The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides eligible people with disabilities with income support (financial help) to pay for living expenses, such as food, clothing and necessary personal items, as well as shelter and housing expenses, such as rent, heat and other utilities, property taxes, home insurance and condo fees.
If you receive ODSP, then you and your family may be eligible to receive other benefits and supports, including health benefits, disability-related benefits, employment incentives, house-related benefits, and Transition Child Benefit.
When applying for ODSP, the government will look at your financial situation and disability status. The government may want to look at your immigration status in Canada, OHIP coverage, as well as information about housing costs, assets, income, and job training. The government will also take into account how many people there are in your family, the age of any children you might have, your marital status, where you live and whether you are entitled to other sources of income.
If you demonstrate financial need, then the government will assess whether you are a “person with a disability” as defined in the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. To make this assessment, the government will ask you to submit a Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living form, a Consent to Release Medical Information form, and a Self-Report form. The government usually sends instructions on how to complete these forms. The Health Status Report and Daily Living form must be completed by a health professional.
The person applying will not have to submit these forms if he or she receives disability benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), is 65 or older but does not qualify Old Age Security (OAS), or lives in a certain type of institution, such as a mental health facility or a home for people with developmental disabilities.
The Disability Adjudication Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services will assess the submitted forms. If you meet the definition of person with disability and you still qualify financially, then you will receive income support. If the Unit thinks your impairment may improve, then they will invite you to a Medical Review. If the Unit decides that you do not meet the definition of person with disability, then you will not receive income support and you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. If you do not agree with the decision from the Internal Review, you can appeal the decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
At PooranLaw, we provide advice and representation to clients who disagree with a decision that affects the amount of or their eligibility for social assistance.