Individualized Funding Has Been Saved. Now What?

Firstly, congratulations to the unsung heroes that put pressure on the government to keep the individualized funding in place. In most cases, it was not the large autism organizations that stood in for the photo ops that had the influence. To those who did the grunt work; Thank You! You know who you are.

Are we better off?

For those families willing to run home teams (Yes, it is a tremendous amount of work), their children will be better off. For those hoping for the Hub System, I personally believe that the government could never in a million years deliver the kind of treatment your child needs.

Is the battle over?

Not by a long shot. One of the issues that rarely gets talked about is the ravaging effects of inflation. The AFU funding was introduced in 2002 at the rate of $20,000 per year for those 6 and under and $6,000 for over 6 years of age.

To adjust for inflation, those figures for 2022 would be $30,344 and $9,103 respectively. Chew on that one for a while. Why is it that politicians’ salaries are worthy of inflation increases but not funding for kids with autism?

As we just witnessed, the government has the capability to remove funding at any time. As parents we need to remain vigilant and fight to get an inflation increase.


Government talk of the past year would have you believe that a diagnosis is not required to access services. What load of garbage! How can you target treatment if you don’t have a proper diagnosis? Would you accept cancer treatment without knowing what type of cancer you have?

It continues to be that a proper diagnosis is in the best interests of your child. It is important for intervention, schooling, and taxation that you get this.

The wait for a Sunny Hill assessment continues to increase and is over two years! I highly recommend private assessments for no other reason than to access individualized funding as soon as possible.

Running a Home Team

So here we are, back at the beginning. Managing individualized funding is hard. In many cases, it is very hard. The truth is that parents are more capable of choosing an appropriate intervention than the government.

If you need help choosing options for individualized funding, join the Autism Support Network for guidance and to connect with other parents.

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.


Finally! Online Access to the AFU

Families have been complaining for years that they did not have timely access to their child’s autism funding.  Some unscrupulous therapists have taken advantage of this fact to extract more funding than the families intended.

The Autism Funding Unit (AFU) has now joined the 21st century. Finally, families can:

  • View and manage their child’s funding
  • View and edit approved authorizations and
  • Submit forms online

The procedure to sign up is only slightly painful.

  • First, you need to sign up for a Basic BCeID 
  • Ensure the parent signing up has signing authority for the autism funding
  • Next, sign up for My Family Services
  • After the AFU gives their approval, you will be able to log into My Family Services.

On the My Family Services dashboard, you will be able to access and manage your child’s autism funding.

Welcome News From The BC Government

Yes, it’s true! The BC government has actually done something positive for a change.

At present, adults who are receiving the Persons with Disability (PWD) pension, are faced with the burden of asset limits.  You may remember from previous posts that the government would claw back PWD payments until a person’s total assets fell below $5,000 (with some exclusions).

The net result of PWD claw backs meant that any gifts or inheritances to the disabled individual could result in a net zero financial gain.  How frustrating it must have been to gift money to a disabled person only to have the government take back that gift for their own purposes.

Some families were able to dodge the issue by setting up trusts for their children.  The downside to trusts is that they can be difficult to set up and administer, putting them out of reach for the average family.

The BC government has now increased the asset limitation to $100,000 ($200,000 for a couple). This means you can gift money to a disabled adult or have them inherit money without the threat of a PWD claw back.

The new asset limit combined with a Registered Disposability Saving Plan (RDSP) which is exempt from the $100,000 limit, means that the vast majority of families will no longer need to worry about setting up a trust.

My hat is off to the BC government for doing the right thing.  Now if they could just work on raising the PWD payments from the level that is well below the poverty line…….

Service Provider Portal

The Service Provider Portal is a new online invoicing system (for the Autism Funding Unit) designed to streamline the payments to service providers.  As a parent there are some things that you need to know.

The Good

Service providers have the right to be paid on time and this goes a long way to making that happen.  Instead of submitting a paper invoice, they complete the online form and are paid almost immediately. It also allows the service provider to see when a Request to Pay (RTP) or a Request to Amend (RTA) has been processed, and the system keeps a running total of how much funding is left.

The Bad

A paper invoice for the family is not required. The service portal will not accept an excel invoice which most Behaviour Consultants (BC) have used for their invoicing in the past.  It may be tempting for a minority of service providers to not provide a separate invoice for their clients, leaving them out of the loop.

The Ugly

In my experience most service providers are completely honest and ethical however as with any group of people there are always a few disreputable characters.  This new system allows fraud to occur at a much faster pace with the families unaware of what is happening until it is too late.  Sadly, MCFD has not been monitoring the RASP list and sanctioning individuals as needed.

What Can You Do?

As a parent, you must insist on monthly updates for Autism Funding Unit (AFU) billing.  This may be in the form of an invoice or a detailed list of hours and hourly rates. It is imperative that you monitor this and contact the AFU the minute you realize that fraudulent billing is taking place. You also need to be aware that the service provider may  cancel or amend their invoice after the fact.

The moment you suspect fraudulent billing is taking place, you must contact the AFU and amend the RTP form to stop further charges. The feedback that I have been getting is that once the money is gone, you are not getting it back.

Could It Happen In B.C.?

There is an outrageous story out of Quebec and Prince Edward Island about the clawback of funds saved by family members for their disabled children. The mean spirited governments in question should hang their heads in shame over what they are doing.

You should read the CBC Story before finishing this post.

The issues in question are about the governments denying disability benefits to individuals even though the savings are invested in a Hensen Trust or a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). Most provinces (including B.C.) set strict limits on the amount of savings that a person can possess before the government will cease disability payments. The payments resume only after the savings amount falls below the threshold.  In B.C. the limit is $5,000 with some exceptions. The important difference is that in B.C., Hensen Trusts and RDSP payments are generally (with some reasonable exceptions) exempt from triggering clawbacks.

It pains me greatly to say this government did something right, but on this issue they are ahead of many other provinces.  In fact B.C. was the first provincial government to announce after the RDSP launch that they would exempt payments from the plan from causing a clawback.

The answer to the title of this post is unfortunately; Yes this could happen in B.C. The disability benefits are subject to government policy and could change at any time. We must remain vigilant.

Material Funding Secrets Revealed – Part 3

We know about material funding and why we want to use it.  Now we need to smooth the process.

Remember the basic steps:

If the item in question is on the ineligible list or you think you are likely to be turned down, make an initial request and wait for the rejection from the AFU clerk.  It’s only when you appeal the decision that it will go up the food chain to someone with more authority. The sooner you initially apply, the sooner you will be rejected and the sooner you can start the appeal process. Again this is a completely bizarre procedure, but here are a few things you can do on the appeal to smooth the way:

  • Have a professional (Behaviour Consultant and/or Doctor) write a letter justifying why your child needs this piece of equipment or supplies
  • Make sure your reasoning is sound and related to the autism program

To file an appeal simply write (or email) the AFU citing the rejection and outlining your reasons why it should be allowed. Cite any relevant research and include details you feel are appropriate.

The AFU stipulates that the reimbursement forms must be received within 6 months of the date of purchase to be considered.  It’s OK for them to drag their feet and delay payment, but heaven forbid you should save your paperwork and send it all in together for the entire funding year.

It’s very easy to completely lose track of your funding with all the forms, letters and receipts coming and going.  I highly recommend that you have a tracking system in place to see how much of your funding you have left.  Please don’t leave anything on the table.  Your tracking system could be a spreadsheet or simply a piece of paper. Whatever it is, make sure you use it every time.

If you have been turned down for an item and your friend had it approved, you might consider asking them (nicely!) if you can quote their experience to the AFU.

A few other points to consider:

  • The purchase date must be within the funding year (i.e. starting the month following your child’s birthday)
  • Send in original receipts and make copies for your records
  • Save at least a few months of receipts and send them in together to lessen the paperwork (keeping in mind that the reimbursement forms must be received within 6 months of the date of purchase)

That’s the end of the 3 part series on material funding.  We would all like to hear your experiences by posting in the comments section.  Anything that you can pass on would be greatly appreciated by other parents.

Material Funding Secrets Revealed – Part 2

The previous post outlined the absurd policies of the Autism Funds Unit (AFU) when it comes to material funding.  There are only two logical explanations for such bizarre rules:

  • The government bureaucracy is trying to justify its existence and maintain a large workforce or
  • They are trying to ensure that you don’t spend your funds which are then returned to the government and undoubtedly used for bonuses for the department heads who underspend their budgets.

OK, so why bother using material funding at all?  Most people will easily fill their yearly funding allowance with behaviour intervention for their child.

One reason is if you are on a shoestring budget and simply have no money left for autism therapy, then you must somehow manage the yearly autism funds to cover intervention, training and materials.

The majority of us spend well in excess of the available autism funds.  In this case you are better off to claim the maximum allowable ($1,200 or $4,400) for material funding.  The reason is that funds spent out of your pocket for intervention can be used as a medical expense on your annual income tax.  This could result in a refund as much as 20% of the total depending on your income level.  Money spent on material goods in support of an autism therapy program are ineligible as a medical expense (Yes, this has been tested in the Tax Court of Canada).

So what can you use your funds for?  It’s a bit of a challenge to spend your entitlement, but here are some ideas:

  • Flash cards
  • Reinforcement toys
  • General supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, binders, clips, staples
  • Printers
  • Printer supplies
  • One computer or iPad or Touch Screen device every three years
  • CDs or DVDs relating to the therapy program
  • Travel to and from autism intervention (round trip greater than 80 kms) or training
  • Autism conferences
  • Computer programs (remember to justify their use) such as Microsoft Office or autism specific programs
  • iPad apps (again justify their use)
  • Arts and crafts
  • Books
  • Membership for the Canucks Autism Network

If you know of any other items that can be claimed, please let us know in the comments section.

There is no reason why your purchases must be made in Canada.  With all the high priced help in the Autism Funds Unit, I’m sure they can calculate exchange rates.

Nothing in the AFU guidance indicates that the purchase must be a new product.  As long as you have a proper receipt, I see no reason that the purchase can’t be “pre-owned”.

Next post:

  • Tips for managing material funding

Material Funding Secrets Revealed – Part 1

Most of us are aware that 20% of our child’s autism funding can be used for materials. It sounds simple on paper, but try following the next example.

A pencil is required for your child’s therapy. The steps you will follow are:

  • Price the pencil out at a store of your choice
  • Hire a Behaviour Consultant at the going rate ($100/hour?) to complete the Justification for Equipment and Supplies Form (CF0908)
  • Send the form to the Autism Funds Unit (AFU) and wait for approval
  • The AFU recommends that you receive approval before purchasing the pencil
  • After a long delay, you will receive approval in the mail to purchase said product
  • You will then purchase the pencil!
  • The next step is to send the original receipt (no fax or email here!) to the AFU along with the Reimbursement for Autism Expenses form (CF0926)
  • After a long delay, you will then receive a cheque from the government to cover the expense of the pencil (assuming the delays didn’t mean you purchased the pencil outside of the funding year!)

Another issue that drives parents nuts, is the inconsistency of material approval. One parent might be approved for an item one year and another rejected the next.

So what can you use the 20% of funding for? The following list is taken from A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs.

  • Training within B.C.
  • Travel costs to access autism intervention or training within B.C. (round trip greater than 80 kms)
  • Equipment, as necessary for effective intervention, outlined in a Justification for Equipment (JFE) Form, from a professional/specialist—pre-approval suggested

What are the ineligible items? Again the list is from A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programs

  • Home repairs, renovations, swimming pools, hot tubs, trampolines, playground equipment
  • Household items, including appliances
  • General recreation and sports enrolment fees
  • Sports/fitness equipment, including bicycles
  • Electronics, including televisions, CD players, stereos, MP3 players, game systems, video games, tracking devices, and cellular phones/palm pilots (Is there anyone left on this planet that still uses a Palm Pilot?)
  • Non-ASD specific CDs, DVDs, and videos
  • Musical instruments (purchase or rental)
  • Vitamins, medical supplies, incontinence supplies, orthotics
  • Clothing, helmets
  • Food (however, small reinforcers for Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy may be eligible)

The following are examples of services that are not eligible:

  • Child care
  • Respite
  • General recreation lessons such as swimming and karate
  • Medical services
  • Services provided out of province

From my discussions with many parents, I can tell you that that the ineligible list is incomplete and conversely I have talked with some parents who received approval for ineligible items. As well, just because you had a Behaviour Consultant recommend certain materials, does not mean that it will be paid.

Next posts:

  • Why should you bother with material funding?
  • Tips to make material funding easier

Prepare Your Own Therapy Invoices And Save $$$

Who creates the invoices for the therapy provided for your child? The Behaviour Consultants (or agency) will generally submit an invoice on a monthly basis for the Autism Funds Unit (AFU) or direct payment from you. But what about your Behaviour Interventionists (BI’s)? You should take on the responsibility of making the monthly invoice. Why?

  • It gives you more control over the type of services rendered (more on that below)
  • If you leave it to your BI’s, they will get it wrong
  • You will be more aware of the hours that are being billed
  • It will reduce fraud
  • You need to closely track how funds are dispersed

I have my therapists complete a hand written time sheet which are collected at the month end and used to create the invoices that will be submitted to the AFU or held for tax purposes. I track the AFU funds on a spreadsheet or hand written table to ensure funds are available and set aside for that therapist. It sucks away team morale if the BI’s aren’t paid because you weren’t paying attention to how much was in the account.

You must pay particular attention to the “services rendered”. Firstly the AFU has specific terms they want used. Do you think they are going to pay for a particular day if the BI enters the service rendered as “Bike riding with little Johnny”? I think not! For a more detailed discussion of terms that should be used for the AFU invoice refer to the ACT Autism Manual for BC Chap 5.

After the AFU funds are used, you need to think about taxes. Services that can be claimed include:

  • Tutoring
  • Child Care
  • Attendant Care

Therapists who construct the invoices themselves have no awareness of your tax situation and will screw it up by entering services such as:

  • Overlaps
  • Team Meetings
  • Training
  • Travel
  • Materials expenses

All of the above services are ineligible for tax purposes and hence the need for you to control the invoices.

So how would this work for you? For starters, you may want to claim funds from the AFU to the $22,000 (or $6,000) limit. Once those funds are exhausted and both parents are working (and hence eligible to claim child care expenses) you will create invoices listing “Child Care” as the service provided. Remember you can claim up to $10,000 (assuming the child qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit). This is a tax deduction and will usually provide the best tax refund. After these limits are reached you can then assign the rest of the therapy as “Tutoring” which is a medical expense.

If you have a live in domestic helper, the same principles apply. Firstly use the $10,000 child care expenses and then apply the rest to “Attendant Care” which will be added to the medical expenses.

Are you starting to see why you should create your own invoices and receipts? It’s your money and no one better than yourself understands what you should be claiming. Remember that each invoice should be matched with a proper receipt with the required information.

Now you could ask your BI’s to make their own invoices using certain rules, but I guarantee they will screw it up. You will then expend twice the effort to correct their mistakes. It’s much easier to do it right the first time.

I have provided some examples in my Files page of invoices you can create. It can be hand written in table format (keep it neat!) or constructed using a spreadsheet (my personal favourite).

Bend Over…The AFU does it again

A lot of people were excited that Direct Funding was returning albeit with many caveats such as:

  • Only for those kids 12 and up
  • Only for those who have been on invoice funding for 2 years
  • Only for those families who are organized enough to apply at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the funding year
  • Only for those who set up a separate bank account
  • Only for those people who are willing to submit to an audit several years after the funds have been disbursed. If you fail the audit you will have to repay the expenses.
  • Only for those who can hang on to all the original invoices and receipts and submit them after the funding year
  • Only AFU funds may be deposited into the account and funds may only be used for eligible expenses. If you have 67 cents left in your account at the end of the funding year, you are not allowed to top up the funds by 33 cents so you can buy a #&*%@! pencil. Instead the funds will be deducted from next years funding because you didn’t use them!

What really has my blood boiling is that they now require parents to pay a professional accountant to complete an “Account Confirmation Form”. As if we are not financially stretched enough, we now have to hire an accountant at God knows how many hundreds of dollars per hour to do this paperwork. This is on top of providing the original payment invoices and receipts to the AFU!

One thing is for sure. It’s not about the kids when it comes to the AFU!

Distributed Learning

One of my readers, Vicki Parnell pointed out to me that the information on my Distributed Learning page was rather thin and she was right.  She offered to do a guest blog which I gratefully accepted. So below is the first of what I hope will be a series of guest blogs.

Thanks Vicki.

Distributed Learning Option

Any family in British Columbia can choose to opt out of bricks-and-mortar schools and have their child learn at home. While it is possible to register your child as a homeschooler with any BC school district, and provide an educational program without any interference from the government, another popular option among home learning families is to enroll with a Distributed Learning (DL) school. A child enrolled in a DL is considered by the government to be a public school student, not a homeschooler, but in most cases this is merely a legal distinction, as a DL student’s education IS provided at home, by the parents.

The most important thing for families of autistic children to know is that if you choose a DL, it can mean access to thousands of dollars of additional funding for autism intervention.  This is because in a bricks-and-mortar public school, special needs funding is absorbed into the school’s budget to provide resource teachers, SEAs, and other specialized staff, and to buy materials for special needs students. Many DLs, however, pass along the responsibility of providing additional support to the student with autism to the individual families; the parents work with the special ed staff to create an IEP (Individual Education Plan), then they find ways to implement it at home or in their community, using a portion of the Ministry of Education’s special needs funding.

How to choose a DL

There is a remarkable variety of DL options in BC. A family can enroll with any DL in the province, depending on their needs and interests. A list of DL programs maintained by the Greater Vancouver Homelearners can be found here: Another informative site is Learn Now BC:

Once your child is enrolled, you will work with a special needs coordinator at your DL to develop an IEP.  It’s important to note that many DLs with Special Education programs have a waiting list for access to Special Ed services; enrolling with a particular DL does not guarantee that your child will automatically be placed in their Special Education program. Depending on which DL you choose, you may have access to thousands of dollars of Special Education funding on top of the amount you currently receive from the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Autism Funding Unit.

Special Ed Funding

In preparation for writing this post, I surveyed two online groups of home learning parents in BC, and asked for information and experiences from parents who have chosen the DL option for their child with autism. Please keep in mind as you read that this information is anecdotal and that policies are constantly shifting, so the procedures and dollar figures mentioned below may not reflect your own experience if you choose one of these options in the future. However, as I get new information, I will do my best to provide updates for this article.

The most popular DL among the parents who responded to me is SelfDesign ( SelfDesign provides comprehensive information about their Special Education program at this site:  The two parents who wrote to me in detail about their experiences with SelfDesign reported that $13,400 and “about $14,000” of special education funding were made available to their families, respectively. Both of these families developed an IEP with their SelfDesign Learning Consultant and a Behaviour Interventionist, in association with an ABA clinic in the Lower Mainland; the clinic staff worked with the child, and billed the DL school directly for their services. Anecdotal reports from other families I know who have enrolled with SelfDesign suggest that this DL is extremely flexible in terms of how the Special Ed funds are allocated and spent, with the family given a great deal of input and control over their child’s intervention. The parents are responsible for providing an educational program at home, although from time to time SelfDesign offers special classes at their learning centre in the Jericho area of Vancouver. SelfDesign’s educational philosophy is unique, and worth exploring to ensure that it’s a good fit for your family’s beliefs about how children learn.

My own two children with ASD have been enrolled with another popular DL, EBUS Academy (, for several years now. EBUS is operated by the Nechako Lakes school district, and offers no in-person classroom learning options (although there is a good variety of “V-Classes”  available – students log in to a secure site every week at a certain day and time to receive instruction from a teacher, and interact with the teacher and one another using a microphone or typing into a chat window). From time to time EBUS will offer special field trips and outings, but for the most part, you receive curriculum support and a learning plan from a teacher and you, the parent, are responsible for delivering your child’s education.

The Special Education support at EBUS has worked very smoothly for my family. A staff member works with me at the beginning of each school year to develop an IEP for each child. We have access to $10,000 per child of special education funding, per school year, which I have used to hire various therapists and provide tutoring to both children. The specialists are chosen by me, based on their ability to help my child fulfill specific IEP goals; they bill EBUS directly for the services. I check in with the Special Ed staff each time I am considering adding a new therapist or tutor to the roster, to ensure that the expense is connected to a goal the IEP; they are always willing to update and adapt the IEP goals throughout the year, as my child’s needs change.

There are other DLs in the province which provide Special Ed programs or funding for ASD families (see the list linked above, from the Greater Vancouver Homelearners site). At this time I don’t have any details on how these DLs work with families and how much control parents are given over the selection and implementation of intervention. One parent told me that funding of “around $13,000” was available from both Regent Christian Online Academy ( and Traditional Learning Academy ( I have also heard from staff at Kleos Open Learning (, who confirmed that they do have a Special Ed program, with varying dollar amounts made available to Special Education students on a case-by-case basis; they did not respond further when I asked them to provide a range of dollar amounts so that families could compare apples to apples. If I find out more, I will send updates for this post to Milburn.

Academic Program

It’s important to be clear that as the parent of a DL student you are, in most cases, entirely responsible for your child’s academic education and for reporting on his/her academic progress to the DL. Reporting requirements vary from one DL to another. For example, some DLs ask for brief weekly summaries of learning activities, others ask you to send in a portfolio three times per year with work samples from the child, and others may have a teacher visit with your family regularly to document evidence of the child’s learning. The DL may provide you with textbooks and workbooks appropriate to your child’s grade, or other curriculum resources.  As a general rule, DLs will provide all students (whether typical and special needs) with about $1000 per school year to spend on curriculum, supplies, lessons and other things to supplement the home learning program. Several popular DLs in the lower mainland provide one, two or three days per week of classroom activities in a school building with a teacher, but it appears that the DLs offering these classroom days generally don’t provide generous access (or any access at all) to Special Ed funds. One parent reported that her son attended the New Westminster home learners’ program, which provided an SEA on the days he was in the classroom, but that “he received no extra funding above what a typical learner does.  We spent the standard $1000 that everyone else receives.”

While there are aspects of the home learning lifestyle that are liberating, fun and rewarding, it’s also hard work and it takes a huge amount of commitment from the parents. It’s entirely up to you to ensure that your child has a social life, so you have to be quite motivated to research suitable outings, classes and activities for your child, and to advocate for your child’s unique needs with the instructors or leaders of these programs, who often have no experience or training with autistic children. With all of that said, my family and many others have found this option to be a wonderful fit for our children. My two kids have made great progress during the years since we made the switch from bricks-and-mortar schools to DL, and on the whole it has been a very positive experience for us.

Update, February 2020:

The response to this article has been astonishing – almost 7 years later, I continue to receive emails from parents who have found my guest blog and have questions about DL learning. I’m so glad that other parents have been able to find a starting point for exploring school options they may not have known about in the past.

My own children have now finished their public school educations. One graduated from EBUS and benefited from an additional transition year there; the other moved back into the bricks-and-mortar school system (where he received excellent support from his high school’s resource teaching staff). He graduated last year.

Because I no longer have current experience with the DL system, if you have questions about this topic I would encourage you to join Facebook, where there are a number of active communities of parents who are involved in the DL and home learning experience. For example, this group:

 “BC Parents and Service Providers of Special Needs DL and Homeschoolers” is very active and has almost 2500 members on the date I’m writing this update. There you can talk to families whose knowledge of the DL system is much more up to date than mine! 

Some of the information in my original blog is out of date (not surprising as it is now 7 years since I collected the information).  Keep in mind that the best source of information about your DL options is always the DLs themselves!

Direct Funding is Back (Sort of)

MCFD announced this morning that Direct Funding is back as an option, but only for those children aged 12 to 18.  The funding remains at $6,000 and won’t take effect until Sept 2013.

This should enable your child to benefit from a wider range of activities than he/she would be able to access using Invoice Funding. One of the requirements is that your child must have been on Invoice Funding for at least two years.  If your child has an autistic sibling over the age of six, they would both qualify for Direct Funding.

The administrative details will come later and I’m sure they will be as bizarre and unwieldy as Invoice Funding, but nonetheless it is a positive step forward. When they finally publish the details, you can be sure I will have more to say about it.

The link to the news release is below.

IB_Direct Payment_Autism Funding_March 12 2013_FNL

Minimum Wage Increase

This is a reminder to all that the minimum wage in B.C. is increasing to $10.25 as of 1 May 2012.

If any of you were using the First Job/Training Wage of $6.00, this is no longer in effect.  All workers are now entitled to the minimum wage.

For more information please refer to the BC Government Minimum Wage Factsheet.

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