Due to a variety of factors, many people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada live below the poverty line.
The cost of treating HIV infection is high. Conventional medical therapies alone can cost thousands of dollars each month. In addition, fluctuating health may make it impossible to secure a steady income. The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA) offers several services that can help sort through the options for managing the financial costs of living with HIV/AIDS.
If you have any questions about any of these programs, contact a Benefits & Assistance Case Manager.
Benefits & Assistance
PWA offers income support through our Benefits & Assistance Program. Clients are assigned a Benefits & Assistance Case Manager, who helps them to manage the costs of living with HIV/AIDS.
Our case managers provide benefits and financial counselling, financial assistance for uninsured medical costs, return to work consultations, help with applying to government income programs such as Ontario Disability Supports Program, Ontario Works, Medical Employment Insurance, as well as referrals and basic needs counselling.
PWA's Financial Assistance program helps alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with living with HIV/AIDS. The program reimburses clients for uninsured medical and treatment costs, supplements government income benefits for people applying for long-term disability programs and assists with the costs of care for HIV-positive children.
Government Income Support Programs
The provincial and federal governments offer income support programs that can be of benefit to people living with HIV/AIDS when employment is not an option due to health or other factors. Through our team of Benefits & Assistance Case Managers, PWA helps people living with HIV/AIDS to decide which program is most suitable for their situation and to apply to the appropriate service.
The Income Support program is generously funded with key support from the AIDS Bureau, Ministry of Health & Long Term Care.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to make an appointment with my Benefits & Assistance Case Manager?
- It is recommended that you contact your case manager to ensure they will be available to see you.
- Does this service offer referrals to other programs, doctors, types of therapies or other services?
- Yes, your case manager is knowledgeable about programs at other AIDS service organizations, government and community agencies and health professional services. They can make appropriate referrals.
- Who can I talk to about going back to work?
- Your case manager can give you some advice on how returning to work may affect any government benefits you receive. They will also be able to explain how you may access medication if you do not have a private insurance plan through work.
- How do I know if I'm ready to go back to work?
- If you have been off work on medical grounds then your physician or specialist would be the most appropriate person to advise you with regard to going back to work. For other issues a career counselor or a back-to-work specialist can help you decide.
- How do I access the Financial Assistance program offered through PWA?
- You can access the Financial Assistance program through your case manager, who will review the current financial assistance guidelines with you.