How to get an iPad when you can’t afford it

How  many of you tried to buy an iPad (or other expensive device) using the 20% equipment budget from your BC Autism Funding? You had to:

  • Send in a Justification Form signed by your Consultant
  • Wait for approval
  • Buy the device
  • Submit a Reimbursement for Autism Expenses form
  • Wait for the funds from the BC government

That’s fine for those who can afford to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement, but it leaves the others in a Catch 22 situation.  The result is that the families who most need the device simply can’t purchase it.

Now there is a solution using London Drugs throughout B.C. You will need to follow these steps:

  • Get your Consultant to fill out a Justification for Equipment (JFE) form specifying the model number from London Drugs.
  • Send the form to the Autism Funding Unit (AFU).
  • Wait for the AFU to send a confirmation letter.
  • Fill out the RTP – Service Providers/Suppliers form.
  • Take the RTP and authorization letter to London Drugs and try to find a manager who knows about this program. You may have to try different locations or call London Drugs headquarters for help.
  • The manager will fill out Part B of the form and send it to the AFU.
  • The family will get a message that their computer/iPad is ready for pick up.

I have been told that the entire process will take about three months. If you have difficulty finding a London Drugs store that understands the process, I understand the Cloverdale and South Surrey stores are very accommodating.

Note that the AFU will only allow you to get a new device once every three years.  You can also expect push back if the device you select is too expensive (at least according to the AFU). How much is too expensive?  That is a good question and one that I don’t have an answer to.

Also, please do not use school as a reason for buying the device as the AFU will not approve this.  Your Consultant should be aware of the appropriate words to use.

OK, so that is all a bit exhausting and time consuming, but at least there is now an option for those that need it.


15 thoughts on “How to get an iPad when you can’t afford it”

  1. I have done this with London Drugs and the process takes about 6 weeks. I have never waited 3 months. After LD provided the quote for the equipment I filled the RTP myself and submitted to AFU.

  2. Here at Perfect Day we have filled a request or two for iPads and Otterboxes as well. Not many but we do provide this service. We do a lot of directed payments using the Request To Pay form. It is a great cash flow advantage for parents. Once our quote gets approved by the Unit, we deliver or ship your items to you and then we do the waiting for the payment. See how the process works and our catalog at

  3. There are some comments on my Facebook page indicating that you may use such stores as Staples, Best Buy, School Specialty and FDMT (the last 2 do not have iPads). Parents are also saying that the turnaround time is much quicker than I quoted. Keep the comments coming!

  4. Just a note from personal experience. I didn’t research as well as I thought I did. I bought an iPad pro 12.5 that was too big for a super sturdy hard case from AMDI. I made 2 big mistakes here; I should have said yes to the apple care( I have been android for ages and was clueless), and I should have got a smaller iPad to fit the sturdy case. Now I have a broken iPad I cant afford to fix. ($750 repair for a cracked screen) So my iPad tip is this: dont get bigger than a 10.5 screen and get the apple care! Good luck everyone ❤

    1. how did you get an iPad pro approved? I tried to get one approved. Sent in the JFE (signed by my son’s behaviour consultant) and Autism Funding Unit came back to question the high cost.

    2. I was able to get an iPad and Otterbox approved. But it was not the top of the line. If you have a 9.3 inch screen recommended, the Funding Unit will likely approve it, all things being equal.

    1. We don’t have one. Curious what others use it for or have stated as justification since wording is everything when it comes to dealing with government. I have some programs on mine that help with recognizing emotions and such. Just need the actual words for my GP to use since we lack a behavioral consultant.not every town in BC is lucky enough to have such supports

    2. If you can contact us tomorrow at, we can perhaps find some JFE’s where a BC or an OT has written the goals and domain and it has been accepted by the Funding Unit. As a store, we don’t offer quotes on iPads and othe tech due to warranty issues…i.e. if we purchase it, the warranty is with us as the purchaser and not the intended user. But London Drugs does do direct billing on IPads and other tech. Hope this helps. Andrew and Brenda at

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