When a child is in cancer treatment, the family faces tremendous out-of-pocket costs, such as food while at the hospital with their child, accommodation when away from home and child care for siblings under 12 years old. In addition, one parent is often required to give up work to look after the ill child, so one source of family income might be lost. Families of children in cancer treatment tend to be young and, therefore, are not financially stable. In fact, it is estimated that these families can lose up to 1/3 of their after-tax income during the time a child is in treatment. In total, Ontario’s families with children in cancer treatment face a loss of income of approximately $8 million each year.
The POGO Financial Assistance Program provides relief by reimbursing families for some of the costs they incur. POGO is responsible for the administration of this program, with 100% of the funding coming from private-sector fundraising.
Claim Form for Families Registered with the POGO Financial Assistance Program
How to submit: If you are registered with the POGO Financial Assistance Program, please submit the completed form to your designated hospital Social Worker, POGO Interlink Nurse or Community Liaison Nurse. If you are not currently registered with the POGO Financial Assistance Program, please contact one of these individuals at your child’s treatment hospital. Be sure to save an electronic or hard copy for your records. Please note that claims more than three months old cannot be processed.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE CLAIM FORM :
Please submit this form for eligible expenses while your child is in treatment. You can claim the following
- $7.50/day when your child is receiving outpatient treatment (4 hours minimum including travel time)
- $15/day when your child is receiving inpatient treatment
Families can claim accommodation in cases where the family must travel out-of-town for treatment and paid accommodation is necessary. Families are asked to use the lowest cost form of accommodation available. In some locations, a free hotel program may be available. Please check with your POGO Interlink Nurse, Social Worker or Community Liaison Nurse before making your first claim to discuss policies related to claiming for paid accommodation. Reimbursement rates are as follows:
- $10/night for Ronald McDonald House
- $20/night for other accommodation when Ronald McDonald House is not available to you
Please check with your POGO Interlink Nurse, Social Worker or Community Liaison Nurse regarding policies on care support before making your first claim. POGO assists when fees are paid to a babysitter while your child is in treatment. Families may claim:
- up to 120 hours of childcare expenses per year starting from the first child care claim
- an hourly rate of $8.00
Please note that the POGO Financial Assistance Program does not reimburse for childcare provided by a family member.
*NOTE: Families making claims at SickKids are asked to record childcare claims separately from food and accommodation claims. Each month, print or obtain two copies of the claim form, using one copy for your childcare expenses and the second copy for your food and accommodation expenses (use additional claim forms as required, keeping childcare separate). Please submit claims for both types of expenses monthly.
For information on how the POGO Financial Assistance Program can help you, please contact:
Coordinator, POGO Financial Assistance Program
416-592-1232 ext. 249
Email: Grace Yuen
Other Financial Assistance
POGO’s Money Matters Booklet*
POGO’s Money Matters booklet describes a range of programs many families access to manage the financial burden that can arise from their child’s cancer diagnosis. Download Money Matters.
POGO’s Money Matters Brochures*
Government and employee benefits programs may help ease the financial burden many families experience while their child is undergoing cancer treatment. Learn more about your eligibility for some of the programs most often accessed by families.
Download the Money Matters Brochures*
**Parents of Critically Ill Children (Employment Insurance Benefits)
Sickness Benefits (Employment Insurance benefit)
Compassionate Care (Employment Insurance benefit)
Short-term Disability (Employer benefit)
Long-term Disability (Employer benefit)
*Information was current at the time of last printing in 2012. Some programs and services listed have been changed. Please consult with your social worker, POGO Interlink Nurse, other member of your child’s health care team or the program itself for the most current information.
**As of December 3, 2017, the Benefits for Parents of Critically Ill Children has been replaced by the Family Caregiver Benefits. Learn more at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/family-caregiver-children.html