My winter newsletter is hitting mailboxes across Cole Harbour—Dartmouth. Click below for a PDF version of the print edition.
Important Program and Services Updates
Home Heating Help for Seniors
Older Nova Scotians can now apply for the Seniors Care Grant which provides up to $500 to help support eligible seniors to live well at home. People applying for the grant are also able to apply for a new, one-time grant of $250 to help with heating costs.
The Seniors Care Grant helps cover the costs of services such as snow removal, small repairs, transportation, and grocery and medication delivery. The list of eligible expenses has been expanded this year to include phone and internet costs, and health services like eye exams, dental work, mental health support, physical therapy, and foot care.
The new $250 home heating grant is available to eligible Nova Scotians 65 and older, including people who have already received money through the Seniors Care Grant or Heating Assistance Rebate Program in the past year. The grant is available for the cost of furnace oil, natural gas, propane, firewood, wood pellets and electricity.
Applications close on March 31, 2023. Click below to apply.
Virtual Care NS: Online Doctor Appointments Available Now
Cole Harbour-Dartmouth is a rapidly growing community, and while this is excellent news for our neighbourhoods, it is increasingly important that all residents have access to primary care. Though it has taken longer than we expected, I am happy to finally be able to report that those on the Need a Family Practice Registry can now access Virtual Care NS.
Virtual Care Nova Scotia provides free, online medical appointments. Previously, an invitation was required to use VirtualCareNS.
The program enables people on the registry to have online or telephone-based appointments with a family doctor or nurse practitioner until they can be served by practice in their community.
The service launched as a pilot in May 2021. Since then, thousands and thousands of virtual appointments have taken place. Nova Scotians have received care and advice for mental health concerns, prescription renewals, skin problems, infections, minor injuries, joint pain, and other issues.
Patients whose health concerns cannot be resolved virtually will be provided with options for in-person care.
Currently, there are only about 150 to 200 virtual appointments available each weekday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Monday evenings until 7 p.m. I will continue to advocate to expand the program so that residents here in Cole Harbour-Dartmouth, and all Nova Scotians, will see greater access to the services they require. Check out the link below for more info.
Heating Assistance Rebate Expansion
The Heating Assistance Rebate Program is expanding this winter to help more Nova Scotians with the cost of home heating. The eligibility requirements are changing to allow a greater number of applications and the maximum rebate amount has increased from $200 to $1000.
To qualify for the rebate, you need to pay for your own residential heat and meet one of the following criteria:
- have a net income of $29,000 or less and live alone with no kids or dependents
- have a combined net income of $85,000 or less and live with kids, dependents, or other adults
- receive Income Assistance from the Department of Community Services
- receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance from Service Canada
If your personal or financial situation has changed since last year, you still may qualify.
Applications for the expanded program open January 30, 2023. Anyone who has already qualified for a HARP rebate this year will automatically receive an additional payment in the new year. Click below for more information on how to apply.