FAQ on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
Below are some common questions that we came across regarding the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). For more details in how to apply for the ODSP, please refer to one of our earlier blog posts. http://samuelconsultant.com/ontario-disability-support-program-odsp/
If there are any questions that you would like to clarify about the ODSP, please leave us a message at http://samuelconsultant.com/contact/. We’ll do our best to assist you, if we do not know the answers, we will try to find out from the Ontario Social Services for you.
Will assets amount of the parent affect the eligibility of the disabled adult child (over age 18) in receiving the ODSP? Currently, the disabled adult child is living with the parent, the single mother is the key person providing care to the disabled son.
- Response from Ontario Social Services on June 21, 2016: “If a person is receiving ODSP their parents’ assets do not impact the recipient’s ODSP eligibility, even if the recipient is living with their parent.Only the assets of the recipient and any members of their benefit unit (for example their spouse or any children they have for which they are also receiving ODSP) are taken into consideration when determining ODSP eligibility. ”
If a ODSP recipient obtain a loan to start a business, will the loan affect his/her eligibility in receiving the ODSP benefits?
- Response from Ontario Social Services on Aug 23, 2016: “Income is considered when determining eligibility for ODSP and calculating the amount of monthly ODSP income support payments.Income includes income for the operation of, or interest in a business; however, business income does not include proceeds from a business loan.There are rules related to business loans (e.g., loan repayments as a business expense; business assets), which may affect a client’s monthly ODSP payments and eligibility for ODSP.More information on business income, assets and loans may be found at: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/directives/odsp/income_Support/5_4.pdf. You can also speak with your caseworker for more information.”
If a person is receiving money from ODSP for his rent, then he gets a mortgage to purchase a property and move in as primary residence. My questions are:
1) Will this affect his ODSP benefit?
2) Will the ODSP increase since the mortgage payment is higher than his previous rent?
3) If the property tax is billed into the mortgage payment, will the ODSP pay for the property tax?
- Response from Ontario Social Services on Oct 25, 2016: “Under ODSP, a mortgage for a principal residence is considered an exempt loan and will not impact an ODSP recipient’s income support. ODSP provides funds for basic needs and shelter up to certain maximum amounts. If a recipient’s shelter allowance increases, for example an increased mortgage amount, the shelter amount will also be increased up to the maximum amount. The current maximum shelter amount for a single person is $479, for a couple this amount is $753. Shelter could include costs for rent or mortgage payments, heat, utilities, water, sewage and insurance. If the recipient is not already at the maximum amount for their shelter allowance, property taxes may also be added to the cost of the mortgage if they are not already included in the mortgage payment.”
What assets are exempted from the ODSP calculation?
- Quote from the website of Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services on Oct 25, 2016 http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/income_support/assets.aspx: “Some assets are “exempt” – this means they do not affect your eligibility for Income Support. Here are some examples of exempt assets:
- the home you own and live in
- your primary vehicle (the one you use the most, if you have more than one)
- trust funds derived from an inheritance or life insurance policy, up to allowable limits
- the cash surrender value of life insurance policies, up to allowable limits
- pre-paid funerals
- Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
- Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP)
- necessary household and personal items, such as furniture and clothing.”
To qualify for $753 shelter allowance, do both couple has to be disabled? or just one of them is needed?
- Response from Ontario Social Services on Oct 27, 2016: “The ODSP shelter allowance is based on the actual shelter amounts up to a maximum. It is not tied to disability status. If there are two people in the ODSP benefit unit the maximum shelter allowance they are eligible to receive is $753.”
For people that want to start saving for a down payment of a property, is it true that they could save up to $100,000 within a segregated fund without affecting the ODSP?
- Response from Ontario Social Services on Oct 27, 2016: “Under the Insurance Act, segregated funds purchased through a life insurance company are considered to be life insurance. Therefore, ODSP rules related to life insurance also apply to segregated funds. This means if an ODSP recipient has a segregated fund purchased through a life insurance company it is exempt as an asset, up to $100,000 and will not impact a recipient’s ODSP income support.”
Can the segregated fund be partially invested into TFSA and non-registered account?
- Response from Ontario Social Services on Oct 27, 2016: “In most cases a TFSA is not exempt as an asset under ODSP. However, if the funds are invested in an asset to which ODSP asset exemptions do apply then those exemptions apply to that particular TFSA. For example, if the funds in the TFSA are invested in segregated funds, they may be treated as exempt according to the policy for segregated funds (as described above).”
The above details are for general understanding only, not intend to provide any specific financial or benefit advice. The details may be subjected to change without notice. Although we tried to post the details as accurate as we could, they are not guaranteed to be error-free, and may not be applicable to your specific situation. Please always consult a financial professional or your social case worker before making any decisions.