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Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE)

Together with a group of seniors, the South East LHIN created SMILE in 2008 as part of the government’s Aging at Home Strategy.  VON Canada- Ontario was chosen as the regional management centre to administer the SMILE Program.  

The SMILE Program makes it possible for frail seniors, who are at risk of loss of independence, to remain in their own homes. The program provides access to services for these seniors and their caregivers.

Dignity is a matter of choice, and the SMILE program offers seniors options in managing their own care. Seniors can choose what services they need, when they need them and who will provide those services.

Since the goal is to reduce barriers to accessing services in a self managed model of care, providers of service selected by SMILE clients may include:

  • A traditional community support services provider
  • A recognized business providing services related to community support services (cleaning or laundry services)
  • Non-traditional providers, individuals or other groups

Members of the client’s household or family may not provide service funded by SMILE.

With the right supports in place, maintaining independence is possible and staying at home is made easy. Now, that is something to SMILE about.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible the senior must meet the following criteria:

  • Require assistance with multiple household tasks and activities due to either a functional or cognitive impairment
  • Be over 75 years of age and living with a disease of aging
  • Live alone or with a caregiver unable to assist
  • Be at risk of admission to hospital or a long term care home

How Does SMILE Assist the Senior?

SMILE assists the seniors by providing:

  • Access to a core basket of services no matter where they live in the region
  • The option to have the help of a client coordinator
  • A choice of who will provide the needed services
  • Flexibility as to when services will be provided and how
  • Annual budgets that contribute to the cost of care plans

Services funded by the SMILE program include the following:

  • Meals
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Respite
  • Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Running Errands
  • Transportation to and from health care appointments
  • Seasonal outdoor chores (snow shoveling and grass cutting)

How Will Clients Receive Funding?

Once approved for the SMILE program, clients have the option to:

  • Pay for the services themselves and submit receipts to the SMILE program for repayment or
  • The service provider can bill SMILE directly

SMILE program services are funded by the South East LHIN.  There is no set fee for any service authorized by the SMILE program. 

SMILE Program Service Provider Information

  • Service providers are not employed by the VON SMILE program
  • As a self-employed individual or business owner, service providers are responsible for maintaining their own employee records; including income tax records. VON does not issue a T4 for service providers as they are not employed by VON
  • The service provider will receive a confirmation letter outlining the funded services that they have agreed to provide for the SMILE client.  The SMILE program will not be responsible for any unapproved services or charges billed over the confirmed amount.  Any statutory holiday worked will be paid at regular rates
  • Scheduling of services is between the service provider and the SMILE client.  The SMILE program will not pay for any missed or cancelled visits. Funding of SMILE services will be put on hold during client’s absences from home, any services provided during the absence will not be funded by the SMILE program

Service Provider Billing

Service Provider Invoices

If the SMILE client has chosen service provider billing, the service provider must invoice SMILE to receive payment for services provided. All payments from the SMILE program are paid by direct deposit.  Please contact the SMILE program at 1-888-866-6647 for direct deposit forms and information.  There will not be a notification slip sent out following payment.

  • Invoices must be submitted to the SMILE office at the end of each month for all services provided in that month
  • The services provided to clients of the SMILE program are fully funded by the South East LHIN 
  • Please send one invoice per client, per month. For example, if you provide service for a husband and wife, please send a separate invoice for each client
  • You may use your own invoice, or a SMILE program invoice. (The SMILE program invoice is available for download)
  • All invoices must include the following:
    • Service Provider Name
    • Service Provider Address
    • Client Name & Address
    • Type of Service (as specified in the confirmation letter)
    • Date of Service
    • Number of hours worked
    • Fee per hour/visit
    • Total Amount

Note: Incomplete or incorrect invoices will be returned by mail for re-submission.

  • The client must date and sign each invoice. Do not sign or date on behalf of the client
  • Please fax or mail invoices (not both)

SMILE Service Provider Invoice

SMILE Program Service Provider Package

SMILE Direct Deposit Form

Click here to see the SMILE - Better Health in the SE LHIN Video

Contact Us

Please contact the VON SMILE Program at:

VON SMILE Regional Management Centre
80 Division Street, Suite 14
Trenton, ON K8V 5S5
Tel: 1-888-866-6647
Fax: 1-866-965-4389


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