Every province in Canada has its support system, designed to aid living comfortably for residents. Each provisional government oversees these social responsibilities to perfect execution among beneficiaries. This support cuts across different issues such as disability, unemployment, domestic abuse, etc.
The Ontario disability support program is one such initiative designed by the provincial government of Ontario to aid people with disability that limits their ability to work.
What is ODSP?
The Ontario disability support program (ODSP) is a social assistance initiative that provides income and employment support for the residence of Ontario living with any form of disability.
ODSP can be likened to AISHA program from the Alberta Government or SAID from Saskatchewan. Most special needs people are beneficiaries of the ODSP. The average amount accessible in this program is CA$896.00 monthly. The allotted asset limits for a beneficiary per unit are as follows:
- A single beneficiary – CA$40,000
- Per dependent other than a spouse – Ca$500
- A couple – Ca$50,000
The ODSP emergency benefit applies to people in an emergency or crisis. It helps pay for things like food and housing. The amount each beneficiary gets depends on the specific circumstance. A single can get up to CA$733 monthly and above, depending on if they have children.
ODSP has tons of benefits; these benefits can be categorized into two –income support and employment support.
ODSP Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for ODSP, you will be accessed with the following criteria:
For people applying via income support, they must be at least 18 years old to qualify. While for employment support, the minimum age is 16 years.
ODSP is strictly for a resident of Ontario; hence you must be a resident to be eligible for both Income and Employment support. Also, you must have a work permit in Canada to be eligible for employment support.
Since the ODSP is for people living with one disability or the other, all applicants must have a disability or medical condition that restricts their ability to earn a living and care for themselves.
Your finances will be evaluated if you are applying for income support. You must have a financial need and provide all relevant documents to prove it alongside a signed consent for the information to be verified.
Generally, there is a financial need if your household income and assets are lower than the household’s basic living expenses.
You will be required to provide details on all your household income and assets such as Child Tax Benefit, Ontario Child Benefit. Note that child support and payments from a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) are exempt income and will not influence the amount you will receive.
Getting more Money from ODSP
Beneficiaries who work while on ODSP have better chances financially than people who don’t as they have family work income, income support, and the CA$100 Work-Related Benefit.
With all these, you and your family will have more funds while working than from the ODSP income support alone. Below is how you earn more:
- Every family member can earn about CA$2,000 monthly without changing their ODSP income support for people working.
- There is room to keep your income support if you are a working parent who pays for child care or if you need any disability-related items like specialized equipment to carry out your job.
- If you are still a student attending a full-time secondary or post-secondary school, your earning will not change your income support, although you won’t get the Work-Related Benefit.
- Every dollar over CA$200 only lessens the ODSP income support by 50 cents.
Whatever your situation is, having a job will get you more money from ODSP; you and your family will have more funds while working than from ODSP income alone.
ODSP Employment Support
The ODSP can help you find a job if:
- You are 16 years of age or above
- Have a work permit in Canada
- You are a resident of Ontario with a physical or mental disability
You can contact a caseworker at your local ODSP office to get started. You do not have to be receiving ODSP income support to get employment aid. The caseworker will help you select a service provider in your community that will work with you in searching for a job that matches your skill.
You can get different kinds of employment support from the ODSP ranging from:
- Job coaching
- Specialized computer training
- Tools and equipment
- Assistive devices and training to use them
- Transportation assistance
- Special clothing
- On-the-job training
- Interpreter/intervenor services
- Adaptive software and mobility devices
- Other items you may need for work.
Once you get a job, the service provider will collaborate with your employer to help you with:
- Resolve any issue that may arise while working
The fastest way to get more money from the ODSP is to get a job. However, if you are still job-hunting, you can contact a caseworker who will put you through how to go about securing employment.