Financial concerns and questions about your child’s hospitalization

I don’t think I will be able to work while my child is undergoing treatments. What financial assistance does the government offer?

 Families with children who have a chronic disease are entitled to a “Handicapped Child Allowance” from the provincial government’s Régie des rentes. It is a fixed amount regardless of income. You can also apply for the federal Disability Tax Credit when filing your income tax forms.

The federal government also has a Compassionate Care Benefit program through the Employment Insurance Program. This is a six-week employment insurance program that is available to caregivers. Specific criteria must be met in order to qualify.

In order to qualify for these programs, you must complete certain forms. Your social worker has copies of the forms and will assist you in the application process.

I am thinking of applying for a disability leave for myself. Is this possible and how do I go about making this request?

If you have private disability insurance through your work, you can meet with your family physician to discuss your current situation. Your family doctor will be able to help you with complete the appropriate forms in order to make a claim for disability insurance. Your social worker can help you by providing a letter for your family doctor explaining the psychosocial impact of a child’s chronic disease on a parent.

What kind of expenses will we have related to our child’s treatments?

If you are a permanent resident of Quebec or elsewhere in Canada, Medicare will cover the cost of your child’s treatments. However, you are responsible for the costs of insurance deductibles and premiums for medications that your child will have to take at home.

When preparing a budget, you should also consider the expenses related to travel, eating at the hospital or in restaurants, and child care for other children. This will help you plan for a reduced family income if one parent stops working. Your social worker can suggest ways of minimizing some of these expenses.

Are there programs to help cover the cost of medications?

Some medications prescribed for your child may be very expensive, and the premium to be paid on these medications will also be quite high. If your child’s care team prescribes these medications, please discuss it with your social worker. Some of the medications may be eligible for special financial assistance through the pharmaceutical companies that make the medications.

We are coming from out of town for our child’s treatments at the hospital. Who can help us with accommodations and the costs related to this?

Your social worker can provide you with information about the accommodations available to families who live outside the Montreal region. Your social worker can also help determine if you qualify for subsidies to cover the costs of your stay in Montreal.

If you know ahead of time that your child will be treated at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, you may contact the Social Service Department and ask to speak with the social worker assigned to the medical team who will be following your child.

If you and your child are already at the hospital, the social worker on your child’s care team will come to meet with you directly to guide you through the process.

I am on welfare. The extra expense of traveling to the hospital, hospitalizations, and eating at the hospital are more than my budget can handle. What can I do?

In most cases, families who receive welfare assistance and have children with a chronic disease undergoing treatments will also receive assistance for travel expenses related to hospitalization. Let your agent know as soon as your child is hospitalized and sign a consent form to allow your social worker to communicate with your agent. Your social worker will then be able to provide your agent with the necessary information to determine if and how welfare can assist you.

Does the hospital offer any kind of financial aid?

Through the generous donations of certain foundations, some families may be eligible for financial aid. Your social worker will be able to determine if you are eligible for any assistance.

Is there any other financial assistance available?

Certain community organizations may be able to offer financial assistance. This usually means that the hospital social worker communicates directly with the organization. When you meet your social worker to discuss your family’s needs, they can give you more information about the community resources that may be able to assist you.