The BC Autism funding program was obviously designed by a government bureaucrat whose sole objective is to confuse the parent. The procedures and forms required can be difficult to follow at times.
- Every team member that you expect to get paid by the Autism Funds Unit will have to register individually as a “Service Provider”.
- You will apply for funds for each Service Provider using the form CF0925 Request to Pay Service Providers/Suppliers (RTP).
- Each Service Provider will be sent a separate billing number.
- At the end of the month, invoices will be sent to the AFU (fax, online submission, email or snail mail) and the AFU will pay the Service Provider directly. Please note that the AFU online portal is working well and I would strongly recommend that families utilize it for more timely processing.
- Expect a delay of 3-6 weeks before people get paid if using regular mail. Payments made through the service portal are more timely.
- The invoice can be submitted by the Service Provider or the parent. In any case, it is your responsibility to monitor each invoice and track the funds remaining. If you have any questions, you have the right to call the AFU and ask for an update on your funds remaining.
- Generally consultants and senior therapists will compose their own invoices and submit them directly to the Autism Funds Unit. You should request that they email you a copy of submitted invoices so you can track your funds remaining.
- If you are using the BC Autism Funds for a junior therapist, you may have to compose an invoice for them and submit it to the Autism Funds Unit. Refer to my Files page for an example or use the example on the MCFD website. If they are constructing the invoice you should sign off on the invoice before it is submitted to the AFU.
- Service providers who receive Autism Funding can set up a Direct Deposit. The Direct Deposit form must be set up for a bank account with the same name that is used on all invoices. This may speed up the payment by a few days.
What needs to be included on the invoice?
- Billing number
- Name of the child
- Name, address and phone number of the service provider
- Date and description of the service provided (“Behaviour Intervention”)
- The hourly rate and number of hours of service provided
- The total amount being billed
The only acceptable title for your therapists is “Behaviour Interventionist” and the only acceptable description of service is “Behaviour Intervention” or “Intervention”. The rules for consultants are different, but they will submit their own invoices.
When the child turns six, the rules for acceptable titles and descriptions of service are loosened (Refer to the Parents Handbook) . You still must ensure that the description matches the description on the RTP.
How does the accounting work?
OK, now things are going to get really bizarre. You have to decide how the total funding is going to be allocated and notify the government using the form CF0925 Request to Pay Service Providers/Suppliers. You may decide that your consultant will receive $10,000, BI number 1 will get $6,000 and BI number 2 will get $6,000. Remember to leave room for material funding. These portions are now set aside and can’t be used for any other purpose. If you decide that your consultant needs $11,000 and BI number 1 only requires $5,000, you will have to notify the Autism Funds Unit using form CF092A Request to Amend Invoice Payment Authorization to re-allocate your funds. Repeat as many times as necessary. Only a government (or an idiot) could come up with this one!
For a more detailed explanation, refer to this presentation created by the Autism Funds Unit. You may want to have a stiff drink first!
GST & HST
If the consultant bills the government directly for services they do not add GST/HST to the bill. Over time, this is a significant savings to you. If the consultant bills you for services rendered, then GST/HST may be added to the invoice. This is supposed to be exempt but the change is very slow to happen. You can apply for a GST/HST refund, but you can only go back two years so don’t delay the process. Refer to my page GST for the application process.
What is the easy answer?
If your consultant bills are going to take up all of the available funding, then have the consultant invoice the ministry and pay everyone else out of your pocket (using all those excess hundred dollar bills you left lying around the house).