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Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE)

Together with a group of seniors, the South East LHIN created SMILE in 2008 as part of the government’s Aging at Home Strategy.  VON Canada- Ontario was chosen as the regional management centre to administer the SMILE Program.  

The SMILE Program makes it possible for frail seniors, who are at risk of loss of independence, to remain in their own homes. The program provides access to services for these seniors and their caregivers.

Dignity is a matter of choice, and the SMILE program offers seniors options in managing their own care. Seniors can choose what services they need, when they need them and who will provide those services.

Since the goal is to reduce barriers to accessing services in a self managed model of care, providers of service selected by SMILE clients may include:

  • A traditional community support services provider – local CSS Agency
  • A recognized business providing services related to community support services (cleaning or laundry services)
  • Non-traditional providers, individuals or other groups

Members of the client’s household or family may not provide service funded by SMILE.

With the right supports in place, maintaining independence is possible and staying at home is made easy. Now, that is something to SMILE about.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible the senior must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 75 years of age or older
  • Require assistance with multiple household tasks and activities due to either a functional or cognitive impairment.
  • Have unmet needs or risk of caregiver burnout.
  • Be at risk of admission to a Long Term Care Home

Financial Assessment

Annual income (or combined spousal income) will be assessed to be determined eligible for funded services. If the income is above the threshold of $34,999, SMILE will offer assistance with service navigation; however, financial assistance will not be available to purchase services.

How Does SMILE Assist the Senior?

SMILE assists the seniors by providing:

  • Access to a core basket of services no matter where they live in the region
  • A choice of who will provide the needed services
  • Flexibility as to when services will be provided and how
  • Annual budgets that contribute to the cost of care plans
  • Service Navigation

Services funded by the SMILE program include the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Meals
  • Respite
  • Seasonal Outdoor Chores (snow shoveling and grass cutting)
  • Shopping
  • Transportation
  • Footcare

Common Basket of Services

The South East LHIN has introduced changes to fee rates, effective April 1st 2019, for a number of community support services. These new fees provide the maximum rate that can be funded by the VON SMILE Program.

Clients will still have the choice of service provider, but will have to pay the difference in rates if the rate is higher than the Common Basket of Services rate. SMILE will send the client a bill for the differences in rates if it is above the allowable maximum. Clients will not pay the service provider directly for any VON SMILE program funded services.

SMILE Program Service Provider Information

  • Service providers are not employed by the VON SMILE program
  • As a self-employed individual or business owner, service providers are responsible for maintaining their own employee records; including income tax records. VON does not issue a T4 for service providers as they are not employed by VON
  • The service provider will receive a confirmation letter outlining the funded services that they have agreed to provide for the SMILE client. The SMILE program will not be responsible for any unapproved services or charges billed over the confirmed amount. Any statutory holiday worked will be paid at regular rates
  • Scheduling of services is between the service provider and the SMILE client. The SMILE program will not pay for any missed or cancelled visits. Funding of SMILE services will be put on hold during client’s absences from home, any services provided during the absence will not be funded by the SMILE program
  • The SMILE Program must obtain a criminal record check, including vulnerable sector screening, from all non-traditional service providers.

Service Provider Billing

Service Provider Invoices

The service provider must invoice SMILE to receive payment for services provided. All funding released from the SMILE program are sent by direct deposit. Please contact the SMILE program at 1-888-866-6647 for direct deposit forms and information. There will not be a notification slip sent out following the direct deposit.

  • Invoices must be submitted to the SMILE office at the end of each month for all services provided in that month
  • Please send one invoice per client, per month. For example, if you provide service for a husband and wife, please send a separate invoice for each client.
  • You may use your own invoice, or a SMILE program invoice. (The SMILE program invoice is available for download)
  • All invoices must include the following:
    • Service Provider Name
    • Service Provider Address
    • Client Name & Address
    • Type of Service (as specified in the confirmation letter)
    • Date of Service
    • Number of hours worked
    • Fee per hour/visit
    • Total Amount

Note: Incomplete or incorrect invoices will be returned by mail for re-submission.

  • The client must date and sign each invoice. Do not sign or date on behalf of the client
  • Please fax or mail invoices (not both)

SMILE Service Provider Invoice

SMILE Program Service Provider Package

SMILE Direct Deposit Form

SMILE Program Fact Sheet

Service Provider COVID Information

Click here to see the SMILE - Better Health in the SE LHIN Video

Contact Us

Please contact the VON SMILE Program at:

VON SMILE Regional Management Centre
80 Division Street, Suite 14
Trenton, ON K8V 5S5
Tel: 1-888-866-6647
Fax: 1-866-965-4389

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