Developmental services agencies continue to support people with developmental disabilities during the COVID‑19 outbreak, but:

  • some offices might be closed or impacted
  • some programs might be closed or impacted
  • visits to residential programs may be restricted to help protect residents and staff

Please contact your service provider for updated information.

Temporary changes to the Passport program

We have made temporary changes to the Passport program to help recipients. These changes came into effect April 1, 2020 and continue to be in effect until further notice.

This section was last updated in March, 2022.

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 may be closed or offering reduced services. 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 practice 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, for example 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 (for example, Netflix, Xbox Live, Disney+) Note: this will not include cancellation fees
      • e-readers (for example, Kindle or Kobo)
      • remote monitoring devices and medical alert services and devices (for example, 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
      • books for leisure and learning
    • Supplies to support home-based physical activity and fitness. This may include but is not limited to:
      • indoor items and equipment (for example, skipping rope, yoga mat, resistance bands)
      • fitness, sport equipment and supplies that may be used on the individual’s property (for example, basketball net, trampoline, frisbee, badminton set)
    • Some examples of items that are not admissible per the Passport program guidelines include:
      • watercraft and related accessories (for example, canoes, kayaks, paddles) 
      • small home appliances and household products or furniture (for example, electric kitchen stand-mixer, cutting board, pots and pans, doorbells, locks, storage bins, power tools) 
      • food is not considered a supply and continues to be inadmissible  
      • home modifications including permanent and semi-permanent structures and/or building supplies (for example, flooring, gazebos, backyard structures) 
      • motorized vehicles (for example, electric bikes, scooters) 
  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)
      • 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, for example Instacart by Loblaws and pharmacy deliveries.
    • Note that this does not include the food and/or medication costs, just the service fee for delivery.
  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.

The intent of the Temporary Expansion is to support recipients with items that are reasonable and appropriate to support individual needs on a temporary basis, not to recreate the community experience within the home.

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

Increase in funding starting July 1, 2022

You will receive an automatic 10% increase to your Passport approval amount as of July 1, 2022. You do not need to do anything to get the increase on July 1, 2022.

Your increase will be prorated for the nine months of July 2022 to March 2023 in the 2022–23 fiscal year. In April 2023, you will start to receive the increased annual approval amount for the full 12 months of the 2023–24 fiscal year.

You can use this funding for claims submitted on or after July 1 for eligible expenditures. This funding increase is not tied to direct support workers’ wages. As a Passport program recipient, you can use your funding on any admissible expenses in the program guidelines.

Contact us

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

COVID-19 resource pages

Agencies in the developmental services sector can access a library of resources that will assist them in responding to the pandemic. This library is located on the Real Xchange Website.

Individuals with a developmental disability and their families and caregivers can access the dedicated COVID‑19 page on the ConnectABILITY website as well as Partners for Planning website for information and resources.