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Special Services at Home (SSAH)

The Special Services at Home (SSAH) is a program that is funded and managed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS). This program helps families who are caring for a child with a developmental and/or physical disability. 

The SSAH program is based on the understanding that family members are often primary caregivers for children with a developmental and/or physical disability. The program focuses on providing funds to assist families to purchase supports not available elsewhere in the community.

It provides funding to buy services and supports that help parents/caregivers with caring for their child, or that support the child to join activities at home and in the community, including Respite Services

The new framework for determining eligible expenses can be seen in the chart below:

Special Services At Home (SSAH)
MCCSS  |  Direct Funding  |  Support
Day to Day
Activities of Growth
Community and Home
Sensory Needs

I'm already using ErinoakKids to manage my SSAH funds:

SSAH Information Hub

I'm new to SSAH/ErinoakKids, tell me more:

SSAH Overview

The Role of ErinoakKids



SSAH Funding Overview

SSAH funding helps with costs related to respite, personal growth and development for your child with physical and/or developmental disabilities.

Families can apply to the SSAH program to get funding for things like:

  • Hiring a Special Needs Worker (SNW)
  • Primary caregiver relief (like respite) and related supports
  • Activities for personal growth or development for the child such as camp, swimming and music classes
  • Sensory items that help to alleviate anxiety

Read the full list of eligible expenses and find out what services are ineligible (directs to the MCCSS website).

The Role of ErinoakKids

After submitting an SSAH application through the MCCSS, families will have a choice of having an agency (like ErinoakKids) to manage funds associated with SSAH or to use the Ministry.

If you choose to have ErinoakKids manage your SSAH funds, you will submit your invoices to us.

ErinoakKids offers support to families who choose to have their SSAH funds managed through our agency.  Benefits to this may include:

  • Opportunity to schedule an appointment for SSAH questions with one of our knowledgeable Service Navigators, in- person, by phone or by virtual contact
  • Our Service Navigators can provide support to families around questions regarding the SSAH program, support with paperwork related to the program and support with submission of invoices as needed
  • Direct contact with a financial clerk to support around remaining balances and submissions
  • Easy-to-use online portal for submission
  • Schedule of submission dates and corresponding payment dates
  • No charge for this support when families are utilizing ErinoakKids as a supporting agency


According to the MCCSS guidelines, to be eligible for SSAH, a child must:

  • need extra support, beyond what is expected for their age, because of a physical and/or developmental disability, so that they can take part in daily activities at home and in the community
  • be a resident of Ontario and legally entitled to live in Canada
  • be under 18 years old
  • live at home with their main caregiver or live separately from their main caregiver without support from other government-funded out-of-home (residential) services

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use my Special Services at Home funding?

Typically funding is used for two purposes:
1. Hiring a Special Needs Worker (SNW)
  • SNWs are individuals who spend time directly with your child.  Some of their responsibilities may be: personal care (example: bathing, feeding, toileting), community outings (example: accompanying your child to the mall, movies, park, library), continuing with therapy goals as prescribed by your child’s therapist (example: stretching, communication strategies, puzzles, games – NOTE that the SNW can NOT be a therapist)
  • SNWs may also look after your other children in addition to, or separately from your child with special needs.  For example, if you are taking your child to a therapy appointment, you can hire a worker to watch your other children at home.
2. Programming/Community Activities
  • Programs which would increase your child’s development such as swimming lessons, dance classes, etc. 
  • Summer/March break camps AND 1:1 support worker at camp or recreational program
  • Out of Home Respite
  • Temporary help with routine homemaking tasks such as light housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grass cuts and snow shoveling so that you have more time for your child with special needs or for other family activities.
  • Can NOT be used for therapy (example: speech therapy, IBI, occupational therapy etc.)
  • If you are unsure whether the program may qualify for reimbursement, please call our SSAH Client Financial Service Clerk at 905-855-2690 ext. 2467
How do I complete an invoice?
Follow this sample for details. 
How do I submit my invoice?
All invoices, parent forms, worker’s forms, and banking information can be uploaded on our secure portal.
Faxed and/or emailed invoices will not be accepted.
SSAH invoices/forms can also be dropped off at our locations in Mississauga, Oakville or Brampton.
Who do I call to check my balance?
Call our SSAH Client Financial Service Clerk at 905-855-2690 ext 2467.
How do I find a Special Needs Worker (SNW)?
  • Look in your immediate area. Is there anyone who currently cares for your child? Do you have friends/neighbours/extended family members who might be interested? Ask at local schools; often teaching assistants may consider working as a Special Needs Worker part-time. Ask local colleges, particularly programs focusing on child development (example: Early Childhood Educators etc)
  • – complete a family registration and you can access a database of potential workers. These workers have been screened, but you will still need to check their references and interview them. ErinoakKids does not provide or make specific recommendations regarding a special needs worker.
  • Create a job posting to share details of the position including your child’s age, your preferred times/days, job duties and any experience necessary.
Are there certain qualifications a Special Needs Worker needs to have?
  • Choose a worker who is a good match for your child/family and whose skills meet your child’s needs.
  • Family members need to be over the age of 18.
  • The child's parents or main caregivers cannot be paid as a Special Needs Wordker for their own child, regardless of residence.
  • You cannot hire a professional therapist.
How do I determine how much to pay my Special Needs Worker?
Parents/Guardians are responsible to comply with the minimum wage requirements under the Employment Standards Act

Currently, minimum wage in Ontario is $16.55. Effective October 1, 2024, it will be $17.20 per hour.

The hourly rate should be based on the significance of your child’s needs as well as the experience and training (example: seizure protocol, g-tube feeding experience etc.) that your Special Needs Worker may require.
How does my Special Needs Worker get paid?
You decide who we will be paying. Sometimes it’s easiest if we pay your child’s Special Needs Worker (SNW) directly. However, there is also an option of reimbursing the parent after you they already paid their SNW.

1. Payment to SNW
  • Ensure that your SNW has completed the SNW information form and attached their banking information.
  • Complete invoice as per sample
    • Review dates and hours
    • In the ‘Payable To:’ box, check SNW.
    • Ensure that you and SNW have signed the invoice.  
    • Parents and SNWs should never sign a blank invoice.

2. Reimbursement to Parent
  • Ensure that you have submitted your banking information by completing Parent Direct Deposit Form
  • Complete invoice as per sample:
    • Review dates and hours
    • In the ‘Payable To:’ box, check Parent.
    • Ensure that you and SNW have signed the invoice.  
    • Parents and SNWs should never sign a blank invoice.
NOTE: Regardless of who is receiving the payment, we require the SNW to complete SNW information form AND the SNW release form.
How many Special Needs Workers can I hire?
You can hire as many SNWs as you require. Some families will hire SNWs who will provide occasional respite in addition to SNWs who will focus more on continuing therapy goals.
What do I do if I need more invoices/worker packages?
Call our SSAH Client Financial Service Clerk at 905-855-2690 ext. 2467