SEVEN THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN APPLYING FOR A CANADA STUDENT LOAN AND BURSARY AND GRANT
PLEASE CONSIDER THESE POINTS: Many questions will come to mind as you go through the grant application process – but these 7 points should get you started on the right track:
FIRST: In all provinces, students must apply for a student loan in their province of residence in order to be considered for the Bursary and Grant – completing a Canada Student Loan Application is the first and necessary step to accessing the Bursary and Grant. If you are eligible for a Canada Student Loan, no matter how small, and have status as “Student with Permanent Disability”, then you should be eligible for the Bursary and Grant. You will not be eligible for the Bursary and Grant if you are not Canada Student Loan eligible. Two exceptions: students living in Alberta and Nova Scotia who are not Canada Student Loan eligible do have access to goods and services support funding.
Permanent residents of Alberta or Nova Scotia should read point # 7 below. Support funding is available to you even if you do not qualify for a student loan, but you must apply for a Canada student loan, be granted status as “Student With Permanent Disability”, and be rejected for that loan, before you can apply for alternate sources of funding.
SECOND: When you are filling in the Student Loan Application you must answer YES to the question, “Do you have a permanent disability?” After answering Yes, you will be prompted to send your documentation to the student loan administrators. Only first-time applicants will need to do this – if you have submitted documentation when applying for a loan in years past, you will not need to send documentation a second time - you may be asked to answer YES to the disability question every year.
THIRD: If you have provided the student loan administrators with documentation – proof of disability - when applying for a loan in previous years, then you will not need to submit documentation in subsequent years. If you already have status as "Student with permanent disability" then, as noted above, answering “Yes” to the disability question will be all that’s required to set the wheels in motion to access the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD).
FOURTH: Once you qualify for a loan, and you are granted status as “Student With Permanent Disability”, you will be notified that you can apply for the "Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE)". The forms you will use to apply for the Grant are unique for each province and you will need to visit the Student Loan website for your province to obtain that form. I’ve posted LINKS to those websites on our LINKS page; if you cannot find the form, please let me know so I can send it to you.
FIFTH: If this is your first time applying for this Bursary and Grant then you will be asked to provide “Proof of Disability”, the documentation that you should have on file from medical professionals you have worked with. First-time applicants must submit “Proof of Disability” in order to qualify for this Bursary and Grant. Each province provides you with a Medical Assessment Form (sometimes called Disability Verification Form) that you must use to do this, and you can find links to those forms in the LINKS section of this webspace. Please save yourself time, if you’ve sent in documentation in the past, and have been granted status as “Student with Permanent Disability” in past years, then you will not be required to re-submit that medical documentation when you apply for the Bursary and Grant in subsequent years.
SIXTH: The medical documents that you do send in must be no older than 5 years old. Reports from Psycho-Educational Assessments or Vision or Hearing Tests, for example, would not be acceptable documents if they were completed more than 5 years ago. Documents completed within the last five years should be acceptable.
AND FINALLY, SEVENTH: (only for residents of Alberta and Nova Scotia): Both provinces have established a grant for students who have status as “Student With Permanent Disability” and WHO DO NOT QUALIFY FOR A STUDENT LOAN. Only Alberta and Nova Scotia do this – other provinces do not provide resources for students who do not qualify for student loans.
The FIRST point above still applies - you must submit an application for a Canada Student Loan, be assessed for status as “Student with Permanent Disability” and NOT qualify for a student loan (be determined ineligible for a student loan), in order to be considered for access to alternate sources of support funds.
In Alberta, students who do not qualify for a student loan may be supported with an Alberta Grant of up to $3,000.
In Nova Scotia, alternate funding is managed by Post Secondary Disability Services (PSDS) and is called the Nova Scotia Services and Equipment Grant
Like the OSAP (Ontario) website and websites sponsored by other provincial funding agencies, the PSDS website has some good general information on funding/support for post-secondary studies.
PLEASE use the link on the left of this page, LINKS TO Student Aid websites and Grant Information for Canadian Provinces and Territories to find information and forms specific to your province of residence.