Self-Managed Attendant Services in Ontario

What is Direct Funding?

Direct Funding is an innovative program enabling adults with physical disabilities to become employers of their own attendants.

Attendants assist with routine activities of living, such as dressing, grooming and bathing.

As employers, participants are fully responsible for managing their own employees within a budget that is developed on an individual basis.



Different people have different needs. Direct Funding is intended as an option suited to people with physical disabilities who are willing and able to take on the extra management responsibilities (and possible risks) of the program.

Program puts more people with disabilities in control

The Direct Funding Program is being expanded to allow more Ontarians with disabilities to live independently in their homes.

You can read more about this in our News Release.

Available province wide, the Direct Funding Program enables adults with physical disabilities to receive monthly funds for attendants of their own choosing, to schedule as they please - whether their needs are at home, at work, or in the community. Individuals self-manage their lives, making their own choices with greater flexibility and control.



Through the Direct Funding Program, people with disabilities become the employers and self-managers, taking full responsibility for hiring and managing their own attendants and determining how and when their services are provided. The program is portable, meaning participants can live and travel anywhere within the province of Ontario, taking their services along with them.

The Ontario Ministry of Health, through the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, funds the Direct Funding Program.  The Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT) Inc. administers the program, providing funds to eligible participants.  Eligible applicants become Self-Managers.  They are responsible for recruiting, hiring and paying their own attendants.

Direct Funding operates within guidelines set by the Ontario government. You can apply if:

  • you are age 16 or over
  • you are a resident of Ontario
  • you require attendant services due to a permanent physical disability
  • you are able to complete the written application on your own initiative and in your own words (you may receive physical assistance to complete the form; however, submissions may not be made by professionals, family members or others on your behalf)
  • you are able to meet with a Selection Panel to discuss your needs and determine your eligibility for the program
  • you are able to schedule attendants;
  • you are able to hire (and fire, if necessary), train and supervise one or more attendant workers
  • you are able to meet all the legal requirements associated with being an employer (these will be clearly explained during the interview process)
  • you are capable of managing and accounting for your funding, according to DF program guidelines
Visit the Self Assessment page for more detailed program requirements

The Direct Funding Program is administered by the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), Inc., in partnership with the Ontario Network of Independent Living Centres (ONILC). It is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.

For more information on the Direct Funding program, contact CILT:

Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)
365 Bloor Street East Suite 902
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3L4

Tel: (416) 599-2458
Fax: (416) 599-3555
TTY: (416) 599-5077
Toll Free:1-800-354-9950


"I used to view my disability as being in bed chained down at my shoulders and my hips, waiting for someone to free me. Well, I can honestly say that Direct Funding has come along and done that!"
- 25-year-old man living with parents

Program puts more people with disabilities in control

The Direct Funding Program is being expanded to allow more Ontarians with disabilities to live independently in their homes.

You can read more about this in our News Release.

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