Transitioning to adulthood is an important juncture that often presents challenges for autistic youth and adults. Yet it is a different experience for everyone.
As is the case for many government-funded services, once a child with Autism reaches a certain age, the support available to them changes. In most Canadian provinces, children transition into the adult service program on their 18th birthday, some on their 19th birthday.
Transition planning typically begins between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Entering adulthood can be stressful, and needing to understand a brand new set of government-funded supports and services can be overwhelming.
This page provides information about the government-funded services and supports available to autistic adults. It is organized by province and territory. We are hopeful that a robust understanding of what resources are available – in the transition period and beyond – is helpful to individuals and families.
Please note that the age at which a child becomes eligible for adult resources is different across the country. You will find one separate toolkit for each province and territory.
This page outlines government-funded supports and services available to adults with autism living in the province of Saskatchewan.
In Saskatchewan, there are two main funding programs available:
- Workforce Development for People with Disabilities
- Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID)
The Workforce Development for People with Disabilities (WFD-PD) program provides funding that helps each person prepare for, find and keep a job.
WFD-PD provides assistance to individuals, community-based organizations and employers to help minimize the impact of disability on education and employment.
Applications can be made by any:
● Individual adult who, because of a disability, requires specialized supports in order to prepare for, obtain and/or maintain employment
● Community-based organization that conducts assessments or provides disability-specific career and employment services
● Employer who requires specialized support to hire an individual with a disability.
● Funding must support a resident of Saskatchewan 16 and over who, because of a disability, will require extraordinary supports to prepare for, obtain or maintain employment.
● Funding supports are for disability-related costs only.
● Funding may be used to conduct an assessment to determine the impact of disability and the supports required for successful employment.
● Funding is contingent upon confirmation of disability and a description of the supports needed in an individual Career Action Plan.
The action plan must focus on employment with attention to disability-related costs, and encourage the use of mainstream programs wherever possible.
Eligible Support-related Costs
Individual supports are intended to address exceptional disability-related costs and must be specific to education or employment settings.
● Training on the job
● Vocational and work assessments
● Psycho-educational assessments
● Job coaching
● Support for employers
● Disability-related costs for a wide variety of post-secondary education and training programs.
● Individual applicants are eligible to receive funding support for the disability-related costs of their participation in education, training and employment programs, or to pay for an assessment to determine the impact of disability on training, education and employment.
● Examples of disability-related supports include technical aids, tutoring, attendant care, note taking, interpreting and specialized transportation.
● When educational-related supports are required, the student must apply for funding through Student Financial Assistance before WFD-PD. Grants for disability-related needs are accessed by applying to the Student Loans Program.
How to Apply
Individuals can request WFD-PD support by contacting the nearest Labour Market Services office.
Individuals who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution should contact their student support office (or disability support office) about accessing WFD-PD support for their education.
Some community-based organizations administer WFD-PD funding directly in order to assist their clients with disability-related needs.
Saskatchewan’s guaranteed disability funding program is called Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), as outlined below.
The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) is an income support program for people with significant and enduring disabilities.
SAID benefits include three main components:
● The Living Income – a fixed amount of monthly income that allows beneficiaries the opportunity to make decisions and have more control over how to spend their income. Participants make decisions on how much to spend on shelter, food, basic transportation and other items.
● The Disability Income – is designed to help with costs related to the impact of disability.
● The Exceptional Need Income – helps individuals with a number of special circumstances. For example, additional income is available for clothing recommended by a health professional, special food items, food and grooming costs associated with service animals, and home care.
As of July 1, 2019, annual (calendar year) earned income exemptions are:
● $6,000 for single beneficiaries
● $7,200 for couples
● $8,500 for families
To help SAID beneficiaries keep track of their earnings, an Income Tracking Sheet is available.
For additional details on the specific amounts, refer to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability rates.
You may be eligible for SAID if you:
● Are a Saskatchewan resident, and 18 years of age or older;
● Lack financial resources to provide for your basic needs; and
● Have a significant and enduring disability that is of a permanent nature, substantially impacts daily living activities, and results in requiring assistance in the form of an assistive device, assistance of another person, requiring a service animal, or other accommodation.
A Disability Impact Assessment is a part of the application process and is designed to identify the presence of a significant and enduring disability.
3. How to apply
SAID beneficiaries are supported by Assured Income Specialists in 18 ministry service centres across the province.
Assured Income Specialists provide the following services:
● Help with filling out the application
● Participation planning support
● Referrals to other organizations that provide services
● Identifying other ministry programs for which the person might be eligible.
If you think you might be eligible for SAID, call the SAID inquiry line at: 1-888-567-SAID (7243) for more information, or visit the nearest Ministry of Social Services office.
If you have a disability and are currently receiving Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP) or Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) benefits, you can apply for SAID by contacting your Income Assistance Worker.