Ensemble http://www.ensembleunderstands.com Inspiring Strength from a Parent’s Perspective Thu, 21 May 2020 19:19:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Greater Essex County District School Board develops Online resources for Mental Health http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/greater-essex-county-district-school-board-develops-online-resources-for-mental-health/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/greater-essex-county-district-school-board-develops-online-resources-for-mental-health/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 19:19:39 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5166 The Greater Essex County District School Board has developed an online resource portal for mental health, https://www.publicboard.ca/News/SupportingAllofUsThroughCOVID-19/PodcastsandVideos/Pages/default.aspx#/= .

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The Greater Essex County District School Board has developed an online resource portal for mental health, https://www.publicboard.ca/News/SupportingAllofUsThroughCOVID-19/PodcastsandVideos/Pages/default.aspx#/= .

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Canadian Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/canadian-ontario-housing-benefit-cohb/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/canadian-ontario-housing-benefit-cohb/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 20:26:32 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5163 Community Living Essex County prepared this resource document on the Canadian Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB). Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) Information SheetMay 13, 2020 The Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) was announced Monday by the City of Windsor Housing Services. The purpose of this program is to increase flexibility and affordability of rental housing for […]

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Community Living Essex County prepared this resource document on the Canadian Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB).

Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB)

Information Sheet
May 13, 2020

The Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) was announced Monday by the City of Windsor Housing Services. The purpose of this program is to increase flexibility and affordability of rental housing for low-income households. It is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments. The housing needs of vulnerable populations have been categorized in 2 priority groups.

First priority:
• Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking
• Persons experiencing or are at risk of homelessness
• Indigenous persons
• Seniors, and
• People with disabilities
Second priority
• Households or Persons living in community housing that are not receiving affordability support (e.g., rent supplements, housing allowances)
• Households no longer receiving financial assistance as a result of expiring federal-provincial programs or social housing operating agreements (e.g. end of operating agreements, expiring rent supplement programs)

COHB Program Highlights
• Portable housing benefit meaning that it is not tied to a specific housing unit – it is tied to the person. This means of the person moves, the benefit moves with them.
• Benefit is income-based
• Benefit is paid directly to the person
• The application must be completed with Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC)
• The CHC submits the application to the Ministry of Finance whole is the approval body
• All future correspondence and updates will be directly between the Ministry of Finance and the person.
• The person is not required to update changes in income throughout the year. The Ministry of Finance will catch the change during their annual review of the person’s Notice of Assessment. If the income change amends the benefit, it is effective as of the annual review. It is not retroactive – no penalty or recovery of benefit is assessed.

COHB Eligibility
• Person must be on the Central Housing Registry (CHR)waitlist for social housing or deemed eligible by CHR to be on the housing waitlist
• Person is in housing need and living in community housing
• No member of a household receiving a COHB benefit may receive or be part of a household that receives RGI assistance, more than one COHB benefit, or another government-funded housing benefit (e.g., housing allowance under the Investment in Affordable Housing program) at the same time, except for social assistance shelter payments.
• Two roommates living in a 2 bedroom apartment would apply independently as a 1 bedroom
• A person living in their family home and paying rent could qualify for COHB benefits.

COHB Term
• Begins April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2029, subject to annual budget approval
NOTE: Applications submitted by June 30, 2020, are retroactive to April 1, 2020.

COHB Benefit Calculation
The benefit is calculated based on the difference between 30 % of the person’s income and 80% of the average market rent in Windsor/Essex (the rates used by the Ministry of Finance are not published). To calculate a possible benefit use the following calculation for a person receiving ODSP paying $1,000 rent monthly. If the person is not receiving ODSP or OW only use Calculation #2.

Calculation #1 Calculation #2 Possible Benefit
Rent $1,000
Minus ODSP
housing allowance 497
$ 503 Income $1,169 x 30% = $350.70
Minus Average market rent
$669 x 80% = 535.20
($184.5) Calculation #1 $503
Minus
Calculation#2 ($184.50)
Benefit $318.50

The person’s monthly benefit would be approximately $318.50.

COHB Application process
• Determine if the person is on the CHR waitlist and their application is up-to-date.
If they are not on the list, or their application has not been updated this year, go the CHR’s website https://www.chrwec.com/ and download the application, complete and either email or fax the application. Please write CLEC on the top right corner to let them know they are supported by our agency.
Email: chrwec@wechc.com
Phone: 519-254-1681
Fax: 19 254-9166
• The COHB application is completed over the phone. No documents are required to be submitted as part of the application process. To arrange for a phone call contact CHC
Email: housingbenefit@wechc.com
Phone: (519) 254-1681 x 4005
Website: http://www.wechc.com/rentals/Canada-Ontario-Housing-Benefit/
• The application process will determine an estimated benefit. The Ministry of Finance will confirm or amend the estimated benefit.
• Income will be confirmed by the Ministry of Finance based on the person’s Notice of Assessment from the person’s previous income tax filing. It is important that the person has filed their income tax as the Ministry will initial deny the application if income cannot be confirmed using their Notice of Assessment. It is not clear what other income verification may be accepted.

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2020 Estate Planning Guide from Pooran Law and Community Living Ontario just released! http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/2020-estate-planning-guide-from-pooran-law-and-community-living-ontario-just-released/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/2020-estate-planning-guide-from-pooran-law-and-community-living-ontario-just-released/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 21:38:41 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5160 The 2020 Estate Planning Guide from Pooran Law and Community Living Ontario has just been released. This an excellent guide for families as they develop their estate plans for their family members . It is found at, https://communitylivingontario.ca/en/estate-guide?fbclid=IwAR0DBl51rbgd1yN1iQmAOvBO5NYg9PSLs0e03Ljrh0LowUOptV7zKwWhJOU .

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The 2020 Estate Planning Guide from Pooran Law and Community Living Ontario has just been released. This an excellent guide for families as they develop their estate plans for their family members . It is found at, https://communitylivingontario.ca/en/estate-guide?fbclid=IwAR0DBl51rbgd1yN1iQmAOvBO5NYg9PSLs0e03Ljrh0LowUOptV7zKwWhJOU .

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SSAH/Passport Temporary Allowable Expenses Update http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/ssah-passport-temporary-allowable-expenses-update/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/ssah-passport-temporary-allowable-expenses-update/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 15:18:00 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5155 Family Alliance Ontario emailed Minister of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) to with some questions to ask for clarity on the Temporary allowable expenses for SSAH and Passport funding and he responded back. We want to thank Family Alliance Ontario for sharing this information with us, so that we can pass it along to […]

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Family Alliance Ontario emailed Minister of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) to with some questions to ask for clarity on the Temporary allowable expenses for SSAH and Passport funding and he responded back. We want to thank Family Alliance Ontario for sharing this information with us, so that we can pass it along to families as well.

These are some of the questions asked by families and the responses from Minister Smith’s office. 

1. 25% advance:

Will this be an automatic deposit? Or do we need to do something to get it?

No action needs to be taken by the family or program recipient. All active program recipients that self-administer their funding will receive an advance payment equal to one quarter of their annual, self-administered funding amount. Advance payments will be issued automatically to those program recipients who have submitted a 2019/20 claim as of March 31st, 2020. This advance payment will be issued automatically by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for those who are registered for automatic deposit, or by cheque mailed by Canada Post.

When can people expect their 25% advance?

Advance funding for eligible Passport recipients will start to flow to program participants the week of May 18th.

SSAH Renewal Packages are currently being mailed to all families that were enrolled in the program last fiscal year (i.e. April 1, 2019 through to March 31, 2020)*.  It is expected that all 2020/21 Renewal Packages will be received by all families who continue to remain eligible for SSAH funding by early June 2020.  

*Note: families with children who turned 18 years old prior to March 31, 2019 will not receive a 2020/21 Renewal Package.

Individuals/families who are eligible to receive 2020/21 SSAH funding can begin to immediately purchase services and supports according to the existing program guidelines in conjunction with the recently announced temporary changes that expanded the list of eligible expenditures, which are effective as of April 1, 2020.

Is that the max for COVID related expenses?

There is no maximum amount allotted for COVID expenses. Families can purchase services and supports, as long as they meet the criteria in the list of eligible expenses.

Please note program recipients will need to stay within their total annual funding amount for the 2020/21 fiscal year. Recipients must balance their current needs against what they may require for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Is this optional or mandatory?

All active program recipients that self-administer their funding are automatically eligible to receive these funding changes.

2.  Timing Requirements:

What exactly is this referring to? Please define 

These temporary changes are effective immediately and can be applied to expenditures dating back to April 1, 2020.  These temporary changes will remain in place until further notice by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. All other aspects of the program guidelines remain in effect.

3.   2019-2020 Fiscal Year Unspent Funds:  

 Can unspent funds be carried over into the 2020-21 fiscal year?

Active program recipients, who self-administer their funding and who submitted a claim in 2019/20 will be eligible to receive an advancement of up to $1,000 from their remaining 2019/20 authorization to offset the expenditures they have incurred but were unable to submit claims for due to regional offices being closed and / or adhering to physical distancing. 

This funding can only be used for expenditures incurred from April 1, 2019 through to March 31, 2020.  This funding is not to be used for expenditures incurred before or after those dates.

4.  Data Plans:  is this an expense that would be covered, would it be month by month or from April 1 - March 31.

Yes, internet and cell phone data plans are temporarily eligible only for monthly costs for the duration of the temporary measures being in effect. Once the government-mandated restrictions are lifted and the program transitions back to standard program requirements, these purchases will not be reimbursed. You will be given as much notice as possible to prepare you for the return to business as usual.

Note: Cancellation fees and/or renewals fees will not be reimbursed.

5.  Can you purchase Netflix or Amazon Prime

Yes, these and other similar services can be temporarily purchased to provide program recipients the opportunity to remain entertained and engaged at home, while following physical distancing.

6.  More specifics on procedure and items such as sensory

The purchase of sensory items are a temporarily eligible expense to support recipients who rely on sensory items to alleviate anxiety/stress and/or support any clinical or behavioural plans. This could include multi-sensory related products and technologies.

7. Does the 25% apply to SSAH?

The advance payment equal to one quarter of their annual, self-administered funding amount applies to both the SSAH and Passport programs.

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Latest Information Email from Ensemble for families http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/latest-information-email-from-ensemble-for-families/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/latest-information-email-from-ensemble-for-families/#respond Fri, 08 May 2020 20:19:44 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5150 Please check out the latest information email from Ensemble with information for families, including webinars and other resources, https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Information-for-Families-.html?soid=1132692039930&aid=rWX9SziJ2OE

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Please check out the latest information email from Ensemble with information for families, including webinars and other resources, https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Information-for-Families-.html?soid=1132692039930&aid=rWX9SziJ2OE

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Covid-19 Communication Rights Toolkit http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/covid-19-communication-rights-toolkit/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/covid-19-communication-rights-toolkit/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:07:39 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5143 This was shared by another parent, and it is an excellent toolkit for those of us with family members with disabilities . It provides resources to ensure their communication rights are ensured if they are hospitalized with COVID-19.

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This was shared by another parent, and it is an excellent toolkit for those of us with family members with disabilities . It provides resources to ensure their communication rights are ensured if they are hospitalized with COVID-19.

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Autism Speaks Canada and Samsung Canada offering 1000 tablets to children with autism, deadline to apply May 15th http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/autism-speaks-canada-and-samsung-canada-offering-1000-tablets-to-children-with-autism-deadline-to-apply-may-15th/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/autism-speaks-canada-and-samsung-canada-offering-1000-tablets-to-children-with-autism-deadline-to-apply-may-15th/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2020 23:29:54 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5141 Just an FYI for those of our families with children with autism. Over the past 5 years, I have received a tablet for each of my two children with autism, in case you were wondering if people do get tablets from them. Technology is such an amazing tool for all of us, ever more so […]

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Just an FYI for those of our families with children with autism. Over the past 5 years, I have received a tablet for each of my two children with autism, in case you were wondering if people do get tablets from them. Technology is such an amazing tool for all of us, ever more so for individuals with disabilities. They usually offer 500 tablets across Canada each year, but this year have increased it to 1000 tablets due to COVID 19.

https://autismspeakscanada.smapply.ca/prog/samsung_in_partnership_with_autism_speaks_canada_are_pleased_to_invite_families_living_with_autism_to_apply_today_for_a_tablet/?fbclid=IwAR1Bm8WtlEhLh-WPYcsln0KbTeQ9Mxv9YxEz6CwPkEo91cYds5AUlTuirt4

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Ontario announces more allowable expenses for Passport Funding And Special Services At Home (SSAH) due to COVID-19 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/ontario-announces-more-allowable-expenses-for-passport-funding-and-special-services-at-home-ssah-due-to-covid-19/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/ontario-announces-more-allowable-expenses-for-passport-funding-and-special-services-at-home-ssah-due-to-covid-19/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2020 12:35:58 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5139 The government of Ontario announced late yesterday, changes to Passport Funding for Adults and Special Services at Home (SSAH) to allow more expenses temporarily due to COVID-19. Here is the link for Passport Funding, https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/developmental/serviceSupport/passport.aspx and here is the link for SSAH Funding, http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/specialservices.aspx?fbclid=IwAR01sNn9fQivPM2_y7_54zXMtuZcOe1MK6pMg9Nk8bVgKZ5B9qRC6z0HBcY .

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The government of Ontario announced late yesterday, changes to Passport Funding for Adults and Special Services at Home (SSAH) to allow more expenses temporarily due to COVID-19. Here is the link for Passport Funding, https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/developmental/serviceSupport/passport.aspx and here is the link for SSAH Funding, http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/specialservices.aspx?fbclid=IwAR01sNn9fQivPM2_y7_54zXMtuZcOe1MK6pMg9Nk8bVgKZ5B9qRC6z0HBcY .

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Video Message and Invite from Ensemble to our first virtual support meeting by zoom, April 23rd, 7pm http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/video-message-and-invite-from-ensemble-to-our-first-virtual-support-meeting-by-zoom-april-23rd-7pm/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/video-message-and-invite-from-ensemble-to-our-first-virtual-support-meeting-by-zoom-april-23rd-7pm/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2020 16:45:10 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5132 https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73291285122?pwd=R3ZZSXA1QWowZ1pPSWxDR2ZZMUVVZz0

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A message from Ensemble and an invite to a zoom virtual support meeting next Thursday, April 23rd at 7pm.

Posted by Ensemble on Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Here is a link to the video posted on Ensemble's social media post with an update from Ensemble and an invite to our first virtual support meeting scheduled for April 23rd, at 7pm. The link to the zoom meeting next week is below. Please message Kelly in the Ensemble office to sign up and get the password for the meeting.

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73291285122?pwd=R3ZZSXA1QWowZ1pPSWxDR2ZZMUVVZz0

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Applications for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Ontario Benefit for Parents are now open http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/applications-for-the-canadian-emergency-response-benefit-cerb-and-the-ontario-benefit-for-parents-are-now-open/ http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/applications-for-the-canadian-emergency-response-benefit-cerb-and-the-ontario-benefit-for-parents-are-now-open/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 12:28:44 +0000 http://www.ensembleunderstands.com/?p=5129 For our many families who are now off work due to COVID-19, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Applications are now open. They have staggered the application for this week, based on your birth-date. The link to applications is at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html?fbclid=IwAR24mp6cQU9VnT1lDYHwUSyPrLTYG33FinsNg6bXdKmWtGi004V5pKcvqT4 . As you may know the CERB benefit application is live today, but don't forget […]

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For our many families who are now off work due to COVID-19, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Applications are now open. They have staggered the application for this week, based on your birth-date. The link to applications is at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html?fbclid=IwAR24mp6cQU9VnT1lDYHwUSyPrLTYG33FinsNg6bXdKmWtGi004V5pKcvqT4 .

As you may know the CERB benefit application is live today, but don't forget also that the Ontario benefit for parents is open for applications today. You must have a child under 12, for $200/child, and children who have a special need, and who are under 21 will qualify for $250. It applies to public school, private school and home-schooled kids. It is one application per kid, so you fill it out all again per kid . https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families?fbclid=IwAR3blFSnOZXCeLIjupmVRe2aSHGh-tY-SfU5USnIuN-y1CuBiD4vslxQr3k

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