Ontario Autism Program: childhood budgets
Learn about childhood budgets for children and youth who registered in the Ontario Autism Program before April 2021, including what services are eligible and how to report your expenses.
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As of July 1, 2022, additional funding is available to children and youth:
- who have a current funding agreement for childhood budgets and interim one-time funding
- enter a new funding agreement for childhood budgets and interim one-time funding
We are providing this additional funding to support the Personal Support Workers and Direct Support Workers Permanent Compensation Enhancement Program.
Childhood budgets support children and youth who registered in the Ontario Autism Program before April 2021. Childhood budgets provide money directly to families to purchase the services and supports that are the most important to them and their child.
Applications are now closed.
Families with children:
- under age six were eligible to receive $20,000 per child
- aged six and older were eligible to receive $5,000 per child
If you received a childhood budget, you may be eligible to receive interim one-time funding after submitting your expense form and if you have not transitioned into core clinical services in the needs-based program.
Learn more about how to transition from a childhood budget to interim one-time funding.
If you received a childhood budget invitation that expired or have questions about the additional funding to support the Personal Support Workers and Direct Support Workers Permanent Compensation Enhancement Program, please contact our Central Resource Team:
Purchasing autism services with a childhood budget
Families received their childhood budget funding within four weeks of the ministry reviewing their completed applications and documentation.
Soon after we sent your childhood budget funding, we also mailed you a package with more details about:
- spending your childhood budget
- services and supports that are eligible for purchase
- how to submit eligible expenses
Once you received your funding, you could start purchasing eligible Ontario Autism Program services. Services or supports purchased before you received your cheque cannot be covered by your childhood budget.
Submit your expense form
You can submit your expenses by completing the expense form online.
If your child is eligible, you can apply to receive interim one-time funding by using the same form.
Learn more about transitioning from a childhood budget to interim one-time funding.
Save all receipts, invoices and supporting documents with proof of payment.
Submit your expenses and apply for interim one-time funding
When you’re ready to report your expenses, please use the latest version of the form from the central forms repository.
Use the format that’s right for you:
Downloadable PDF format allows you to save a copy of the form on your device so that you can take as much time as you need to fill out the form or track your expenses as you spend your funding. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or above.
Online/HTML format works well if you can complete the form in a single sitting, as you cannot save a copy of an online form. We recommend using any web browser other than Internet Explorer.
Having trouble with the HTML format? Try clearing your browsing history and cache in your browser before you click the link for the latest HTML form in the central forms repository.
You have up to 18 months to submit your expense form
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we extended the amount of time you have to spend your childhood budget funding and submit your expense form by up to six months, if necessary. You now have up to 18 months to spend your childhood budget and submit your expense form.
For example, if your original 12 months to spend your funding ends on June 10, 2020, you now have until December 10, 2020 to spend your funding and submit your expense form.
You do not need to contact the ministry to be eligible or to accept this extension.
Childhood budget families who are ready to submit an expense form at 12 months – as stated in their original funding agreement – can do so. The extension is optional and intended to support those families who need it. The need to further extend this timeline will be reviewed as required.
Help with submitting your expense form
You can only use your childhood budget to buy services that are on the list of eligible services.
If you spend your funding on services or supports that are not eligible, or you are unable to provide receipts or appropriate documentation showing how you spent the money, that amount will be subtracted from future Ontario Autism Program funding.
Funding may be suspended or terminated if the person managing the childhood budget does not comply with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.
Autism Ontario’s service navigators can help you complete your expense form.
Transition from a childhood budget to interim one-time funding
We are committed to maintaining service continuity for your child or youth.
Once you have submitted your expenses, you may be eligible to receive interim one-time funding if your child or youth:
- is under age 18
- is a resident of Ontario
- has a written diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a qualified professional
- is registered in the Ontario Autism Program
- has not yet transitioned into core clinical services in the needs-based autism program
To confirm your eligibility and receive your payment, you must submit your combined childhood budget expense form and interim one-time funding application and sign a funding agreement.
You can begin purchasing eligible services and supports the day after your childhood budget funding agreement ends, as long as you have submitted your expenses and application form for interim one-time funding. Families can use funding to purchase services from the same list of eligible expenses as childhood budgets. For example, if your childhood budget expiry date is June 1, 2021, then your interim one-time funding start date will be June 2, 2021.
If you have chosen to extend the amount of time you have to spend your childhood budget funding and submit your expenses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you can begin purchasing eligible services the day your expense form and application form for interim one-time funding are received by the ministry.
The amount of interim one-time funding you are eligible to receive is based on your child or youth’s age as of April 1, 2021:
- $20,000 for a child aged 1 – 5
- $5,000 for a child or youth aged 6 – 17
Accepting this funding will not impact your eligibility for the needs-based autism program. Your child or youth’s position on the Ontario Autism Program waitlist will be maintained.
Learn more about the funding agreement for interim one-time funding, including the terms and conditions and collection of personal information.
Collecting personal information
Learn how the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services collects, uses and discloses personal information.
Eligible and ineligible services and supports
Learn about the services and supports you can and cannot purchase with a childhood budget and interim one-time funding.
If you have further questions about childhood budgets, you can contact our Central Resource Team:
For information about how your childhood budget or interim one-time funding may impact other benefits you receive (for example private health benefits and other provincial or federal government benefits) please contact your benefit providers.