Frequently Asked Questions – Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care

Family Allowance is a financial assistance measure administered by Retraite Québec that provides for the payment of the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exception Care. The supplement provides financial assistance to parents of a child under age 18 who:

  • has severe and multiple disabilities that prevent the child from carrying out his or her life habits OR
  • requires specified complex medical care at home for which parents have received training at a specialized centre in order to learn the specific techniques for using the required equipment.

In addition, depending on the severity of the child's condition and age, he or she could be eligible for Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the supplement. Note that a higher amount is granted under Tier 1.

The eligibility criteria for Tier 2 are less restrictive than those currently applied to determine eligibility for the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care's Tier 1. However, the criteria are medically based, thus giving the program its exceptional character.

The addition of a second tier for the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care will provide additional assistance to parents who assume extraordinary responsibilities due to their child's condition.

To receive the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care, the child's parent must already be receiving Family Allowance and the Supplement for Handicapped Children for the child.

If this is not the case, the parent must file an application for Family Allowance and the Supplement for Handicapped Children. The forms are available on our website. To be eligible, the child must be under age 18.

The supplement is paid to the parent receiving the Family Allowance payment.

In the event of a conjugal breakdown, the amount of the supplement will be divided between the 2 parents who have shared custody of the child, or the parent with sole custody of the child will receive the full payment. This takes effect once we been notified of the separation.

We consider that a child is in sole custody when the child lives alternately with each parent between 40% and 60% of the time each month (for example: 3 days a week or 12 days a month). If custody of the child is shared between one parent and another person, the parent's percentage of custody time must be a minimum of 40% but not more than 49% each month.

Eligibility for the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care is determined by our medical team on the basis of specific criteria. In addition, depending on the severity of the child's condition and age, he or she could be eligible for Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the supplement. Note that a higher amount is granted under Tier 1.

The eligibility criteria are based on the widely recognized conceptual model in Quebec Classification: Disability Creation Process. Your child's eligibility is not determined solely based on the diagnosis, but mainly on the severity of the child's limitations (absolute or serious ) in carrying out life habits (nutrition, personal care, moving about, communication, personal relations, responsibilities and education). Different decisions could therefore be rendered for applications filed for children with the same diagnosis.

The child's condition is assessed based on his or her ability to carry out the life habits of a child of his or her age without assistance. We take the following life habits into consideration when studying applications:

Nutrition

Eating, including the use of implements for eating and drinking.

Personal care

Cleanliness, excretal hygiene, getting dressed, use of medication.

Moving about

Moving short or long distances both inside and outside, and using technical aids.

Communication

The exchange of information with his or her entourage through speech and language, including comprehension, expressing needs, conversation, hearing and vision.

Interpersonal relations

Relationships with his or her entourage and the capacity to build relationships.

Responsabilities

Assuming responsibilities for his or her age, following safety guidelines, behaving in the expected manner and not in a manner that is extreme or excessive, solving everyday problems, respecting social norms.

Education

Intellectual development, knowledge acquired at preschool, or at elementary or secondary school.

The child is absolutely incapable of carrying out a life habit, or always has extreme difficulty accomplishing a life habit in an autonomous manner for his or her age despite the presence of facilitating environmental factors, such as technical aids. Carrying out every element of the life habit depends entirely on the assistance of another person.

The child always or nearly always has considerable difficulty carrying out a life habit, for his or her age, despite the presence of facilitating environmental factors, such as technical aids. Without the help of another person, the child cannot fully and adequately accomplish the life habit.

In an effort to facilitate the process for parents, Retraite Québec will begin reassessing all applications for the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care that it had initially rejected. As a result, no action is required from you. You file will be reassessed.

If we require more recent information, one of our medical advisors will contact you or the medical and education professionals who follow your child. This procedure will not entail any additional fees.

Retraite Québec is taking all the steps necessary to reassess the applications it has received. Once your application has been processed, we will inform you of our decision in writing.

Yes. You must complete the application form This link will open in a new window.. We will then contact you if we require further information. However, it is important that you provide us with any new information (a follow-up report from an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech-language therapist, specialist at a rehabilitation centre, or an assessment by a psychologist, etc.) so that it can be taken into consideration in studying your application.

Your child's eligibility under one of the tiers of the supplement is assessed by Retraite Québec's team of physicians and health professionals, based on specific requirements.

A parent must notify Retraite Québec of any change in the child's condition. Retraite Québec will then reassess the child's file.

The Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care is paid to the parents of a child under age 18 who has severe and multiple disabilities that prevent the child from carrying out his or her life habits, or whose medical condition requires specified complex medical care at home. Depending on the severity of the child's condition and age, he or she could be eligible for Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the supplement, a greater amount is granted under Tier 1 than under Tier 2.

  • A monthly amount of $978 ($11 736 per year) will be paid for a child eligible under Tier 1.
  • A monthly amount of $652 ($7824 per year) will be paid for a child eligible under Tier 2.

The amount of the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care is added to the amount for the Supplement for Handicapped Children ($195 per month or $2340 per year).

The amounts are not taxable and are indexed in January of each year.

The supplement for handicapped children requiring exceptional care is paid with your Family Allowance payment and the Supplement for Handicapped Children payment on a quarterly basis, in January, April, July and October. Payments are made in advance on the first working day of each quarter.

If you would like to receive your payments on a monthly basis, you must file an application. In that case, your payments will be made on the first working day of each month.

Payment of the supplement ends when the child turns 18, or before, if the child's condition improves or no longer meets the eligibility requirements.

To verify whether your child's condition has improved and determine whether you are still entitled to the supplement for him or her, we may require a reassessment. The frequency depends on the child's handicap and situation.

If your child is eligible for the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care and provided his or her condition met the eligibility requirements during the 11-month period before we received your application, you could receive a retroactive payment for that period.

The retroactive payment is calculated as of the month in which we receive your application. Eligible families will therefore not lose any amounts due to the time required to process applications.

Receiving the supplement does not affect any financial assistance to which you are entitled under other programs.

The Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care is a financial assistance measure for families that assume extraordinary responsibilities regarding a handicapped child. All families with an eligible child will receive the supplement.

If you would like to contest a decision, by law, you have 90 days to file an application for review with Retraite Québec.

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