OFCP eBulletin # 33
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New OFCP Vaccine Support Fund

Important announcement for OFCP lifetime members.

Opening March 15th, 2021

OFCP is working hard to anticipate and support our members in accessing services, PPE and other supports as we all navigate through the COVID 19 pandemic and the issues that face people with disabilities.

As you know, we developed funding opportunities like the LEAF Life Emergency Action Fund, assisting members to purchase food, supplements, PPE and cleaning supplies to help address scarce inventory and address higher costs for these items. We then established the Life Enriching Education Fund, assisting members in addressing barriers to accessing supports related to online or in person schooling. Both have been so well received and members have told us how instrumental these funds were in helping them and their families.

In that spirit of anticipating where future barriers may lie, we are opening a new funding opportunity to assist our members in accessing the vaccine, if they choose to do so. This fund is called the COVID Vaccine Support Fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide one time assistance to help members cover additional expenses related to costs associated with receiving the vaccine. These eligible expenses include but are but not limited to transportation costs, attendant services, parking, or other related costs.

Our members will be able to access up to $200.00 per application, beginning March 15th, 2021, until the funds are utilized. For more information and instructions on how to access the funds, see link below.

COVID 19 Vaccine Support Fund Application Form

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OFCP and Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health Workshop

OFCP, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, are proud to invite our members, their families, and their caregivers, to attend the following, free upcoming webinar.

Resiliency During Extraordinary Times - March 17th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. with Jeanette Schepp

Help build resiliency during extraordinary times, by understanding the mental health impacts of change throughout uncertain and ever-changing circumstances. This presentation has been designed to offer insights into the impact of change on your mental health. Learn about the characteristics of resiliency and how to incorporate strategies to improve and maintain your mental well being. This presentation is designed to share positive mental health strategies and promote mental well-being.

To register follow this link:

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COVID-19 OFCP Updates, Post # 2: Long Haulers

Hello everyone! Today our post will focus on a phenomena unique to COVID-19: long haulers. Some of you may have not heard of this terminology before, so we will take you through a brief description of what a “long-hauler” is.

Studies are showing that approximately 80% of people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms that resolve on their own within 2 weeks. There are people who have a severe response and typically take between 3-6 weeks to recover. However, new data is showing that approximately 10% of people who contract COVID-19 will experience long-term complications that may last months after recovering from the virus; these people have been called long-haulers. The exact classification that is used to determine if someone is a long-hauler is if they are experiencing symptoms 28 days after initial diagnosis.   
Currently, there is no determination as to why certain people experience these long-term complications. These long-haulers can be anyone: young or old, hospitalized or not, severe or mild symptomology. One indication of who may be at risk for a long-hauler recovery may be other underlying health symptoms, however, more and more people that are outside the high-risk category are being categorized with long-hauler symptoms.

Essentially, as of right now there has not been a definitive reason discovered for why some people develop long-haul complications, while others do not.  

The most common symptoms that long-haulers experience are: coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, and diarrhea. The most significant symptom that long-haulers experience is fatigue. Fatigue makes menial tasks such as washing the dishes or making your bed seem like a Herculean effort. Many long-haulers also report feeling “brain fog.” Brain fog can leave you feeling confused or disoriented and you may have difficulty concentrating or remembering things.   

It is difficult to determine whether or not long-haulers continue to be contagious while experiencing their symptoms. Generally, with COVID-19 we have been told that we are no longer contagious once our symptoms begin to improve. Similar to other active illnesses, this symptomology typically improves after a week, which lowers the viruses’ contagion. Due to the extended nature of long-haulers symptomology, it may be harder to determine the length of their contagion window. However, we do know that many long-haulers receive a negative COVID-19 test while still experiencing symptoms.  

As we know that COVID-19 initiates an inflammatory immune response, perhaps long-haulers get stuck with an inflammatory response even after their body has defeated the virus; a speculation that has been considered, but a cause or reason has yet to be determined. If you are experiencing long-haul symptoms and novel symptoms similar to those you experienced during initial diagnosis, please get in touch with TeleHealth (1-866-797-0000, toll free in Ontario) to determine if you require a COVID-19 screening. Due to the ambiguity of the long-hauler symptomology and contagion, it is very important that if you are a long-hauler, you adhere to all current safety protocols and guidelines.  

If you are experiencing long-hauler symptoms from COVID-19, it is recommended that you speak to your health care professional before receiving the vaccine. Current protocol urges that you should be 10 days symptom free before receiving the vaccine, however this may be considered on a case-by-case basis for long- haulers.  

Hopefully this sheds a little light on the complications of long-haulers and illuminates the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus. Until our next post, I leave you with my gentle reminder to stay safe, stay kind, and stay healthy.  

Until next time! 

Kylie Hamilton & OFCP

Free Partners for Planning Webcast: Passport Funding Overview

For obvious reasons, 2020/21 has been a year unlike any other. When it comes to Passport Funding, it has been a challenging year for all concerned; adults with a disability; their families and support networks; and for the Ministry and Passport staff as well. As the year comes to a close we thought it would be beneficial to provide an overview of Passport and review the temporary measures that have been put in place.

Join us for a free webcast on Thursday March 11, 7pm

What's in it for You:

• A general overview of Passport Funding
• Review of temporary measures in place for this year
• An introduction to My Direct Plan and the E-Claim processes
• Strategies to receive reimbursements as quickly as possible

To register click here.

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CANADA Government COVID-19 INFO:

Ontario cases status updated twice a day, at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET.


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