Coping with Cancer:
Financial Programs for
Patients with Cancer and
their Caregivers
Many people living with cancer and their caregivers may not be able to work
for some amount of time.
There are several programs that may be able to give you nancial help.
Details about each of these programs are listed in this pamphlet.
To help guide you, see the back of this pamphlet for a
chart showing an overview of programs.
In this brochure you will nd information on the following
programs:
Workplace and Private Insurance Benets ...................................... page 2
Government Social Insurance Programs .......................................... page 4
Government Social Assistance Programs ......................................... page 13
Financial Programs for Patients and Caregivers Over Age 65 ....... page 17
Government Tax Credits and Benets .............................................. page 21
Who can I call if I have questions? ..................................................... page 22
Form: D-3392
2
Workplace and Private Insurance Benets
If you worked and do have benets through your workplace or through a
private insurance company, you may be eligible for the following benets.
Short Term Disability (STD) Benets
STD is a benet you receive from your employer’s benet plan that pays you
a portion of your income for a short amount of time while you are sick.
Long Term Disability (LTD) Benets
LTD is a benet that you receive after you have nished your STD and/or
EI Sickness Benet and will pay you a percentage of your regular income.
I am a patient with cancer. Am I eligible?
If you are a patient with cancer experiencing:
physical problems (such as fatigue, weakness, lower immune system),
emotional problems (such as changes in mood, appetite or sleep) or
cognitive symptoms (such as problems with concentration, attention,
memory)
AND these symptoms are affecting your ability to do your job, you are
eligible to apply
Talk with your doctor about how your medical condition might affect your
ability to work.
3
Workplace and Private Insurance Benets
I am a caregiver. Am I eligible?
If you are a caregiver experiencing:
physical problems (such as fatigue), emotional problems (such as
changes in mood, appetite or sleep) or cognitive symptoms (such as
problems with concentration, attention, memory)
AND these symptoms are affecting your ability to do your job, you are
eligible to apply
Talk with your family doctor about the type of stress you are experiencing
as a caregiver. Your doctor may recommend you be off work for a period
of time.
How do STD and LTD benets work?
Speak to your workplace/human resources oce or insurance company to
conrm the amount you will be paid, how long the benet will be paid and
when STD and LTD payments will start. Every plan is different. You usually
need to take STD and/or Employment Insurance – Sickness Benets rst and
then apply for LTD.
How do I apply for STD or LTD benets?
You will need to complete an employee claim form and your doctor must
complete a medical form. There are different forms for STD and LTD.
Contact your workplace or human resources oce or insurance company for
more information.
4
Government Social Insurance Programs
If you have worked and paid enough into the Government Social Insurance
Benets Programs (Employment Insurance and/or Canada Pension Plan),
you may be eligible for the following benets.
Types of Benets
Employment Insurance (EI) Benets
EI programs offer temporary nancial assistance to unemployed workers.
This assistance includes providing sickness benets, caregiver benets and
compassionate care benets to those who meet the eligibility criteria. For
more information call 1 800 206 7218 and press 0 tospeakto arepresentative.
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) Benet
CPP-D is a long term Federal income replacement program that provides
monthly benets to people who have contributed to CPP in the past and are
now unable to work due to a disability. For more information call Service
Canada 1 800 277 9914 and press 0 to speak to a representative.
NEW! Canada Pension Plan Post-Retirement Disability
Benets (PRDB)
CPP - Post Retirement Disability Benets is a new benet as of January 1,
2019. It is for people ages 60 until age 65 who have been receiving Canada
Pension Plan Retirement Benets AND are found to be disabled but not
eligible to be receiving the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benet because
they have been receiving CPP Retirement Benets for more than 15 months.
For more information call Service Canada 1 800 277 9914 and press 0 to
speak to a representative.
Employment Insurance Sickness (EI-S) Benets
EI-S is short term support from the government if you cannot work because
of sickness or injury. This benet provides a maximum of 15 weeks to
eligible applicants. You will receive 55% of your average weekly earnings, up
to a maximum set by the government.
5
Government Social Insurance Programs
For EI-S you will be required to report in every two weeks, either by phone
or online. If you did not work during that period of time you are still required
to report by phone or online. If you do not make this report your payments
may stop.
Am I eligible for EI-S?
To be eligible you must have:
worked at least 600 hours in the last 52 weeks
paid into EI
AND are unable to work due to physical, emotional and cognitive affects
of your illness or of caregiver stress.
How do I apply for EI-S?
You can apply online at the Service Canada Website or you can apply in
person at your nearest Service Canada oce.
To apply online here is the link:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html
You will need the following documents for your application:
Record of Employment (ROE) – Your employer can submit this directly
to Service Canada electronically or by mail. Ensure that you obtain your
ROE as soon as possible.
Medical Certicate For Employment Insurance Sickness Benets
Complete and sign the consent portion of the “Medical Certicate For
Employment Insurance Sickness Benets” form before giving it to your
doctor to complete. Then mail the completed form or submit it directly
to a Service Canada oce.
6
Government Social Insurance Programs
Employment Insurance (EI) – Caregiver Benets
EI Caregiver benets are available to family members of a person who is
critically ill or injured. EI Caregiver benets include the following:
Family Caregiver Benets for Children (under 18)
This benet provides a maximum of 35 weeks. You will receive 55% of
your average weekly earnings, up to a maximum set by the government.
Family Caregiver Benets for Adults (over 18)
This benet provides a maximum of 15 weeks. You will receive 55% of
your average weekly earnings, up to a maximum set by the government.
Compassionate Care Benets
This benet provides a maximum of 26 weeks. You will receive 55% of
your average weekly earnings, up to a maximum set by the government.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for Family Caregiver Benets for Children (under 18) you
must have:
worked at least 600 hours in the last 52 weeks
paid into EI
AND have a family member or person you consider a family member
(under 18) who is critically ill or injured
To be eligible for Family Caregiver Benets for Adults (over 18) you must have:
worked at least 600 hours in the last 52 weeks
paid into EI
AND have a family member or person you consider a family member
(over 18) who is critically ill or injured.
To be eligible for Compassionate Care Benet you must have:
worked at least 600 hours in the last 52 weeks
paid into EI
AND the person who is critically ill must be at signicant risk of death
within 26 weeks (6 months)
7
Government Social Insurance Programs
How do I apply for EI -Caregiver Benets?
You can apply online at the Service Canada Website or you can apply in
person at your nearest Service Canada oce.
To nd the nearest Service Canada oce here is the link:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/tbsc-fsco/sc-hme.jsp
To apply online:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/ei/caregiving/apply.html
You need the following documents for your application:
Record of Employment (ROE) – Your employer can submit this directly
to Service Canada electronically or by mail. Ensure that you obtain your
ROE as soon as possible.
Family Caregiver Benets for Adults (over 18) or Children (under 18)
Authorization to Release a Medical Certicate for EI Family Caregiver
This form must be signed by the patient. This form authorizes the
patient’s doctor to release their medical information. The completed
form must be given to Service Canada.
Medical Certicate for EI Family Caregiver Benets This is to be
completed by the patients doctor and given to Service Canada.
Compassionate Care Benets
Authorization to Release a Medical Certicate for EI Compassionate
Care Benets - This form must be signed by the patient. This form
authorizes the patient’s doctor to release their medical information. The
completed form must be given to Service Canada.
Medical Certicate for EI Compassionate Care Benets – This is to be
completed by the patients doctor and given to Service Canada.
8
Government Social Insurance Programs
Other information about EI Benets
Once your EI application is approved, you will be mailed a Personal
Identication Number to create an account with Service Canada.
You will receive your rst payment usually within 4 to 6 weeks.
There is a 1-week unpaid waiting period.
If you provided banking information, your benets will be directly
deposited, otherwise, you will be mailed a cheque.
EI is taxable income
Other types of Job Protected Leaves:
According to the Employment Standards Act of Ontario, if you are a
caregiver, you could be eligible for unpaid job protected Family Leaves.
See this link for more information on the unpaid job protected
Family Leave:
https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-
standards-act-0
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) Benet
The CPP-D program provides benets to those who have a disability, cannot
work on a regular basis and have contributed enough to CPP.
The Terminal Illness Application for a Disability Benet Form is available for
those who are terminally ill. In these cases, the application will be reviewed
and processed faster.
9
Government Social Insurance Programs
Am I eligible for CPP-D?
To be eligible you must:
be 64 year of age or younger and meet the nancial and medical criteria.
have worked and paid into CPP for 4 out of the last 6 years or 3 of the
last 6 years (if you paid into CPP for 25 years or longer).
AND have an illness/disability that is severe (you cannot work at any job)
and prolonged (expected to last 12 months or longer).
To be eligible for Terminal Illness Application for Disability Benets you must:
have a prognosis of less than 6 months.
How do I apply for CPP-D?
You can nd the application form online at the Service Canada website:
www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-
benet/apply.html
To nd the nearest Service Canada oce:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/tbsc-fsco/sc-hme.jsp
You will need the following forms for your application:
Application for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benet –
This form must be completed by the applicant. Print the completed
application and return by mail (mailing address found in the package)
or in person to a Service Canada oce. Keep a copy of the application
for your own records.
Medical Report for a Canada Pension Plan Disability Benet –
Applicant must complete and sign the consent section, then give the
form to their doctor to complete.
10
Government Social Insurance Programs
If you have a terminal illness you will need these forms:
Terminal Illness ApplicationThis form must be completed by the
applicant. The form must be signed and submitted by mail or in person at a
Service Canada oce. Keep a copy of the application for your own records
Terminal Illness Medical Attestation – The applicant completes
sections 1 and 2 and then gives the form to their doctor to complete
section 3.
Other information about CPP-D
It can take up to 4 to 6 months to process your application and receive a
decision about eligibility.
If you have any dependent children, a disabled contributor’s child
benet is payable.
If you applied for CPP-D with the Terminal Illness Application, a decision
will be made within 5 business days.
CPP-D payment amounts depend on how much you paid into the
program up to a maximum set by the government.
If you provided banking information, your benets will get direct
deposited, otherwise, you will be mailed a cheque.
CPP-D is taxable income.
NEW! Canada Pension Plan – Post Retirement Disability
Benet (PRDB)
The Canada Pension Plan Post Retirement Disability Benet is a new monthly
benet (January 1, 2019) for CPP retirement pension recipients under the age
of 65 who have made sucient contributions to the CPP and are unable to
work regularly because of a disability. The CPP-PRDB is for people who have
become disabled after they begin to receive their CPP Retirement pension. It
is paid in addition to the CPP retirement pension until the age of 65.
11
Government Social Insurance Programs
Am I eligible for CPP - PRDB?
To be eligible you must:
be 60 years of age up until the age 65
have worked and paid into CPP for 4 out of last 6 years or 3 out of last
6years (if you paid into CPP for 25 years or longer)
have been receiving CPP Retirement Benets for more than 15 months
AND have an illness/disability that is severe (you cannot work at any job)
and prolonged (expected to last 12 months or longer)
How do I apply for CPP - PRDB?
There is no separate application for this benet but applicants need to
complete the CPP Disability Benet Application. You can nd the application
online at the Service Canada website:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-
disability-benet/apply.html
To nd the nearest Service Canada oce:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/tbsc-fsco/sc-hme.jsp
You will need the following forms for your application:
Application for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benet
This form must be completed by the applicant. Print the completed
application and return by mail (mailing address found in the package)
or in person to a Service Canada oce. Keep a copy of the application
for your own records.
Medical Report for a Canada Pension Plan Disability Benet
Applicant must complete and sign the consent section, then give the
form to their doctor to complete.
12
Government Social Insurance Programs
Other information about CPP-PRDB
The amount of the benet is a xed amount. For example, in 2019 the
monthly benet rate is $496.13
The benet is paid until age 65 and then the PRDB payment stops and
the person continues to receive the CPP retirement pension
If you have any dependent children a disabled contributor’s child benet
is payable
CPP-PRDB is taxable income
13
Government Social Assistance Programs
Types of Programs
Ontario Works (OW)
OW provides temporary/emergency nancial assistance for people who are
in nancial need. This means they have low income and low assets. For more
information about OW see this link:
https://mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/ow/index.aspx
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
ODSP provides nancial assistance to people who have both a proven
disability and are in nancial need (low income and low assets). For more
information about ODSP see this link:
https://mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/index.aspx
OW and ODSP provide other benets such as prescription medication
coverage, basic dental and vision care. For more information call Service
Ontario at 1 888 789 4199. Press 1 and then 0 to speak to a representative.
Ontario Works (OW)
Ontario Works is usually short term with the goal of helping people return
to work or while waiting for help from other government programs such
as Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Ontario
Disability Support Program (ODSP). If you qualify for ODSP because you
have a disability that is expected to last more than 1 year, ask your OW
caseworker to help you to apply.
The amount you receive from Ontario Works will depend on the size of your
family and the amount of rent or housing expenses you have. For example,
here are the 2018 rates:
A single person receives about $733/month
A couple receives about $1,136/month
A couple with one child receives about $1,191/month
(http://incomesecurity.org/publications/ow-and-odsp-rates-and-ocb-as-
of-sept-2018-english-docx)
14
Government Social Assistance Programs
Am I eligible for OW?
To be eligible, Ontario Works reviews the following:
family size, income, employment status, shelter costs
assets – liquid assets below a specic amount ($10,000 for a single
person, $15,000 for a couple + $500 for each dependent child)
status in Canada, proof of identity and date of birth
Social Insurance Number and Health Card Number
AND you must be employable or have a temporary restriction from
working (such as an illness) or be disabled and applying for the Ontario
Disability Support Program.
How do I apply for OW?
There are 3 ways you can apply for Ontario Works:
1. Online https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/apply_
online.aspx
2. In person at your local Ontario Works oce. Use the oce nder link to
get the address of your local oce.
3. By phone. Use the oce nder link to get the phone number of your
local oce.
Ontario Social Assistance Oce Finder link:
http://www.ocelocator.mcss.gov.on.ca
15
Government Social Assistance Programs
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
The Ontario Disability Support Program is a provincial government program
that provides nancial assistance and other benets (such as prescription
medication, basic dental and vision care) to people who have a disability and
are in nancial need.
The amount you receive from ODSP will depend on the size of your family
and the amount of rent or housing expenses you have. For example, here
are the 2018 rates:
A single person receives about $1,169/month
A couple receives about $1,750/month
A couple with once child receives about $1,815/month
See http://incomesecurity.org/publications/ow-and-odsp-rates-and-
ocb-as-of-sept-2018-english-docx
Am I eligible for ODSP?
To be eligible, you must:
be at least 18 years old
an Ontario resident
AND be in nancial need – Liquid assets below a specic amount
($40,000 for a single person, $50,000 for a couple + $500 for each
dependent child)
AND meet the criteria of having a disability:
Living with a serious physical or mental limitation (severe)
Limitation will likely last for 12 months or longer (prolonged)
Limitation causes you trouble with personal care and day to day
activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, banking, shopping,
preparing meals or working.
16
Government Social Assistance Programs
How do I apply for ODSP?
There are 3 ways you can apply for ODSP:
1. Online https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/apply_
online.aspx.
2. In person at your local ODSP oce. Use the oce nder link to get the
address of your local oce.
3. By phone. Use the oce nder link to nd the phone number of your
local oce.
Ontario Social Assistance Oce Finder link:
http://www.ocelocator.mcss.gov.on.ca
When you apply, ODSP will ask you for specic documents that show:
your personal information and information about member’s of your
household—birth certicates, immigration documents, social insurance
and health card numbers
your household’s housing costs and other shelter-related costs—rent or
mortgage papers, utility bills, property tax
your household’s income and assets—pay stubs, tax returns, bank and
RRSP statements, vehicles you own
other expenses—child care, disability related work expenses
If you are nancially eligible for ODSP, you will receive application forms
(Disability Determination Package) for you and your doctor to complete.
17
Financial Programs for Patients and
Caregivers Over Age 65
Types of Benets
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) – Retirement
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a taxable Federal Government pension paid
monthly to retired people who have made contributions to CPP. You can
apply for Early Retirement at age 60 in exchange for a lower monthly
amount or you can apply for Late Retirement at age 70 in exchange for a
higher monthly amount.
Old Age Security (OAS)
Old Age Security (OAS) is a taxable monthly payment from the federal
pension program available to most Canadians over 65.
Guarantee Income Supplement (GIS)
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable
benet to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income
and are living in Canada.
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) provides a monthly non-taxable
benet to low income Ontario seniors. If you are not satised with a decision
regarding yourGAINSeligibility or payments, contact the Ontario Ministry
of Finance at 1 866 668 8297.
For more information on these programs call Service Canada 1 800 277 9914
and press 0 to speak to a representative.
18
Financial Programs for Patients and
Caregivers Over Age 65
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) – Retirement
Your CPP retirement pension does not start automatically. You must apply
for it.
Am I eligible for CPP – Retirement?
You must be:
at least a month past your 59th birthday
have worked in Canada
made at least one valid contribution to CPP
AND want your CPP retirement pension payments to begin within
12 months.
How do I apply for CPP – Retirement?
You can apply online or nd the printable application at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-
benet/apply.html
Printed application forms must be mailed or brought to your closest Service
Canada oce.
Other information
You will need a My Service Canada account and a personal access code if
you are creating a new account.
If you provided banking information, your benets will get direct
deposited, otherwise, you will be mailed a cheque.
You must provide the date you would like your pension to start.
19
Financial Programs for Patients and
Caregivers Over Age 65
Old Age Security (OAS)
You will be automatically enrolled in OAS and receive a notication in the
mail from Service Canada.
Am I eligible for OAS?
You must be:
65 years old or older
be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time of your OAS pension
application
AND have lived in Canadafor at least 10 years since the age of 18
How do I apply for OAS?
If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada you must print the
application and mail or bring it to your closest Service Canada.
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-
security/apply.html
Other information
You will need a My Service Canada account and provide your banking
information for a direct deposit
You can defer receiving your OAS for up to 60 months after you become
eligible in exchange for a higher monthly amount
20
Financial Programs for Patients and
Caregivers Over Age 65
Guarantee Income Supplement (GIS)
You will be automatically enrolled in GIS and receive a notication in the mail
from Service Canada.
Am I eligible for GIS?
You must be:
receiving OAS
AND your annual income is lower than themaximum annualthreshold
How do I apply for GIS?
If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada you must print the
application and mail to your closest Service Canada
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benets/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-
security/guaranteed-income-supplement/apply.html
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)
You will be automatically enrolled if you are receiving OAS and GIS and meet
the eligibility criteria.
Am I eligible for GAINS?
You must be:
65 years or older
have lived in Ontario for the past 12 months or for a total of 20 years
since turning age 18
have been a Canadian resident for 10 years or more
receive OAS and GIS
AND meet the GAINS nancial eligibility criteria
21
Government Tax Credits and Benets
Ontario Tax Credits/Benets
https://www.ontario.ca/page/tax-credits-and-benets-topic
Canada Tax Credits/Benets
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/subjects/benets//index.shtml
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps
persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of
income tax they may have to pay. A medical practitioner has to ll out and
certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment and describe how
it affects you.
Here is the link:
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/
tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) —Medical Expenses
To nd out how to claim medical expenses on your income tax return
contact CRA Individual Tax Inquiry Service at 1 800 959 8281 or visit
CRA website online at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/income-tax/personal-income-tax.
html
22
Who Can I Call if I Have Questions?
If you have questions or need more information on any of the programs
listed in this booklet, these resources can help you.
Wellspring “Money Matters” Program
What is Wellspring “Money Matters? Money Matters is a free and completely
condential program for Ontario residents diagnosed with cancer. This
program helps patients with cancer related nancial issues. One-to-one
private appointments are available.
How does “Money Matters” help?
Gives you information on:
government, insurance company and workplace income support and
benets programs
drug coverage programs
programs to help you manage some “out of pocket” medical expenses
how to complete application forms
how to connect to specialized clinics related to nancial advice,
employment and disability law, seasonal income tax for those with low
income/assets
How do I book an appointment?
To book an appointment contact your local Wellspring Centre or visit their
website: https://wellspring.ca/online-resources/money-matters/
Wellspring Downtown Toronto  | Phone: 416 961 1928
Wellspring Westerkirk House (Sunnybrook Hospital) | Phone: 416 480 4440
Wellspring Chinguacousy (Brampton) | Phone: 905 792 6480
Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House (Oakville) | Phone: P: 905 257 1988
23
Social Worker - Psychosocial Oncology Clinic
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre – 16th Floor (Room 718)
To request an appointment call: 416 946 4525
A social worker can help you nd out:
if there are any nancial support programs that can assist you
how these programs work
how you can apply for them
Notes
Visit www.uhnpatienteducation.ca for more health information. Contact us to provide feedback or
request this brochure in a different format, such as large print or electronic formats: pfep@uhn.ca
© 2019 University Health Network. All rights reserved. Use this material for your information only. It does not replace advice from your
doctor or other health care professional. Do not use this information for diagnosis or treatment. Ask your health care provider for advice
about a specic medical condition. You may print 1 copy of this brochure for non-commercial and personal use only.
Form: D-3392 | Author: Oncology Social Workers, Department of Supportive Care | Revised: 09/2019
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