Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) - Know Your Benefits

"Benefit unit" = family
A person with a disability is defined under the ODSP Act as a person who has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and expected to last one year or more; the direct and cumulative effect of the impairment results in a substantial restrictions in one or more of the activities of daily living (i.e., the ability to attend to personal care, function in the community or function in a workplace); and the impairment, its likely duration and restrictions have been verified by a prescribed health care professional.
Wheeltrans escort
Medical transportation

ODSP Action Coalition provides an overview of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and covers applying for ODSP, ODSP rates, income, earnings, assets and changes, the different types of ODSP Benefits, appeals and tips, and strategies for navigating the system.

You must meet the definition of a person with a disability as set out in the act:
1. That the impairment is continuous or recurrent and expected to last more than one year.
2. That it results in substantial restriction in daily living.
3. The disability has been verified by a healthcare professional.
This benefits program is governed by the ODSP Act.

You do not qualify if you have more than the allowed amount of assets (here is the government list), e.g., savings, or property, greater than $5000. Exempt assets are RESP, trust funds, insurance policy, and pain and suffering awards. Check with the government list or your Case Worker.

If your benefits are denied, you may appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
Special benefits are available, for example a Special Diet Allowance (up to $250/month) for those with specific dietary needs. There is also a special dietary allowance for breastfeeding mothers (Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Nutritional Allowance). You need a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner's certificate for this.

Additional help for hearing aids and mobility devices
The Ontario Disability Support Program may help with: purchasing an alerting system (for example, a visual smoke alarm) repairing a hearing aid replacing a battery for a hearing aid or device. This benefit covers the cost of items if other funding is not available.
 Assistive devices Mobility devices - batteries and repairs
Assistive devices
The Ontario Disability Support Program can also provide help with the cost of batteries and repairs for mobility devices if no other funding is available.
Here are some examples of mobility devices:
  • manual or electric wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, lifting devices.
Also, take notes in meetings, at appointments.
Ask a friend to go with you.
You can ask for a volunteer from
Community Home Support to assist you.

There are: Boarder and lodger rates, a northern allowance, those residing in group homes or supportive living facilities have different scales, as well. Shelter rates apply if you're paying market value rent. Shelter benefits lower if there is a subsidy or in public housing.
Usually rates increase in the spring, with a new provincial budget.

 If you are overpaid, they will deduct this amount from the next cheque.
The webinar covers these topics

An excellent resource
This webinar from:

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