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Where can I find information about financial assistance to support my post-secondary studies?


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Financial Aid Directory

In addition to repayable student loan assistance the Canada Student Loans Program also offers non-repayable Canada Study Grants and Canada Access Grants. Two grants are specifically targeted to students with disabilities.

Canada Study and Canada Access Grants

The CSLP offers Canada Study Grants and Canada Access Grants (CSGs and CAGs) that are specifically designed to assist full both full- and part-time post-secondary students with permanent disabilities. The Canada Study Grant and Canada Access Grant do not have to be repaid. However, Canada Study Grants and Canada Access Grants are considered taxable income and you will receive a T4A to include with your next year’s income tax return.

Canada Access Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

This grant of up to $2,000 per loan year, is intended as an incentive for students with permanent disabilities to participate in post-secondary studies, decrease financial barriers, reduce reliance on student loans, and provide targeted assistance to those who need additional support. For example, if you are a full-time student with a permanent disability and have a total assessed need of $14,000, you could be eligible to receive $2,000 in grant funding and $7,140 in repayable Canada Student Loans. The remainder of your assessed need may be met through provincial student financial assistance.

This grant replaces the Canada Study Grant for High-need Students with Permanent Disabilities.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, you must:

  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a full- or part-time loan;
  • have a permanent disability (supported by appropriate medical documentation) that limits your ability to participate fully in post-secondary studies

How to Apply

There is no separate application for the Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities. Eligibility will be determined by the provincial student financial assistance office within your province of residence during the assessment of your student loan application.

Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities

This grant of up to $8,000 per loan year is designed to help cover exceptional education-related costs associated with your disability, such as a tutor, interpreter (oral, sign), notetakers, readers or braillers, attendant care for studies, specialized transportation (to and from school only), or 75% of the cost of a learning disability assessment up to a maximum of $1,200.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, you must:

  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a full- or part-time loan;
  • have a permanent disability (supported by appropriate medical documentation) that limits your ability to participate fully in post-secondary studies; and
  • have a need for exceptional educational-related service or equipment to participated in post-secondary studies.

How to apply

To be considered for this Grant, you must submit a separate application for the Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities with your application for student loan assistance and include appropriate medical documentation to the provincial student financial assistance office within your province of residence or the financial aid office at your educational institution.

Application Process

Applications for student financial assistance should be made to the provincial student financial assistance office within your province of residence for full – or part-time Canada Student Loans to establish need. Eligibility for the Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities will be automatically assessed during the assessment of your loan eligibility. However, a separate application for a Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Disabilities is required.

It is important that your applications for student financial assistance and the Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities, along with proof of your permanent disability are submitted at the same time.

Documentation Required

  1. Demonstration of permanent disability requires proof in the form of a medical certificate; or a learning disability assessment; or a document showing that you receive federal and/or provincial disability assistance.
  2. Written confirmation of the need for the disability-related services or equipment, from one of the following: a Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) case worker; or an official of a centre for students with disabilities; or a guidance counselor or financial aid administrator at the post-secondary institution you are attending.
  3. Proof of enrolment at a designated educational institution.
  4. Two separate cost-estimates as evidence of exceptional education-related costs.

Tax Considerations

The Canada Study Grant and Canada Access Grant provide up to $8,000 and $2,000 per year, respectively, to students with disabilities to help cover education-related costs. The 2006 Federal Budget featured an announcement which eliminated the $3,000 limit on the amount of scholarship, bursary and fellowship income a post-secondary student can receive without paying federal income tax. This includes the Millennium Scholarship, Canada Study Grants and Canada Access Grants.

Many of the expenses for which the Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities may be used, such as attendant care or a device to enable a blind person to read or use a computer (e.g. optical scanners or large print-on-the-screen devices), also qualify for tax assistance under the medical expense tax credit.

The medical expense tax credit recognizes the effect of extraordinary medical expenses on an individual's ability to pay tax. It does this by providing tax relief on eligible medical expenses in excess of a certain portion of an individual's net income. As a result, although Canada Study Grants must be included in income for tax purposes like other bursaries and scholarships, in many cases, the tax on the grant is offset by tax relief provided through the medical expense tax credit.


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