Food for Thought Blog

Ontario Special Diet Allowance

September 23rd, 2021Awareness

The Ontario Special Diet Allowance is offered by the provincial government to provide additional funding to support individuals on Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program who require a special diet to treat certain medical conditions.

Who can receive funding?

Individuals receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program and have an eligible health or medical condition can apply for funding from the Ontario Special Diet Allowance.

How much funding can you receive?

Eligible individuals can receive up to $250/month. This amount depends on the type of medical condition and number of medical conditions the individual is applying to receive support for.

What health conditions are eligible?

According to the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, the following conditions are currently eligible.

  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic wounds or burns
  • Conditions causing unintentional weight loss/body wasting:
  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cirrhosis (stages 3 and 4)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Chronic Hepatitis C (BMI < 25) with interferon treatment
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Huntington Disease
  • Lupus
  • Malignancy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Ostomies [e.g. jejunostomy, ileostomy]
  • Pancreatic Insufficiency
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Congenital heart defect — Have had Ross procedure or arterial switch procedure or have coexisting coarctation of aorta
  • Diabetes
  • Dysphagia requiring thickening liquids
  • Extreme Obesity [BMI > 40]
  • Food Allergy – Milk/Dairy
  • Food Allergy – Wheat
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Inadequate lactation to sustain breast-feeding or breast-feeding is contraindicated
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Osteoporosis
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Renal Failure
  • Rett Syndrome (BMI < 18.5)

Who Determines Eligibility?

Eligibility is assessed by an approved regulated health care professional. Eligibility must also be reassessed every 6-12 months depending on the length of time support for a special diet is needed.

Approved Health Care Professionals
  • Physician
  • Registered Nurse (Extended Class)
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Midwife or Traditional Aboriginal Midwife
    • May only assess eligibility for insufficient lactation to sustain breast-feeding and/or breast-feeding is not recommended

For more information on how to apply visit your local Ontario Works office or online.