Last week, I shared a list of disability benefits programs available in Ontario. As I mentioned in that post, I’ll go through some of those programs in more details. One of the struggles that I notice for families with disabilities is their lack of immediate financial resources. In other words, they don’t have money now, and don’t know where to find them. So out of the list of the assistance programs, the Ontario Disability Support Programs (ODSP) could be a great help to them.
What Is Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)?
The purpose of the ODSP is to assist disabled persons with financial needs to pay for their living expenses such as housing and food. This program offers assistance in two ways, which is the “ODSP Income Support” and the “ODSP Employment Support”. Let’s start with the Income Support first.
ODSP Income Support
What Benefits Are Available?
The ODSP Income Support provides financial assistance to disabled Canadians to pay for living expenses such as housing and foods. There are other benefits that might be available to you and your family. For example, dental coverage, drug coverage, vision care,hearing aids,diabetic supplies, cost of transportation the medical appointments, wheelchair/mobility device repairs and batteries, help to support your guide dog, work-related expenses.
How Much Will I Get From The Income Support?
I checked with the Ontario Social Services, their response was that the amount of Income Support one will receive is depended on many factors such as family size, income, assets, and housing costs. I then looked further online, and found the following table from the CLEO. (Community Legal Education Ontario). This is a screen capture from http://www.slideshare.net/fionamaccool/odsp-know-your-benefits-sept2013-0
Who Is eligible?
To be qualified for the ODSP Income Support, you must at least 18 years old and living in Ontario. Furthermore, you must be a “person with a disability” as defined under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. Furthermore, they will review over how much income and asset you have to determine whether you are in financial needs. The good news is asset within the RDSP account are being exempted. You may refer to one of my previous post: “RDSP’s Impact On Other Government Benefits” for more details.
How Can I Apply For The ODSP Income Support?
You could apply online, by phone or in person.
- To apply online, please visit: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/apply_online.aspx
- To apply in person or by phone, you may search for your local office through this link below and contact them directly. http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/contacts/index.aspx
As discussed earlier, they will determine your eligibility based on your financial condition and disability status. There are two steps in the application process. They will first review over your financial situation, if you pass that round, then they will review over your disability status.
ODSP Employment Support
What Benefits Are Available?
Although disabilities may bring many different challenges, many disabled Canadians have the passion and the ability to contribute to the workforce. This employment support program is to assist you throughout the different stages of your career. To name a few of their supports, it includes:
- Assisting to prepare you for work
- Helping you to search for the right job
- Helping you to keep a job
- Job training and job coaching
- Career counselling
- Assistive devices such as software and mobility devices that help you to perform your duties
- Training on how to use the assistive device
- Interpreter or intervenor services
- Transportation assistance
- Special clothing for your employment
One thing I really like about this program is that beside locating a job for you, it may also assist you in starting your own business. The type of supports includes:
- Mentoring (If you do not have any experience in running your own business, from my own experience, I could tell you that finding a good mentor is an important step to your business)
- Develop and implement a business plan
- Provide training in budgeting and marketing
- Financial help towards the costs of business equipment, tools and supplies, licenses, certification
- Help in obtaining work-related disability supports. For example, assistive devices and technical equipment, interpreter, intervenor, reader and notetaker services
3 Steps To Apply For ODSP Employment Support
Step 1: Complete the “Employment Supports Application Package”.
The application could be found at: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/forms/ministryForms_odsp.aspx. Although I found it easier to just download it online, but if you do not have a printer, you may pickup the form at your local ODSP office and request them to mail you a copy.
Step 2: Proof of your disability
- Print out the “Verification of Disability/Impairment form”. (That’s in your application package).
- Sign the “Consent to Release Medical Information” page
- Get your doctor to fill out the form
Step 3: Simply mail your completed applications to your local ODSP office.
You could search your local office through this link. http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/contacts/index.aspx
Where Could I Find More Details About The Ontario Disability Support Program?
Here are the numbers you could call:
- Toll-Free: 1-888-256-6758
- TTY: 416-326-3372
I found most of the details about the ODSP through the “Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services” website. Once again, here’s the link. http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/index.aspx.
Another source that I used is connecting with Ontario Social Services through their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/OntarioSocialServices, whenever I asked a question, their response time is very quick.
- Details are mostly obtained from the following websites and may be subjected to change.
- Information is for general understanding only, do not intend to provide any advice and cannot be guaranteed they are completely error-free. Please always consult the ODSP benefits provider for more details.