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.