Helping to balance the balance sheet

MS can affect your ability to work, and MS treatment expenses can also affect your finances. But help is available – here are a few ways to boost your income and ease your expenses.

Working it out

If MS is making it harder for you to do your job, you don't necessarily have to quit – you can ask your employer for accommodation. This is a change to your working environment that allows you to continue to do your job, such as:

  • flexible hours
  • working at home
  • switching one job duty for another
  • moving your work station closer to the bathroom
  • making your workplace wheelchair-accessible
  • putting an air conditioner or fan in your work space

You can also explore job sharing, part-time work, or a career change to help you find a working arrangement that suits your skills and interests while accommodating your MS.

For your benefit

If, at some point, you need to leave work temporarily or permanently because of your MS, short-term and long-term disability benefits are available to help you cope financially. You may be eligible for disability benefits from:

  • your employer
  • your union
  • your spouse's employer
  • private disability insurance
  • the government: employment insurance (EI) sickness benefits for short-term (15 weeks) coverage, and long-term disability benefits (through the Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan) for long-term coverage

Contact your employer or insurer to find out the details of the plan, whether you are covered, when benefits start, and how much the benefits will pay. Your local MS society can provide you with more information on government plans.

Other sources of financial assistance

Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for other sources of assistance:

  • Tax relief: The government offers a number of tax relief options, including the disability tax credit, disability support deduction, medical expense tax credit, attendant care expense deduction, and GST/HST exemptions on medical devices and GST/HST rebates on specially equipped motor vehicles. To learn more, contact the Canada Revenue Agency or your local MS society.
  • Financial assistance with medication costs: Some people are covered by a personal or employer's plan, and others may be eligible for provincial government reimbursement for some of the costs; pharmaceutical companies may also offer some financial assistance for medication costs.
  • MS society and community-based programs: These programs can provide assistance in a variety of forms, such as helping with the costs of assistive devices or covering services not funded by the government.

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