Permanent disability grants are given to people who have conditions that prevent them from working for more than a year. The grant may be provided for a short period of 6 to 12 months if the handicap or medical condition is anticipated to improve with treatment or other measures. To help students with disabilities to manage their expenses, there are various grants provided by the Canadian government.
Federal Grants for Students With Disabilities
Canada Student Financial Assistance Program
The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program provides a grant of $4000 to qualified students with permanent disabilities to help cover school-related expenses for the academic year. You may be eligible for the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment if you are accepted as a student with a permanent handicap.
For each year of study, this award is accessible to students with impairments. You can apply at the same time that you apply for provincial or territorial student aid.
If you apply and meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for this grant.
- have a financial need
- are enrolled in a qualified programme at a designated school;
- are a student with a mental or physical disability that limits your ability to participate in post-secondary studies or the labour force and is expected to last a lifetime;
- submit one of the following documents as proof of your disability with your loan application:
- a doctor’s certificate
- a psycho-educational evaluation;
- documentation demonstrating that you have received federal or provincial permanent disability support.
How Much Money Could You Get?
You will get $4,000 every year until the end of the 2022-2023 academic year. As long as you qualify, you can get this stipend for each year of your study. The school year begins on August 1 and ends on July 31. Regardless of your evaluated need, the grant amount stays the same. It’s possible that this will minimize or eliminate the requirement for a student loan.
Application Procedure and Documents
The disability verification question on the Student Loan Application will be answered “yes” by students. Students must then submit the relevant medical paperwork and/or psycho-educational assessment (for students with learning disabilities only) to Student Financial Services to prove their permanent disability. All medical documents must be received before an application may be evaluated.
You can contact your post-secondary educational institution and arrange an appointment with their accessibility services/disability coordinator once your student loan application has been assessed and you have been approved as a student with a permanent impairment by PEI Student Loans.
You will get a check for the specified services and equipment once your application has been approved. Students who receive funds for equipment or services “shall furnish receipts no later than 30 days following the completion of the period of studies.” Any money that is not used must be returned to our office. Make your check or money order payable to “PEI Student Financial Assistance Corp.”
FORM 1 (not required for students with a Learning Disability)
FORM 2 (Services and Equipment Grant Application for Students with Permanent Disabilities)
Services and Equipment Grant for Students with a Permanent Disabilities
The Canada Student Loan Program offers a grant for eligible students with Permanent Disabilities to help cover eligible services and equipment.
This programme assists part-time and full-time students with permanent disabilities in covering the costs of outstanding education-related services and equipment.
Eligible students can borrow up to $20,000 per year for services and equipment such as:
- Technical aids
Contact your school’s disability advisor for assistance in determining which services and/or equipment will benefit your post-secondary studies. Please complete Appendix 8: Request for Permanent Impairment Programs if you have not yet established your permanent disability.
Provincial Grants for Students With Disabilities
Alberta Grant for Students With Disabilities (GFD)
A full-time student with a documented permanent disability who is not eligible for the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) or whose costs are not covered by CSG-PDSE may be eligible for the Alberta Grant for Students with Disabilities (GFD). All services and equipment covered by CSG-PDSE, as well as those costs not covered under the Canada grant, may be covered by GFD. Transportation costs associated with a disability that are not covered by the CSG-PDSE, such as parking and fuel for the distance travelled, may be considered eligible. An explanation must be supplied that clearly proves that public transportation is not an alternative in order for these charges to be approved under GFD.
To be eligible for GFD, the student must be:
- have a documented permanent disability and the requirement for services and/or equipment
- complete a Schedule 4 and have it approved by an authorized official
- be enrolled in a full-time program (at least 60% of a full course load or at least 40% for a student where the reduced course load was documented)
- meet all eligibility criteria for receiving Alberta funding, and
- have at least $1 of Alberta’s calculated need.
The maximum amount of GFD that may be issued is $3,000 per loan year (not to exceed the costs of the services and/or equipment required). When a student meets the eligibility criteria for both the CSG-PDSE and for GFD, CSG-PDSE funds are always allocated first.
- Students in study periods of less than 10 months may receive a maximum of $20,000 in combined CSG-PDSE and GFD in that study period.
- Students in study periods of 10-12 months may receive a maximum of $23,000 in combined CSG-PDSE and GFD in that study period.
British Colombia’s Access Grant for Students With Permanent Disabilities
This programme assists full-time students with a permanent handicap with educational costs by replacing about $1,000 in BC student loan money.
To Be Eligible
You might qualify if you:
- become eligible for a federal student loan
- have a permanent handicap as specified by the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program and are enrolled full-time in designated public or private post-secondary institutions.
- You will be automatically assessed for the B.C. access grant if you have previously submitted verification of your permanent disability to Student Aid BC.
- If you have not yet established your permanent disability with Student Aid BC, complete the Appendix 8 form.
To apply, go to the official website. Click here!
Manitoba Student Aid for Students With Disabilities
You are eligible for the same loans and grants as other full-time and part-time students if you have a persistent handicap that has been validated by Manitoba Student Aid. You may also be eligible for grants that take your impairment into account.
To keep your Manitoba Student Aid eligibility, you must:
- At a college or university, pass at least 60% of a full course load each term (contact your school if you’re not sure what a full course load is for you).
- If you are attending a private vocational or private training school, you must pass all of your courses and maintain a 90% attendance rate.
Newfoundland and Labrador Student Aid
Additional benefits are available through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Student Financial Assistance Program to help qualifying students with persistent disabilities access and complete their post-secondary education.
Applying as a Permanently Disabled Student
- As a student with a persistent disability, consider the following:
- With the help of student financial aid, you have extra time (520 weeks of funding) to finish your programme.
- You might be able to enrol as a full-time student with a more manageable course load (40 percent of a full course load).
- You may be eligible for additional money to help you pay for specialized transportation, specialized equipment, specialized textbooks, learning support services, and other educational-related expenditures connected to your handicap.
New Brunswick Student Aid for Students With Disabilities
Borrowers with a permanent handicap who are experiencing trouble repaying their student loan debt can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD). RAP-PD helps you manage your student debt and takes into account any additional medical expenses incurred as a result of your handicap. You can repay as much as you can afford based on your family’s income and size. Monthly payments will be limited to 20% of a borrower’s gross family income or less, and no borrower will have a payback period longer than ten years. Borrowers with low income may not be compelled to make any loan payments until their earnings grow.
To apply, go to the website and fill out the online application and the Permanent Disability Expense form.
Nova Scotia Aid for Students With Disabilities
For children with a persistent impairment who may have difficulty finishing their educational programme within typical deadlines, the Student Assistance programme provides more flexible boundaries. It also provides additional funding to pupils who may have special needs due to their handicaps.
As a student with a permanent disability:
- You have extra time to complete your program with the help of student assistance funding.
- You can qualify as a full-time student with a smaller, more manageable course load. For University studies, a student with a permanent disability is considered full-time if they are taking 40% or more of a full course load.
- You may qualify for extra funding that is specifically designed to help you pay for exceptional expenses related to your disability, such as transportation, specialized equipment, specialized textbooks, learning support services, and more.
- We partner with Post-Secondary Accessibility Services to help you access disability-related resources that can help you succeed at school.
Ontario Student Assistance Program for Students With Disabilities
If you have a persistent impairment and are taking 40 percent or more of a full course load, you may be eligible for full-time OSAP financing. You must self-identify as having a permanent impairment when applying for OSAP to be accepted for this benefit.
A functional restriction is legally defined as a permanent handicap for OSAP:
- caused by a physical or mental handicap that limits your capacity to conduct the everyday activities required to participate in post-secondary studies or the labour force.
- is projected to last the remainder of your life
Government of Quebec Funding for Students With Disabilities
Even if you are studying part-time, you are considered a full-time student if you have a serious functional handicap recognized by Aide financière aux études and are enrolled in at least 20-course hours per month. If you are unable to pursue full-time studies for more than one month due to a serious episodic disorder resulting from permanent major mental or physical health problems as confirmed by a medical certificate, or if you live with a child (yours or your spouse’s) with a major functional disability or serious mental disorder, this also applies to you. Only one of you can be considered a full-time student during the same award year if you and your spouse are both students.
Under the Loans and Bursaries Program, a major functional disability is a permanent physical handicap.
If You Qualify, You Could
Receive financial assistance between two study periods covered by Aide financière aux études, even if you are not an active student during that time, on the condition that you return to your studies in less than four months
- Receive an allowance for expenses related to your special needs
- Obtain self-supporting student status if you have been attending university for at least three years and have earned 45 credits in a single program
- Receive the full amount of your financial assistance as a bursary
Click here, to submit an application.
To Wrap Up
To provide special care to the disabled nearly every province has some kind of financial aid provided to its students along with federal grants. The above-mentioned federal grants are available all-around Canada. To keep up, visit www.canada.ca to know the latest aid provided by the government.