their homes to increase safety and accessibility. HASI is a forgivable loan
of up to $3,500 in Ontario, and does not have to be repaid provided the
homeowner complies with the program’s conditions.

Caregiver Amount Tax Credit

o
The Caregiver Amount Tax Credit is available to Canadians who care for
a dependent senior or disabled family member over the age of 18 in their
homes. In order to receive this tax credit, the dependent must have a net
income of less than $18,534 and be a resident of Canada. In 2009, the
maximum claim amount was $4,198 for each dependent.

Caregiver Benefit

If a caregiver is in a car accident and, as a result, is unable to fulfill his
caregiving role, he may be entitled to caregiver benefits under Ontario’s
automobile insurance legislation. To qualify, the caregiver must be insured,
living with the dependent, the primary caregiver and not receiving payment
for his care giving duties. In addition, the dependent must be under 16 years of
age or living with a disability. Eligible candidates receive $250 per week for
the first dependent and $50 a week for each additional dependent for up to 104
weeks. A package can be purchased when buying car insurance that increases
this payout to $325 per week for the first dependent and $75 a week for each
additional dependent.
 
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