Changes to how patients who receive social assistance will access coverage for eye exams

Effective December 1, 2016, most patients receiving social assistance (ODSP or OW) will no longer be issued a paper drug card as proof of social assistance eligibility. Instead, optometrists can accept other forms of proof of eligibility – such as the patient’s monthly Statement of Assistance (SOA) – to confirm eligibility for coverage for periodic oculo-visual assessments (POVAs).

Patients who are not eligible for an Ontario health card number will continue to receive paper drug eligibility cards until they obtain a health card.

If a patient does not provide proof of eligibility, optometrists can call the Social Assistance Verification Helpline toll-free at 1-888-284-3928 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).

To learn more about how to process claims for patients receiving social assistance, please review the following (all documents PDF):

Info Sheet
User Guide
Workflow Chart
Quick Reference Chart