Qualifying for the Ontario Disability Support Program
Disabled Ontario residents who can demonstrate financial need may qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program. This service is a form of Income Support and is intended to address financial needs related to basic necessities, such as housing and food.
Eligibility Requirements for the Ontario Disability Support Program
The Ontario Disability Support Program provides Income Support only to those who meet a certain set of qualifications. To be eligible for benefits, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Reside in Ontario
- Be able to demonstrate your financial need
- Live with a substantial mental or physical disability
A substantial disability is one that is expected to persist for one year or longer.
It also must make it difficult for you to:
- Work or earn an income
- Participate in family or community activities
- Participate in self-care activities, such as dressing, bathing, etc.
The Ontario Disability Support Program uses the Ontario Disability Support Program Act as a guideline when assessing whether an applicant meets the qualifications for disability.
Providing Evidence of Your Disability
The Disability Adjudication Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services will examine your application and supporting evidence to determine if you meet the program’s definition of disabled.
This unit will assess your Disability Determination Package when evaluating your claim. This package may include the following forms:
- Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index (this must be completed by an approved medical care professional, such as a primary care doctor)
- Self-Report (an optional form that provides additional details to the Disability Adjudication Unit)
- Consent to Release Medical Information
You do not have to complete this portion of the application process if you already meet certain qualifications. These include:
- You already receive federal disability benefits via the Canada Pension Plan
- You already receive disability benefits via the Quebec Pension Plan
- You are 65 years or older but do not qualify for Old Age Security
- You live in a qualifying institution, such as a mental health facility or a residential facility catering to those with certain developmental disabilities
All applicants must meet the financial eligibility guidelines in order to qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program.
The Assessment of Your Financial Qualifications
The Ontario Disability Support Program worker assigned to your case will require certain details about your and your family’s available finances and resources. You must provide this information during your initial application and at regular intervals once you begin receiving benefits. Be prepared to provide information such as:
- How many people are included in your immediate family, including dependent children
- Whether you are married or can account for any other adult dependents
- Your monthly living expenses (such as rent)
- Other sources of income
- All available assets (such as bank accounts and property)