How to Submit Support Worker Expenses With the Wage Enhancement (Passport)

This article is for:

  • Passport users who want to understand the wage enhancement, want to understand how to submit a Support Worker Invoice with the wage enhancement, who want to understand how to manage previously submitted support worker invoices, and who want to learn how this will be reflected in their budget. 

 

In this article, we're going to cover the temporary wage enhancement provided by the Ontario government for direct support workers. This increase in support worker wages means that you support worker expenses will need to be submitted a little bit different on MyDirectPlan than how you might normally submit them. Follow the steps in this article to make sure that you are being reimbursed for the correct amount.

 

We're going to cover:

How to Understand this Enhancement

How to submit New Support Worker Expenses with This Wage Increase 

How to Manage Previously Created Worker Expenses

How Will This Wage Increase Reflect in My Budget

 

Understanding this Enhancement 

The government has announced that it will be temporarily increasing direct support worker wages by $3 per hour in response to the pandemic. Support workers are entitled to this wage increase for any hours worked since October 1, 2020. For more information on this wage increase and the eligibility period please visit:

https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/developmental/servicesupport/temp-wage-increase.aspx

When it comes to how Recipients need to handle this wage enhancement, the most important thing for you to know is that it will not come out of your Passport funding.

This wage enhancement is being paid for by the ministry. Read on to learn about what you can do to ensure you are submitting support worker expenses correctly on MyDirectPlan while this wage increase (or top up) is in effect. 

⭐ On August 23, 2021, the temporary wage increase was extended until October 31, 2021. All eligible invoices need to be submitted no later than November 30, 2021. 

How Do I submit New Support Worker Expenses with This Wage Increase? 

Excellent question! To be reimbursed for the full $3/hour increase, you will need to submit your Support Worker expenses as hourly expenses. If you submit these expenses as a flat rate, you may only be eligible for $3 total instead of $3 per hour worked. First we need to understand the difference between flat rate worker expenses and hourly rate expenses and how to submit hourly worker expenses. If you feel like you're already familiar with submitting hourly worker expenses, feel free to skip to the section on how to submit expenses for the wage increase. 

How to Submit Hourly Support Worker Expenses  

When entering a Support Worker expense on MyDirectPlan, you will be asked to submit it as either a flat rate (the total amount that you have paid the worker), or the hourly rate (that total amount divided by the number of hours worked). To make sure you are submitting hourly, select the 'Hourly rate' option on the left-hand side, as shown below. 

When submitting hourly rate expenses, you are asked to provide the 'Number of Hours (in Hours:Minutes format) and the 'Rate' by which you've paid the worker for each hour worked. MyDirectPlan will then calculate the total cost of this expense under 'Total cost'. 

In this example, for 20 hours of work, the worker was paid $1,000:

Screen Shot 2021-01-28 at 2.30.16 PM

 

When entering hourly support worker expenses on MyDirectPlan, recipients who have negotiated a flat rate for support worker will need to break down their flat rate into an hourly rate.

Here is a formula to help you figure it out:

Flat Rate / Number of Hours Worked = Hourly Wage

For example, let's say you had planned to submit a support worker expense that came to $100 in total and your support worker worked 5 total hours to earn that $100. 

$100 / 5 = $20. The hourly wage for this support worker is $20. 

How to Add the Wage Increase to My Hourly Support Worker Expenses

There are two approaches to adding your wage increase to your support worker expenses. Please note: submitting via approach #1 is the most efficient way possible and is preferred, as approach #2 can lead to expenses being flagged as duplicate, which may result in delays. 

 

Approach #1 (recommended):

1. Submit hourly support worker expenses including the top up as a single expense entry.

2. When creating the single expense entry, add $3.00 to the usual hourly rate. For example, if your worker usually is paid $22 an hour, with the top up they are paid $25 an hour.

Before the top up:

Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 12.22.21 PM

After the top up:

Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 12.22.28 PM

3. Once you have created your hourly rate expense, including a rate increase of $3.00, you may submit this expense for review by your support worker. Please make sure they are aware of the top up  so they do not accidentally reject the expense. 

4. Submit through normal processes as you would any other Support Worker expense once it is approved by your worker. 

 

Approach #2

  1.  Submit hourly support worker expenses as you normally would. Submit the hourly expense without the top up. 
  2. Submit a second separate expense that is just the wage increase, broken down at an hourly rate. The way you would enter this into MyDirectPlan would be by entering the number of hours worked by the support worker under 'Number of hours', and inputting $3 under the 'Rate'.

    For example, if your support worker worked 5 hours, you would create a second hourly rate expense for $15 ($3 top up x 5 hours of work = $15).

  3. We recommend that under the "description of services" you be as specific as you can be, and reference that the expense was created due to the wage enhancement.

    That would look like this:Screen Shot 2021-01-28 at 10.45.23 PM

    *These 'top up expenses' can be submitted per support worker expense or for a combination of expenses submitted for that one support worker. Separate top up expenses need to be created as it is not possible to submit one expense on MyDirectPlan for multiple service providers. 

 

How do I Manage Previously Created Support Worker Expenses? 

The answer to this question depends on whether or not you have already submitted these expenses.

    I've Already Submitted My Support worker Invoice 

    🌟 HELPFUL TIP: You can find the status of your submitted invoices in the "Invoices" tab on the left hand side of your MyDirectPlan browser, or bottom of your phone. 

    If your Invoice Status is either of the following:

    Approved_MDP

    UnderReview_MDP

     

    If you have submitted your invoice as a flat rate expense either with or without the top up, we recommend that you contact your Passport Agency for further assistance. 

    If you have submitted your invoice as an hourly expense with the top up, please allow processing to proceed as normal. 

    If you have submitted your invoice as an hourly expense without the top up, please contact your Passport Agency for further assistance. 

    If your invoice is under 'Action Required,' please follow the instructions given on the invoice. 

    If your invoice is 'Rejected', please contact your Passport Agency. 

     

    I've Created A Support Worker Expense But Not Yet Submitted It

     

    🌟 HELPFUL TIP: You can find the status of your expenses in the "Manage Expenses" tab on the left hand side of your MyDirectPlan browser, or bottom of your MDP mobile app in the "expenses" tab.

    If your Expense Status is either of the following: Saved or Pending 

      If you have created a flat rate expense that is in 'Pending' status, we recommend that you tell your support worker to reject this expense and then recreate it as an hourly expense. Then create a top up expense.

      If you have created a flat rate expense that is in 'Saved' status, we recommend that you delete this expense  and recreate it as an hourly expense. Then create a top up expense. 

      If you have created an hourly expense that is in either Pending or Saved status, This expense can be submitted like normal and you can create a top up expense using approach #2, however it is recommended you re-create the expense following approach #1. 

      How Will This Wage Increase Be Reflected In My Budget

      After making these submissions, MyDirectPlan will not display your correct 'remaining funds' automatically (it will display as if you are paying for the top up out of your budget). Don't worry! This is temporary and will be adjusted by MyDirectPlan once your invoices have been approved. These top ups will not end up coming out of your budget and you just need to wait for our team to update your dashboard to reflect this. This may take a few business days after your submission has been approved. 

       

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