What is the Ontario Disability Support Program?
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is a social assistance program that provides financially needy, significantly disabled Ontario residents with Income Support and Employment Supports.
You will have to meet certain financial requirements in order to qualify for ODSP benefits. You can find out more information about the eligibility requirements by visiting the ODSP section of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) website or by visiting the nearest social assistance office in your region.
Income Support Benefits
The goal behind ODSP is to help disabled individuals with their basic living expenses such as housing and food. Qualified, disabled Ontario residents will have access to a host of Income Support benefits through the ODSP:
- Basic needs allowance – the basic need portion of your ODSP payments, which are calculated according to family size and age of family members, are meant to cover expenses such as food, clothing and other necessary personal items.
- Shelter allowance – this portion of your payments is meant to cover your rent or mortgage, utilities, property taxes, and insurance.
- Health benefits – you also might be eligible for health benefits, including dental coverage, prescriptions, vision care, medical supplies and medical transportation.
- Disability-related benefits – qualified applicants can receive help for paying for assistance devices, such as hearing or visual aids, as well as obtaining a guide dog.
- Transition child benefits – those who receive ODSP and have dependent children might be able to qualify for an additional Transition Child Benefit payment.
ODSP Employment Supports
Various types of Employment Supports are also available through the ODSP:
- Employment and Training Start Up Benefit – The ODSP can help you pay for certain expenses if you are trying to start a new job or a new business.
- Child care assistance – You can receive help paying for child care costs when you begin or change jobs.
- Work-Related Benefit – This helps cover additional costs associated with employment, such as transportation or clothing expenses.
- Health benefits – If you begin work and no longer qualify for ODSP health benefits, there are additional Extended Health Benefits that you may be able to receive.
- Additional Employment Supports – When you begin the program, you will work with a community service provider to determine what your benefit needs are. You may be able to obtain supports such as: making a business plan, marketing, mentoring, financial help for equipment and supplies, job coaching, and specialized training.
The above is only a partial listing of the benefits available under the ODSP. It’s an invaluable service for disabled individuals in Ontario, and can help a family survive when the family breadwinner has suffered a disabling illness or injury.
Applying for ODSP Benefits
You can apply for benefits by first speaking with Ontario Works. If you qualify for ODSP benefits, they will assist you in applying for the ODSP.
You then will go through a two-part application process. First, they will determine your financial eligibility, and then they will look at your disability status. It can take up to several months to determine your eligibility. You may wish to look into other available financial resources while awaiting approval.
Learning about Income Resources for Disabled Workers in Ontario
To learn about what types of financial assistance might be available for injured Ontario residents, call our disability legal professionals at Preszler Injury Lawyers. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you secure the benefits to which you’re entitled: 1-800-JUSTICE®.