The funding doesn’t cover all of the ABA treatment? Why should I claim materials?
It’s more tax efficient to get the BC government to pay for materials. The federal government will not allow you to claim materials as a medical expense, but you are able to claim ABA therapy. I recommend that you maximize the 20% of your BC funding that you are allowed to claim for material costs. All this assumes of course that the allotted funding doesn’t cover all of your costs.
That makes sense. Is it easy to claim materials?
Of course not! This is your provincial government at work. A more cynical person than me might assume that the bureaucrats sat down one day over drinks and came up with a scheme to prevent you from accessing your funds.
OK, I’m ready. How do I claim for materials?
Let’s start with a simple claim. Let’s say you have a $20 training workbook to claim. In the corporate world you would submit the receipt and receive reimbursement in due course. Not so in the bizarre world of government. You have to start by paying your Consultant $100/hour (or so) to fill out Justification For Equipment and Supplies form which is then submitted to the Autism Funds Unit. After a long period sitting on someone’s desk and assuming they don’t lose it, they mail you back to OK the purchase. You then submit the receipt along with the Reimbursement for Autism Expenses form. At some point in the future you may receive a cheque.
Will they pay for an iPad?
Believe it or not, the AFU occasionally gets it right. They will pay for an iPad with the following caveats:
- They will only pay for a computer type devices once every 3 years
- The wording on the Justification Form must be correct. Your Behaviour Consultant should indicate the purpose of the device is “augmentative communication”.
Are there things they won’t pay for?
You bet! You will need to consult the Government’s Parent Handbook to see what they consider ineligible. The fact that it makes perfect sense for your child’s training program is completely irrelevant.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of ineligible items. You never know what they will allow and just because they covered it last year doesn’t seem to be a good reason to pay out again.
Where can I get more information?
I published a three-part posting about Material Funding and had a good number of comments from other parents.