If you have a low income or no income and have a serious health problem, you may qualify for help from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
- You may qualify for ODSP if you have a physical or mental disability that is expected to last for a year or more and makes it hard for you to look after yourself or be employed.
- There are two programs that make up ODSP support:
- Income Support - financial help with basic living costs and shelter.
- Employment Supports - financial help for finding or maintaining work.
- The size of your family, your shelter costs, other income and special needs will affect the amount of allowance you may be granted.
- You may be able to get ODSP health benefits for you and your family, like drug and dental coverage.
- If your ODSP is cut-off because your income is too high, you may still qualify for health benefits to cover medical costs, including drug and dental.
- If you are receiving ODSP, you may be able to get extra money, called Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefits, to help you if:
- You need to move to a new home.
- You are facing eviction.
- You are leaving a shelter, hospital or other institution.
- Your heat, hydro, or water is being cut-off.
Denials, overpayments and dealing with ODSP
- If you work while receiving ODSP, your assistance may be reduced.
- Inheritances, including life insurance payouts, will impact your ODSP benefits - it is important to get legal advice to find out about ODSP's rules.
- If you have or had a spouse, you are required to make reasonable efforts to get financial support from your current or previous spouse.
- If you have a child or children, you are required to make reasonable efforts to get financial support from your child or children's other parent even if he or she was never your spouse.
- If the ODSP office asks you for information, you have a right to know why they want it and be given reasonable time to get it.
- You have a right to written notice of a decision to refuse, reduce or cut-off your ODSP benefits, and this written notice must advise you of how to appeal the decision.
Internal Reviews and Appeals
- If ODSP benefits are refused, reduced, or cut-off, you may request an internal review. After requesting an internal review, you may appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
- Most community legal clinics funded by Legal Aid Ontario will provide you with free legal advice about ODSP.
- You should contact your local community legal clinic for advice as soon as you receive a decision letter.
- Decide if your legal problem relates to the Ontario Disability Support Program.
- Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
- Follow the Steps for instructions on how to apply for ODSP benefits, how to appeal a decision to deny your application for benefits or to reduce or cancel your benefits and how to prepare for a Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) hearing.
- Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about the ODSP.
- See the Links for news and other helpful websites.