Financial aid for equipment
The programs below may be helpful in covering or reducing the cost of assistive technologies and equipment. Please note that while Ability411 makes every effort to update this list as often as possible, it is not exhaustive. In addition, you will need to conduct further research to determine which financial aid programs, if any, apply to you and your situation. Search programs by funder:
Government of Canada
The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps people with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. The purpose of the DTC is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs since these are unavoidable expenses that other taxpayers don’t face.
This program provides limited, temporary coverage of health-care benefits to people in the following groups who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance:
- Protected persons, including resettled refugees
- Refugee claimants; and
- Certain other groups
This program covers items that are included on the NIHB medical supplies and equipment list
These items must be:
- Prescribed by a health professional, such as a physician; and
- Provided by a supplier who is eligible to deliver the specific medical supplies or equipment
Depending on health needs, veterans may qualify for financial assistance with one or more of the following services: personal care; access to nutrition; health and support services; ambulatory health care transportation services; home adaptations; and intermediate care services.
Government of British Columbia
Disability assistance can help if you need financial or health support. You must be designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) to receive this type of assistance.
This program provides financial assistance for home adaptations to eligible low-income British Columbians with mobility or health issues.
The Fair PharmaCare plan helps British Columbians with the cost of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies. Coverage is based on income and applies to eligible drug costs or medical supplies you buy after you register.
Medical supplies and equipment are available to eligible BC First Nations for personal use when all of the following criteria are met:
- The item is on the FNHA Health Benefits program Medical Supplies & Equipment List
- Prior approval, if required, is granted by the FNHA Health Benefits program
- The item is not available to clients through other federal, provincial or other third party plans
- The benefit is prescribed by an eligible prescriber
- The item is provided by an FNHA recognized pharmacy or medical supply and equipment provider
If you are on Income Assistance or Disability Assistance, you may be eligible for General and Health Supplements, which can include reduced-cost bus pass, crisis supplement, basic dental coverage and coverage for medical supplies, equipment and devices.
The Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities assists eligible individuals 65 and over and persons with disabilities with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or be more functional or mobile at home.
In addition to a broad range of drugs, PharmaCare covers approved prosthetic and orthotic devices, ostomy supplies, and insulin pumps and supplies for eligible BC residents with diabetes.
Provincial and national associations
This program assists people with high-level physical disabilities by providing them with Environmental Control Systems and Door Opener Systems that help them to control devices in their home and on the go. To find out more about the program and the application process, please visit the TIL program website (direct link).
BC Rehab’s individual grants support individuals with physical disabilities. The BC Rehab Foundation funds a range of new and used equipment for a wide range of disabilities.
The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC offers some financial assistance for the purchase of assistive devices. Some categories of equipment that are funded include:
- Communication and writing aids
- Orthotic devices
- Positioning and ambulance aids
- Home accessibility aids
- Electronic aids to daily living
- Vision and hearing aids
Ceridian Cares will provide grants for medical equipment to individuals who fit the following criteria:
- Applicant must be 18+ years of age
- Recipient must be a Canadian resident
- Recipient must be an individual or family in need of financial assistance related to the types of items supported by Ceridian Cares
- For the Basic Essentials grant type, the recipient annual household income must be at or below the low-income cut-off, as defined by Statistics Canada
- For the Quality of Life grant type, the recipient's annual household income must be at or below the "median total income in their province or territory", as defined by Statistics Canada
This program provides support for individuals with MS who have limited financial resources to secure adaptive equipment or to repair current equipment.
This program provides up to $3,000 in financial aid to clients of Muscular Dystrophy Canada for equipment costing more than $200. To determine eligibility, contact Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s services staff at 1-800-366-8166, ext. 2108.
The Society's technology program supports individuals who face a work-related barrier due to a disability or functional limitation and who require an assistive technology or device for employment or volunteer activities in BC.
This program is a financial assistance program intended to help people with disabilities gain employment or volunteer work through funding for training, wage subsidies, adaptive equipment and self-employment training.
The Royal Canadian Legion provides financial assistance to serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP and their families who are facing financial difficulties. Funding is available for medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and other items.
Private (third-party) health insurance
If you have third-party health insurance, you may also be eligible to receive financial assistance through your personal health insurance plan.
Please contact your health insurance company directly to determine whether your health insurance plan will provide any financial assistance for assistive devices or medical equipment.