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Help paying for health services

Dental Care

You may be able to receive dental care for children and adults who are Ontario Works recipients, belong to low-income families or are recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Dental services for adults

  • Urgent dental care is provided for social assistance (Ontario Works) recipients and low-income adults who qualify for Essential Health and Social Supports (EHSS)
  • Adults are assessed by a City dental clinic to determine treatment
  • Denture services covered under the Community Denture program may be provided however, the service must be pre-approved at a City dental clinic

Dental services for children

Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)

Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) is a free dental program that covers regular and emergency dental care for children 17 and under.

Who is eligible?

Children and youth 17 and under may be eligible if they are:

  • Residents of Ontario
  • Meet the income eligibility requirements

If your family is covered by Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, your children 17 and under are automatically enrolled in the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. You will receive a Healthy Smiles Ontario dental card in the mail. The dental card must be presented to your dental provider at each dental visit.

What services are covered?
  • Regular visits to a licensed dental provider, such as a dentist or dental hygienist
  • Dental services including check-ups, tooth cleaning, fillings and extractions
How do I enroll?
  • Apply online on the Healthy Smiles Ontario website
  • Call ServiceOntario INFOline toll-free at 1-844-296-6306 (TTY toll-free at 1-800-387-5559)

Once enrollment is confirmed you will receive an HSO dental card.  The dental card must be presented to your dental provider at each visit to receive dental care under the program.

How do I access urgent or emergency dental care?

If your child is enrolled in the HSO program, contact your dentist. 

If your child is not yet enrolled in the HSO program, call your dentist to find out if they participate in HSO and book and emergency dental appointment.

If you don't have a dentist or your dentist does not participate in the HSO program, you can:

  • Visit the Ottawa Dental Society or call 613-523-3876 to find a list of dentists
  • Call the Ottawa Public Health Dental Information Line at 613-580-6744, ext. 23510

Where to get dental care:

Ontario Works recipients

Contact a City dental clinic. Adults must go to one of the City's dental clinics.  Children can receive care at any dentist that accepts HSO clients.

Low-income individuals

Low-income families and individuals can apply for Essential Health and Social Supports for dental care.  To apply:

Call 3-1-1 between 8:45 am and 4 pm

  • Select 1 for English or 2 for service in French
  • Select 4 for Social Services

If your application is approved, the City dental clinics will provide you with care.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients

ODSP issues dental cards directly to adults.  You may see any private dentist who accepts ODSP. For more information, or to receive a dental card, contact you ODSP worker.

Children on ODSP are covered by the HSO program.

City dental clinics

  • 40 Cobourg Street (Le Patro) Tel:  613-580-9633
  • 2525 St. Laurent Boulevard (near Conroy Road) Tel:  613-580-9632
  • 400-1580 Merivale Road  Tel:  613-580-9631

Go to Dental Health on the Ottawa Public Health site for more information and resources  

Eyeglass and eye exams

You can apply for financial assistance for special items such as eyeglasses. If you are receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, contact your case worker for more information.

If you are not receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program you can apply to EFA. Be prepared to provide information about:

  • Your family size
  • The ages of your children
  • Your housing costs
  • Your sources of income
  • The items you own
  • Your expenses

Low-income residents can apply for help by calling 3-1-1 between 8:45 am and 4 pm:

  • Select 1 for service in English or 2 for service in French
  • Select 4 for Community and Social Services

Bell Relay TTY 1-800-855-0511

 

Prescription drugs

There are two programs to help you pay for prescription drugs: the Ontario Drug Benefit program and the Trillium Drug Program.

Ontario Drug Benefit program

You qualify if you are:

  • Receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
  • 65 years of age or older
  • A resident of a long-term care facility or a home for special care
  • Receiving professional services under the Home Care program
  • A Trillium Drug Program recipient

Trillium Drug program

You qualify if:

  • You are a low-income individual or family
  • Your insurance covers only a portion of your drug costs
  • Most, but not all, prescription drugs are covered. Your doctor can apply to the Ministry of Health to request that a drug be covered.
  • There is usually a minimal pharmacy fee of $2 for each prescription.
  • Some seniors and Trillium Drug Program recipients must pay a certain deductible for their own prescriptions. This amount varies according to your family size and income. If you can't afford the deductible, the City will look at your financial situation and needs to determine if you are eligible for extra help.
  • You must provide receipts for all paid prescriptions.

How to apply:

  • For the Ontario Drug Benefit program, your coverage is automatic if you are receiving financial or residential assistance.
  • Seniors contact their pharmacist.
  • For help paying the deductible for Ontario Drug Benefit or Trillium Drug Program, low-income residents can apply for help by calling 3-1-1 between 8:45 am and 4 pm:
  • ​​Select 1 for service in English or 2 for service in French
  • Select 4 for Community and Social Services
  • Bell Relay TTY 1-800-855-0511

Cost of medical supplies

Low-income individuals and social assistance recipients can get help with the cost of medical supplies. For information on how to apply for short-term help call 311.

Assistive Devices Program (ADP)

  • Helps any Ontario resident who has a valid Health Number and a physical disability that will continue for six months or longer
  • Pays for basic supportive devices – such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and medical supplies

Costs covered by ADP

  • Pays for 100 per cent of the approved cost, if you receive financial assistance from Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program
  • If you are not receiving financial assistance, ADP pays 75 per cent of the cost of items such as artificial limbs, orthopedic braces, wheelchairs and breathing aids
  • Contributes a fixed amount for adult hearing aids and breast prostheses
  • Finances the cost of needles and syringes for diabetic seniors as well as ostomy and incontinence supplies through an annual grant

NOTE: There are limits and restrictions in all device categories. For example, the repair and replacement of damaged or stolen items is not covered by ADP.

How to apply

Apply for basic support equipment such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and other equipment for independent living by:

  1. A physician, or a therapist recognized as an ADP authorizer must complete your application form.
  2. Social Services must approve your application before you can purchase equipment from the approved vendor.
  3. Get your doctor or therapist to follow up with Social Services.

Help if you can't pay the difference

Private insurance companies, service clubs and charitable organizations such as the March of Dimes, and Easter Seals may be able to help you cover additional costs. Social Services can help you when all other options are exhausted.

More information

  • If you are receiving ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), call 613-596-2035.
  • If you are receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works, contact your Case Coordinator.
  • Low-income residents can apply for help by calling 3-1-1 between 8:45 am and 4 pm
    • Select 1 for service in English or 2 for service in French
    • Select 4 for Community and Social Services

TTY Line 1-800-855-0511

Financial Support – Ottawa Hand in Hand

Recreation & Culture Fee Support

The City of Ottawa offers help with program fees so that all residents can take part in recreation and culture activities regardless of their ability to pay. If you are already a participant in a community or social service agency program, or if you are an individual or family with a low-income, you may qualify for the Ottawa Hand in Hand recreation and culture fee support program.

To apply for the Ottawa Hand in Hand, Recreation and Culture Fee Support:

Step 1: Print the application form at home, or pick one up at most staffed recreation facility or at a Client Service Centre.

Step 2: Complete the application form.

Step 3: Bring the completed application form to your local recreation or cultural facility. A supervisor will review the application for approval.

More information on the fee support program:

  • Residents of all ages are eligible for Ottawa Hand in Hand, recreation and culture fee support.
  • Applications can only be approved at a recreation or cultural facility.
  • Residents are encouraged to apply for the Ottawa Hand in Hand fee support as early as possible before the program registration period. Each qualifying individual, or member of a family, is eligible for an annual amount of fee support ($170 per person).
  • Participants can register for recreation and culture programs or activities at any of the program registration locations across the City.
  • Applicants are encouraged to pay a minimum of 25 per cent of the program cost. A parent or guardian can transfer all, or a portion of their Ottawa Hand in Hand fee support entitlement to a child or children in their household.
  • Applications for Ottawa Hand in Hand, recreation and culture fee support are accepted at anytime.