In-home attendants and nursing assistants: available subsidies and financing
Since 2003, the Quebec government has prioritized in-home care for seniors and people with disabilities through its home support and aging together, aging in place policies. Their common vision? To guarantee in-home safety and support. How? By providing access to financial aid for support services provided in the comfort of one’s own home.
Aid for using the services of an in-home attendant or nursing assistant does indeed exist; however, in many cases, neither the people concerned nor their loved ones know all of the facts regarding this assistance. Often, when in-home care becomes a necessity, a lack of time and resources makes it difficult to get sufficient information on the available monetary assistance, which can make a significant difference when it comes to this type of support.
What subsidies or sources of financing are available in order for someone to benefit from the services of an in-home attendant or nursing assistant? Let’s take a closer look.
Tax measures for in-home aid for seniors and people with disabilities
The tax credit for home-support services for seniors is an amount granted specifically to offset the expenses related to in-home support services. It corresponds to 35 percent of the annual expenses paid by the person receiving the services or by the person’s spouse. The beneficiaries must be at least 70 years old and can be the owners or tenants of a house or condominium. The annual limit for eligible expenses is $19,500 (or $25,500 for a dependent senior) for a maximum annual credit of $6,825 (or $8,925 for a dependent senior). This credit is reduced by three percent for every dollar earned by the senior and his or her spouse if their annual income exceeds $59,385 (except in the case of a dependent senior).
Two types of services qualify for the tax credit: personal assistance services and maintenance and supply services. Eligible services include but are not limited to the following:
- Residential housekeeping
- Yard maintenance and snow removal
- Assistance with getting dressed
- Assistance with bathing
- Nutritional assistance
- Meal preparation and delivery
Under certain circumstances, the disability supports deduction allows deducting the fees of an attendant and other fees related to support products and services that enable the person to hold a job, operate a company or attend classes at an educational institution.
Seniors or people with disabilities may also benefit from the Quebec tax credit for medical expenses, depending on their situation. Under this program, the remuneration paid to a part-time or full-time attendant hired to address the needs of the person, the person’s spouse or a dependent is considered a medical expense.
In-home support programs for seniors or people with disabilities
Have you heard about the Financial Assistance Program for Domestic Help Services, which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and is administered by the Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ)? It permits a reduction in the hourly rate for in-home services offered by a social economy enterprise and provides two different types of assistance. The first is fixed assistance in the amount of $4 per hour paid for services performed at the primary residence of a person age 18 or older who resides in Quebec and is covered by the health insurance plan. In this case, the person will qualify for this assistance regardless of his or her health, age or household income.
The second is variable assistance, intended for seniors age 65 and older. In addition to the aforementioned $4 fixed rate, they may receive up to $13.52 per hour, depending on their income and their family circumstances. Finally, any senior under age 65 who has been referred by an Integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS) or Integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) can also benefit from this variable assistance.
The program includes the following services:
- Light housekeeping (sweeping, dusting, etc.)
- Heavy housekeeping (major cleaning, clearing snow or leaves from the main driveway, etc.)
- Laundry (washing, ironing, etc.)
- Meal preparation
- Grocery shopping and other errands (accompanying clients to the supermarket, bank or pharmacy, etc.)
Less well known is the in-home support services program of the Quebec Office of People with Disabilities, which provides access to in-home assistance services through local community service centers (CLSC), which must make the request, whether by direct allowance (service employment paycheque) or through social economy enterprises. Those who are eligible, regardless of their age or the cause of their disability, must have a significant chronic disability and receive all or part of the services they require in their home. Several types of support are covered, and the following in-home services may be proposed:
- Personal assistance services (hygiene, nutrition, dressing, etc.)
- Domestic assistance services (laundry, housekeeping, etc.)
- Administrative support (budgeting, forms, etc.)
- Family support (childcare, etc.)
All of these measures are subject to eligibility conditions. Of course, you can refer to the online documentation, but you’ll also be happy to know that there are professionals available to guide you, reassure you and help you make the best choice for your loved one, so please don’t hesitate to contact the teams at Elite Comfort Health Care. All of Elite Comfort’s services qualify for subsidies and tax credits.