March Break Reimbursement Fund - FAQ's
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is continuing to support March break programs for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders through more regionally based programs. Families should check with MCSS Regional Offices for further information regarding other March break program supports funded by the Government of Ontario. For information about Regional Offices, click here.
Autism Ontario will notify all families, who submitted an application, by February 10, 2023. ALL applicants will be informed whether they were selected or not in the draw.
- Do I need to re-submit the proof of diagnosis if I have previously applied for funds?
No. If you previously received funds from 2007 – 2022, you do not need to re-submit confirmation of an ASD diagnosis.
- How does the application process work?
We will accept completed and signed applications from December 19, 2022, to January 23, 2023, to be entered into a random draw. Your application must include evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis. Note: A diagnosis written on a Doctor’s prescription pad will not be accepted.
- Where do I send the application and diagnosis?
Submit your application and proof of diagnosis online here.
- Is there a deadline to submit the application?
Yes, all applications and diagnosis must be received by January 23, 2023 in order to be considered for the randomized draw. There will be no exceptions!
- How many children will be eligible for reimbursement?
A minimum of 1,007 children are expected to receive reimbursements.
- How will families be selected to receive funds?
A random selection will be made from all eligible applicants, who apply between December 19, 2022 and January 23, 2023.
- What is the reimbursement amount?
Maximum reimbursements of $350, per child or youth, (up to 18th birthday) will be made to subsidize services purchased between March 13-17, 2023.
- When do I apply for reimbursement?
Applications will be accepted from December 19, 2022 to January 23, 2023.
- When will I be notified if I am one of the selected recipients who will receive the funds?
Autism Ontario will notify all families, who submitted an application, by January 31, 2023 as to whether or not they will receive the funds.
What if I have more than one autistic child and submit more than one application?
Every application received online or by mail will have a unique application number. Because it is a random draw, a family may submit more than one application and it is possible that one or both applications will be selected, or neither may be selected.
- If I am selected to receive funds, when do I have to submit the receipt?
Once you have been notified that you will receive the funds, you have until March 31, 2023 to submit the receipt for the worker OR program/camp, but not both. Be sure to keep all your receipts, to a maximum of $350, and submit all at once.
- When will I receive my reimbursement?
Reimbursement will occur within 30 business days after all required documents have been received by Autism Ontario.
- What types of services can be reimbursed under this fund?
Families can use the funding for 1:1 support workers so their child can attend a March Break camp (March 13-17, 2023), or to allow them to purchase other appropriate respite and recreational supports in the event of potential camp cancellations. Eligible expenses will include:
- Respite services to support caregivers during the day, evening or weekend, at home or elsewhere (for example supervision of the child or youth, help with daily living activities or taking child out for an activity); or
- Fees for online or in-person recreational and cultural activities and camp programs that help to promote independence and develop social, communication and life skills (for example sports, arts and music programs, museums, and camps).
- Support workers must be 18 or older
- I have more than one autistic child. Can I hire the same worker for more than one child?
No. This program specifically funds a one-on-one support worker for one child at a time. You may, however, hire the same worker to work with each child as long as the support is provided during different time periods.
- Can I fax in the documents for quicker service?
You can fax in the application, receipts and diagnosis. Reimbursement will occur once all three items (proof of diagnosis, receipts and signed application) are received.
- My child does not require a one-to-one worker can I use the funds to pay for the camp/program?
Yes. Funds can be used for one-to-one support workers or for camp/programs during the March Break, but not both. See #13 above for additional allowable services.
- Do I have to pay the one-to-one worker or March Break camp/program fees up-front?
Yes. Please ensure that you request a receipt from your paid one-to-one worker or March Break program/camp.
Valid receipts contain:
- The full name and address of the one-to-one worker, the amount paid, the date of the receipt, and the worker’s signature, OR
- The full name and address of the camp/program and date of the receipt.
Note: this must be a paid-in-full receipt— not an invoice.
- I received reimbursement for this program and/or the Summer Funding in previous years. Does that mean I am automatically going to receive reimbursement for the 2023 program?
No. Every eligible family who applies in 2023 will have equal opportunity through the random draw held in January 2023. There will be families whose names are drawn, and families whose names are not drawn.
- What happens if an eligible applicant does not submit the required one-to-one support worker or camp/program receipt by the March 31, 2023 deadline?
The funds will then be re-allocated to the next eligible family.
- What is the age range?
Up to 18th birthday.
- What if my one-to-one support worker fee is included in the camp fee?
Please ensure that your child’s camp issues you a receipt that lists the camp fee and one-to-one support worker fees separately.
- Do I need to be a member of Autism Ontario to access this funding?
- Still not sure if your child is eligible?
If something is not clear or if you have questions, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org.