Government of Quebec Funding for Students with Disabilities

On this page you will find information about:

For information about repayment, click here.

Loans and Bursaries Program [Full-Time*]

*See below for what counts as full-time for students with disabilities

The Loans and Bursaries Program enables Québec students with insufficient financial resources to pursue full-time secondary school level vocational training, college or university studies. This program is contributive in nature, meaning that students and, if applicable, their parents, spouse or sponsor are primarily responsible for the cost of their education.

You may qualify for the Loans and Bursaries Program if:

Deemed Full-Time Student

If you have a major functional disability that is recognized by Aide financière aux études, you are deemed a full-time student even if you are studying part-time, as long as you are enrolled in at least 20 course hours a month. This also applies to you if: you are unable to pursue full-time studies for more than one month due to a serious episodic disorder that results from permanent major mental or physical health problems as confirmed by a medical certificate; or you live with a child (yours or your spouse’s) with a major functional disability or serious mental disorder.

If you and your spouse are students, only one of you can be deemed to be a full-time student during the same award year.

Major Functional Disability

Under the Loans and Bursaries Program, a major functional disability is a permanent physical handicap. This leads to significant and persistent limitations on the affected person and has an impact on their ability to accomplish daily activities and pursue their education.

The following types of major functional disabilities are recognized by Aide financière aux études (AFE):

  • Severe hearing impairment
  • Severe visual impairment
  • Organic impairment
  • Motor impairment

A full description of these disabilities is included in the Medical Certificate–Major Functional Disabilities and Other Recognized Disabilities form.

Eligibility requirements

If you have a recognized major functional disability and are enrolled in at least 20 course hours a month, you could qualify for the Loans and Bursaries Program, subject to meeting other eligibility requirements of the program.

In your case, while the Program’s general terms and conditions still apply, you could benefit from special measures that are based on your needs.

Special measures

If you qualify, you could:

  • Receive financial assistance between two study periods covered by Aide financière aux études, even if you are not an active student during that time, on condition that you return to your studies in less than four months
  • Receive an allowance for expenses related to your special needs
  • Obtain self-supporting student status if you have been attending university for at least three years and have earned 45 credits in a single program
  • Receive the full amount of your financial assistance as a bursary
Compulsory procedure

If you have one of the recognized major functional disabilities, you must indicate that on your Application for Financial Assistance form. You must also have a general practitioner or medical specialist fill out and send us the Medical Certificate – Major Functional Disabilities and Other Recognized Disabilities form. To accelerate payment if you qualify, please submit a fully executed Application for Direct Deposit form and a void cheque along with your form.

Serious Mental or Physical Health Disorder

A serious episodic and permanent mental or physical health disorder can temporarily prevent individuals from pursuing full-time studies.

If you are a full-time student and suffer from this problem, which obliges you to temporarily become a part-time student for more than one month, you could still qualify for the Loans and Bursaries Program. Your financial assistance will be paid in the form of loans and bursaries.

Eligibility requirements

You could qualify if:

  • You suffer from a serious episodic and permanent disorder that is confirmed by a medical certificate from a general practitioner or a medical specialist.
  • You are unable to pursue full-time studies for more than one month in a given award year because of this disorder.
  • You attend a minimum of 20 course hours a month.

If this is your case, even though the general terms and conditions of the Program still apply, you could benefit from special measures, based on your needs.

Special measures

If you suffer from a serious episodic and permanent mental or physical health disorder, you could:

  • qualify for the Loans and Bursaries Program even if you are a part-time student
  • receive financial assistance between two study periods covered by Aide financière aux études, even if you are not an active student during that time, on condition that you return to your studies in less than four months
  • have only half the number of your months of study used in the calculation of your eligibility periods when enrolled as a part-time student
Compulsory procedure

In order to benefit from these measures, you need to provide a medical certificate. To do this, you first need to pick up the Medical Certificate Confirming a Serious Health Disorder form from your educational institution’s student aid office. Have your doctor fill it out and bring it back to the student aid office.

The medical certificate is valid for the current award year. You can apply again in future award years, but you will need to submit a new certificate that confirms your state of health each time.

Exclusions

The scope of these measures is limited to individuals experiencing a serious situation stemming from a major and permanent health problem. For example, a limb broken during sports or a difficult period of mourning cannot alone qualify an individual for these measures.

CLICK HERE for information about applying for financial assistance

Loans Program [Part-Time]

Under the Loans Program for Part-Time Studies, financial assistance is awarded on a per-term basis, as a loan.

Educational expenses and childcare expenses, if applicable, are considered in the assessment of the loan to be awarded.

Please note above for information about whether you are deemed a full-time or part-time student.

Information about applying to this program can be found here.

Allowance for Special Needs Program – Adults

Secondary school (vocational training or adult education), college and university education

If you have a recognized disability and wish to obtain specialized services or material resources required to pursue your studies, you absolutely must contact your educational institution to meet the person responsible for integrating disabled students before filing your application.

This individual will first verify whether the types of assistance you require are offered directly through your educational institution or whether you must apply to Aide financière aux études.

The Allowance for Special Needs Program is intended for you if you have a major functional disability or another recognized disability.

It provides financial assistance for the various types of support required to offset the effects of your disability and enable you to pursue your studies at an educational institution (specialized services, paratransit services and housing allowance) or at home (material resources), if applicable, provided those needs are not already covered by another program or organization.

The eligible types of assistance vary according to the studies pursued (the student must be registered as full time or part time) and can be seen here.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a special needs allowance, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a refugee or a protected person within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • You must be residing in Québec or be deemed to be residing in Québec at the time you file your Application for a Special Needs Allowance.
  • You must be admitted to a designated educational institution in order to pursue recognized secondary school (vocational training or adult education), college or university studies.
  • You must receive a minimum of six credits or 76 hours of instruction per period of study or a minimum of 20 hours of instruction per month. Students who are under any of these thresholds are eligible for reimbursement for specialized services and reproduction of course material into Braille only.
  • You must be suffering from a recognized major functional disability or another recognized disability.
  • You must not be receiving financial assistance from another organization for the same types of assistance.
Type of Disabilities

You must select one of the following two categories of recognized functional disabilities. Recognized functional disabilities are permanent and significantly and persistently limit a student’s ability to perform his or her academic activities:

Major functional disabilities:

  • severe visual impairment
  • severe hearing impairment
  • motor impairment
  • organic impairment

Other disabilities:

  • minimum hearing threshold of 25 decibels
  • paralysis of a single limb
  • paresis of one or more limbs
  • language or speech impairment

The person responsible for integrating disabled students at your educational institution will specify the documents and forms that you must obtain or subsequently have filled out by the qualified persons.

If your disability has not yet been recognized by Aide financière aux études, you must, among other things, have a physician fill out the Medical Certificate – Major Functional Disabilities and Other Functional Disabilities form. This form can be found on this page.

You can find the types of assistance offered here.

To go to the Aide financière aux études Home Page click HERE.