The Financial Assistance Program for Domestic Help Services was implemented in the wake of the Summit Conference on the Economy and Employment, held in October 1996, and is designed to help develop the potential of Québec's social economy sector.
In this regard, the program's objectives are to help build a strong network of businesses providing domestic help services and to encourage people to use the services offered by these businesses.
The ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) is responsible for the program, while the integrated health and social services centres (CISSS) or the integrated university health and social services centres (CIUSSS) are responsible for recommending domestic help social economy businesses for accreditation to the MSSS. The MSSS has entrusted administration of the program to the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec. To ensure the program's smooth operation, the Régie has set up the Service de la contribution et de l'aide financières, which processes applications for financial assistance filed by individuals and handles requests for payment submitted by businesses.
How does the program work?
Persons using domestic help services provided by a domestic help social economy business that has been accredited for program purposes may receive financial assistance applicable against the hourly rate the business charges. There are 2 types of financial assistance:
- basic financial assistance of $4 for each hour of service rendered is granted to any eligible person, regardless of family income;
- variable financial assistance of $0.60 to $9 for each hour of service rendered may be granted over and above the basic financial assistance, and is determined on the basis of an eligible person's family income and family situation.
The maximum total financial assistance granted per hour of service rendered is $13 ($4 in basic financial assistance and $9 in variable financial assistance).
The person pays only the difference between the rate charged by the business and the financial assistance granted.
What domestic help services are covered?
- Light housekeeping work, such as laundering, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning (refrigerator, bathtub, pantry, etc.).
- Heavy housekeeping work, such a major cleaning jobs and clearing snow from the main access to the residence.
- Cleaning clothes.
- Preparing non-diet meals.
- Shopping for groceries and running other errands.
Some businesses do not offer all the above services.
Who is eligible for the program?
Persons age 18 and over who are residents or temporary residents of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act are eligible for the program.
However, persons receiving compensation for domestic help services under a public plan CSST,SAAQ, Veterans Affairs, etc.) or under a private insurance plan may receive financial assistance from the program only for the portion of the costs exceeding their compensation amount.
For instance, if someone wishes to obtain 10 hours of domestic help services and his/her compensation adds up to 3 hours, that person will qualify for only 7 hours of financial assistance from the program.
Who is eligible for basic financial assistance?
Any person eligible for the program may receive basic financial assistance, regardless of family income.
Who is eligible for variable financial assistance?
- Persons age 65 or over.
- Persons age 18 to 64 who are eligible for the program, who require domestic help services and who are referred by a local community services centre (CLSC), an integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) or an integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS).
Financial parameters used to calculate variable financial assistance
To calculate any variable financial assistance payable, it must be determined what portion of family income exceeds the exemption threshold, which varies with family size.
The exemption thresholds are:
- $15 938 for a single person;
- $25 694 for a couple;
- $3 081 for each dependent (child or adult).
For example, the exemption threshold for a couple with 2 children is calculated as follows:
$25 694 + $3 081 + $3 081 = $31 856
Where family income exceeds the exemption threshold, the maximum variable financial assistance of $9 is reduced by $0.60 for every full $1 000 by which family income exceeds the threshold.
The following table shows the income levels below which variable financial assistance of $9 is granted, as well as the income levels at or above which no variable financial assistance is granted.
||Number of dependents,* each entitling a family to the $3 081 exemption
||Family income below which variable financial assistance of $9 is granted
||Family income at or above which no variable financial assistance is granted
||less than $16 937
||$30 938 or more
|Couple with no children
||less than $26 693
|$40 694 or more
||less than $20 018
|$34 019 or more
||less than $23 099
||$37 100 or more
||less than $26 180
||$40 181 or more
||less than $29 261
||$43 262 or more
||less than $29 774
||$43 775 or more
||less than $32 855
||$46 856 or more
||less than $35 936
||$49 937 or more
||less than $39 017
||$53 018 or more
|* Children or adults
The various parties involved and their roles
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)
- Assume responsibility for the program
- Ensure compliance with the program's overall budget
- Evaluate the program
Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
- Supervise management of the program
- Supervise the Service de la contribution et de l'aide financières, which is responsible for administering the program
Service de la contribution et de l'aide financières (SCAF)
- Process financial assistance applications
- Inform the client and the business of the assistance amount granted
- Process requests for payment submitted by businesses
- Inform businesses of administrative decisions
Integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) or integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS)
- Evaluate businesses according to MSSS orientations
- Recommend businesses to the MSSS for accreditation
- Provide support for domestic help social economy businesses
Domestic help social economy businesses
- Offer domestic help services
- Help clients fill out financial assistance applications
- Enter into service agreements with clients
- Send financial assistance applications and service agreements to the SCAF
- Fill out requests for payment and send them to the SCAF
- Comply with notices sent to it by the SCAF
- Fill out the financial assistance application
- Provide the SCAF with the information and documents necessary for study of his/her application
- Enter into a service agreement with the business
- Notify the SCAF and the business of any change in his/her family situation
Local community services centres (CLSC), integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) or integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS)
- Determine, in number of hours, the domestic help needs of persons it refers to the business
- Refer the appropriate clientele to the business
Application for review
If you disagree with a decision of the Régie, you can apply for an administrative review. You have 6 months, from the date the letter of decision is deposited in your mailbox or handed to you in person, to contest the decision.
Form to fill out
First, you must fill out an Application for review.
To appeal a decision regarding healthcare received outside Québec, a technical aids program or a financial assistance program, you must use the form also.
It is important that you enclose the relevant original documents (bills, proof of payment, medical documents, etc.) and you specify the matter being contested, and any facts and dates to be corrected. If you need more space than that provided on the form, attach a separate, signed sheet.
Send your application for review to the following address:
Direction de la révision
Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec
Case postale 6600
Québec (Québec) G1K 7T3
We recommend that you keep copies of the documents provided.
Analysis of your application for review
The agent of the Régie who analyzes your application for review will contact you, if required, to clarify your expectations. If necessary, the agent will assist you in the process of gathering relevant information to complete the file.
The review of your application is based on the new information provided by you and the documents already on file. Those documents must cover the entire period at issue. Missing information may delay the processing of your file.
After the agent has reviewed your file, he/she will notify you in writing of the Régie's new decision.
The Régie's commitment
We will process your application in keeping with our values: respect, integrity and equity.
We also undertake to follow up on your application for review within 40 days of receiving it, if your file is complete.
The Régie's decision
Under the Health Insurance Act, the Régie has 90 days to render its decision following an application for review.
If, after you've filed your application, you wish to provide supporting documents or comments, the 90-day time limit will run from the date the Régie receives the documents.
Moreover, if the Régie deems that it needs additional documents or information, it may extend the time limit by another 90 days.
Finally, if the Régie does not meet the deadlines, you may wait for its new decision, or contest the previous decision before the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ).
Do you disagree with the Régie's new decision?
If you believe that the decision rendered in follow-up to your application for review does not respect your rights, you have 60 days (from the date the decision is delivered to your address) to contest it before the TAQ.