SMILE Scholarships

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Let's SMILE for Scholarships

Winter 2021 Scholarships are now CLOSED. Families will be notified by mid-February if they have received Financial Assistance. If you have any questions or need information about this program, please email

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Am I eligible for a SMILE Scholarship?

As long as the individual is living in Canada, they are eligible to apply for the scholarship regardless of citizenship status. This includes but is not limited to being a citizen, a permanent resident, an immigrant, a work/study permit, a family sponsorship, an electronic travel authorization (eTA), a visitor visa, refugees, and verification of status (VOS) or request. We also welcome applications from new immigrants and refugees seeking asylum.


Do I have to disclose financial information?

Yes, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the individual must disclose financial information for 2020.


What types of financial information do I have to disclose?

The types of financial information that must be disclosed include:

a) Total Family Income

b) Expenses (housing, groceries, bills, therapy, etc)

c) Any other type of funding received (SSAH, ACSD, OAP)


Do I have to be registered with SMILE to be eligible for the scholarship?

Yes, the individual must be registered with SMILE. This requires the individual to have a needs assessment on file with SMILE. 

a) To schedule an assessment please email and one of our caseworkers will be in touch with you within 5 to 7 business days. 


What items are covered under the scholarship?

The following items are eligible to be covered by the Winter 2021 Scholarship:

a) Therapeutic Activities

i) This includes speech and language therapy, behavioural therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, ABA therapy, etc.

ii) Aquatic therapy, music therapy

iii) Counseling and or mental health services

b) Respite Services 

c) Parent Coaching 

d) Assistive technology and adaptive equipment

i) Wheelchairs, walkers, bath seats, beds, etc. 

ii) Hearing aids 

ii) iPad with special software

e) Sensory Tools 

i) This includes but is not limited to a weighted blanket, mini trampoline, theraputty, etc.


Do I have to exhaust my Summer 2020 Funds before I can be eligible for the Winter Scholarship?

You must exhaust all Summer 2020 scholarship funds in order to apply for the Winter 2021 Scholarship. If you have not used the funds for Summer 2020, you will not be eligible to apply. However, if you have any extenuating circumstances you would like to discuss, please email


What is the application process for scholarships?

How it works: 

  1. Each application is reviewed by our team of allied health professionals. The team considers the service/equipment requested by the applicant along with their financial situation. Each team member then votes on the scholarship amount that they think that the family is eligible for. The average scholarship amount between the votes is then awarded to the applicant. Any identifiers are removed before the information is presented to our team to promote decision making based solely on need.

  2. A SMILE representative will inform you via email if your scholarship application has been approved or not. 

i) Upon approval, you will be notified of the amount which has been approved. 

  3. Once you have decided upon a provider, SMILE will draw up a contract and will        pay upon services rendered. 

i) In the case of adaptive equipment, SMILE can reimburse you for the amount put towards the piece of equipment.

ii) In the case of therapeutic activities, families are not required to make any payments to the service provider within the amount they are granted by SMILE. SMILE will pay those providers directly for the amount up to maximum granted to the individual

Please note: ​

i)    An application is required to be considered for a scholarship;

ii)   Eligibility is reviewed for each application sent;

iii)  There is no guarantee that the scholarship will be approved.

iv)  The amount ranges from $250 - $3000.



What information, if any, will be shared with Penny Appeal Canada?

Due to the generosity of the grant, SMILE will be providing Penny Appeal with non-identifying information. Your personal information such as name, phone number, address, email address will not be disclosed. 


How long do I have to keep my financial records for?

SMILE is required to keep all financial records for up to 7 years in case of an audit by the Government of Canada for Grants.


I still need help, who do I contact?

For any other questions or concerns please direct them to