Summary of moving benefits out of ontario works and odsp


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Summary of moving benefits out of ontario works and odsp

  1. 1. Moving Benefits Out of Ontario Works and ODSPSummarized by Gordon RyallFebruary 1, 2012What does it mean? Extended medical benefits (drug, dental, and vision), which people on OW / ODSP receive Extending benefits – other than income – to low-income Ontarians beyond those on OW or ODSP Could mean creating a new benefit program for all low-income people, whether working or on social assistance (i.e. the Trillium Drug Program or the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) could be changed to deliver a drug and dental benefit for all people with low incomes)Advantages of moving benefits out 1. Governments step in where the labour market is failing - Job quality is getting worse (i.e. no benefits), fear of losing drug / dental / vision benefits can prevent people from looking for work and When jobs don’t provide benefits, government should step in 2. You don’t have to be on social assistance to get them - Eligibility would depend on level of income, not where that income comes from, the level of income would be low, but the asset requirements of OW and ODSP would not apply and more low-income people would get these benefits 3. It supports people who don’t apply for social assistance because of the stigma 4. It is a smart strategy for reducing poverty and reducing health care costsProblems with moving benefits outThe current political / economic context-The main risk comes from whether or not government is willing toinvest in what would be a costly system of supports. If they did go ahead now, quality could be sacrificed forquantity: 1. The amount and level of services would get worse if more people were eligible but there wasn’t any more government money 2. People on social assistance would get a poorer quality benefit than they currently get 3. Other low-income people wouldn’t get the amount and level of services they are entitled to Observations 1. How will this affect assistive devices? 2. Persons on CPP are complicated with fair access to benefits 3. Some do not have enough disposable income to pay up front for some services that must be paid up front first 4. Need to consider level of adequacy to ensure health care 5. Is this a shift to insurance based scheme? 6. Interfacing Trillium benefits and general benefits? 7. How will exceptional access program work with this? 8. The feds are looking at bringing up the retirement age to 67 so there is a huge impact on benefit costs. 9. Should Trillium benefits cover OW/ODSP clients?ConclusionGovernment need to focus on how much is it costing for them to NOT do it. It needs to focus on the costs ofNOT addressing poverty, not proving people with income.Details on Moving Benefits Out of OW and ODSP is available at