604-320-0505 or 310-Kids(5437)



Apply for Support

How does Variety help?

Variety steps in where health care ends aiming to fill the gaps which are not covered by government programs, health care or private health plans. Variety relies solely on the generosity of individuals, corporate sponsors and organizations to fund our child grants. Grants are designed to be flexible to allow you to apply for the items that best meet your child’s needs. As every child is unique, so is every application and each is reviewed on an individual basis. Sometimes, Variety tops up funding where another agency cannot fund the entire cost. An example would be a partial contribution towards vehicle modifications.

Who can apply for a child grant?

Only families whose child meets all of the following criteria can be considered for an individual grant:
– Children from birth to their 19th birthday. (Note: for autism assessment, the child seeking help must be 4 years or under.)
– A child must be a B.C. resident with a valid Personal Health Number (PHN) or Yukon resident with a valid Health Care Card
– Qualified special need (medical and/or developmental) as confirmed by a designated health care professional. (This does not apply to private autism and psychoeducational assessments or mental wellness requests)
– Financial circumstance that limits the ability to afford the item or service required. (We are currently able to consider requests from households with an annual income of up to $85,000).

What can I apply for?

Our current grant priority areas are:

  • Adaptive & Mobility Equipment (e.g. Power and manual wheel chairs, adaptive trikes, hearing aids, standing walkers, custom orthotics, van conversions)
  • Mental Wellness Counselling
  • Specialized Therapies (e.g. Speech & language, occupational, physical, music, equine & counselling)
  • Tuition & Tutoring Bursaries for Learning Disabilities
  • Private Autism (age 4 and under)
  • Psychoeducational Assessments
  • Type 1 Diabetes support

What if the Government can fund the item I am applying to Variety for?

Where the Government can fund the item requested (partial or full), Variety requests that you apply to the Government for that particular item first. Variety will consider top ups, by providing funding for items that the Government or private healthcare plan will not cover fully. Variety may consider interim funding for services with an extended wait-time. Written confirmation is required confirming any of these situations.

What can’t I apply for?

No medicines/prescriptions, eye glasses or dental

  1. Services or equipment not directly related to a child’s special/extra needs and which are not deemed medically/developmentally necessary
  2. Alternative or naturopathic treatments or those not provided in person including neuroplasticity or computer stimulationAny program/service or equipment that can be or is paid wholly by government (including Autism, At Home,
  3. Early Intervention, Health Region, First Nations Health, BC Family Residence Program. Top up considered
  4. Behavioral Intervention/Consultation
  5. Funding for any services related to Autism for children under six years old who receive over $22,000 per year in government funding. Except for music therapy will be considered for under six year olds with Autism funding.
  6. Childcare, respite or related programs/services
  7. Warranties, insurance, maintenance, service agreements, batteries, repairs
  8. Administrative fees or operational costs
  9. Vehicles – except: Sunshine Family Van program and van conversions (including van ramp and tie downs) to a maximum of $7,500
  10. Medical services plans, premiums, deductibles – except for type 1 diabetic supplies.
  11. Electronic devices, including Apps or software
  12. Travel costs including: time, gas, mileage, truck or car rentals, parking or insurance
  13. Sports equipment that is non-adaptive or does not support special needs
  14. Non-B.C. residents
  15. Reports, consultations, assessments – except autism/psychoeducational assessments
  16. Autism assessments for child age 5 and over
  17. More than one autism/psychoeducational assessment per child
  18. Expenses that have already been initiated or have already occurred prior to submission or written approval
  19. Incomplete application forms
  20. Those without specific certification or professional credentials to deliver services to clients or the use of assistants
  21. Children or Youth over 19 years old
  22. A child without a personal health number (Care card)
  23. More than two request in one Variety fiscal year over $4000 total
  24. Children under five who qualify for early intervention or services through a Child Development Centre (CDC) or Health Authority (HA). (Top up considered)
  25. Equipment from non-Canadian distributors that cannot be invoiced directly from Variety or services outside Canada

What does my income level have to be to qualify for funding?

Variety aims to support families most in need. We will consider a total net household income of up to $85,000.00 per year. Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment is required with each application.

Will Variety fund Psycho-educational assessments?

Yes, Variety will be able to consider a request for a psychoeducational assessments.

My child recently had a private autism assessment. Can I apply for a grant to be reimbursed?

Regrettably, as per our guidelines Variety is not able to pay for expenses that have already been initiated or have already occurred prior to submission or written approval. We are also not able to reimburse families, as we pay the vendors directly. So, Variety will not be able to help those families who already had an autism assessment and who already paid the full cost.

My child already had an autism assessment (not from Variety) but did not meet the diagnosis criteria at that time, will Variety cover another autism assessment?

Yes, Variety will consider one autism assessment grant request per child, who meets our grant eligibility criteria.

Do I need to have an autism assessment appointment before applying for a grant?

You do not need to have a confirmed appointment booked before applying. But you will have to select the clinic/professional and obtain a quote for the autism assessment before your grant application can go through the final review process. A grant is approved for a specific professional who then invoice Variety directly for services provided.