The Direct Funding Interview

What to expect at the DF Interview

Prior to the interview each applicant is given resources and support to help them prepare. Please take the time to review these materials, even if they seem familiar to you.

You will need to:
  • Bring along a copy of your application.
  • Be prepared to spend two hours at the interview.
  • Present a clear picture of your service needs.
  • Be prepared to answer questions of a personal nature regarding your application.

An applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria for Direct Funding so this is the main focus of the interview. During the interview you have the chance to talk to the selection panel to explain your needs and how you think Direct Funding will work for you. You will be asked about current attendant services (if you receive any now) and how they work or don’t work for you and how you see Direct Funding as different from your current situation. The selection panel will also ask you to describe how you imagine your schedule will work on Direct Funding, meaning how many hours you anticipate needing throughout the day, how many visits and how long each visit should be. This area is often easiest for applicants who have received delivered attendant service prior to the interview from someplace like the Community Care Access Centre or an outreach attendant service provider such as the March of Dimes. For those applicants we meet who receive most of their assistance from family or friends, it is sometimes helpful to use the daily usage logs since we often do not keep track of how long family take to assist us. The panel does not need minute details about your routine but they do need to see you can identify how long each task takes; this is part of the process in determining that you fully understand your needs and can describe them clearly. You should be familiar with your application and be able to explain the details and hours you entered in the various sections; if it has been some time (a few years or more) since you submitted your application, feel free to update the information and bring it with you to the interview, or better yet, provide it to the panel in advance. The more prepared you are, the faster the process will go.

In terms of the budget, the panel will ask you some basic math questions since they need to see that you can manage and account for the funds that would be granted to you if you were found eligible. Just like page 3 of the application, the panel usually spend a good deal of time reviewing page 4 of the application. It is a good idea to look carefully at question 13 a) and give some thought to what, if any, of these items you may need; feel free to call your local ILRC if you are unsure about any of these Optional Arrangements. It is also a good idea to review question 13 c) which is the mandatory employment related costs (MERCs); these are described on page 9 of the Application Guide and it would be good to be familiar with these costs. The panel will ask questions about general employment legislation but a lot of the information requested is common sense; while it’s important to be prepared, applicants should not be too nervous about this area.

Finally, the panel always want to learn about you; what experience do you have directing attendants in the past, what work, volunteer or school experience do you have that you think would help you to be a successful self-manager? All information received before, during and after the selection panel interview is kept strictly confidential

The Selection Panel

Each applicant is interviewed by three panelists(the panelists are also aided by a note taker, who does not participate but works remotely by telephone).

  • A representative from the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), which administers the program
  • A representative from the local Independent Living Resource Centre
  • A local consumer of attendant services
  • The panel will ask questions to determine an applicant’s ability to be an employer and develop a budget, such as:

    • How would Direct Funding be different from what you have now?
    • Why are you applying for Direct Funding?
    • How many staff do you think you would hire to meet your needs?
    • How and where would you advertise for staff? What might your ad say?
    • What questions would you ask a potential employee during an interview?
    • What are the payroll deductions that come off the employee paycheque?
    • Explain the process required when dismissing an employee.
    • More sample interview questions can be found on the How to Prepare page

After the Interview

The panel meets after the interview to determine if an applicant is eligible based on the Eligibility Criteria. If no further information is required from the applicant, the program will respond to the applicant in writing within three weeks’ of the date of the interview.

Applicants who are eligible will receive an information package that includes a letter confirming they are eligible and three copies of the Direct Funding Agreement.

Applicants who are not eligible will receive a letter identifying all the eligibility criteria they did not meet.

NOTE: If you are a Self-Manager, and would like more information about becoming a selection panelist, please contact CILT.

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

"To prepare for Direct Funding, I read through all the manuals available. Any questions I may have had after reading were answered by people at my ILRC, who were very helpful."
- 42-year-old woman living with spouse

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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