ODSP: Know Your Benefits, Rights and Responsibilities


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Recorded on September 26, 2013 - This webinar, presented by the ODSP Action Coalition, describes recent updates and changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). It is a follow-up to the Coalition's first webinar ODSP: Know Your Benefits. It is recommended that you watch ODSP: Know Your Benefits first.
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ODSP: Know Your Benefits, Rights and Responsibilities

  1. 1. 1 ODSP: Know Your Rights ODSP Action Coalition Updated rates and rule changes September 26, 2013
  2. 2. 2 Who We Are  ODSP Action Coalition has been around for more than 10 years  Advocate for changes to ODSP  Have a shared leadership model:  Made up of people on ODSP, and those who work in this field (at legal clinics, agencies and patient advocacy groups)  This workshop is part of our efforts to build knowledge and confidence in our members for personal and political advocacy
  3. 3. 3 Overview  ODSP Know Your Benefits Webinar February 2013 – covered all the main rules and benefits This is an update and chance to discuss questions  Rates change  Earnings exemption  Mandatory and Discretionary benefits  Questions—sent in advance  Other questions—from participants  For more information
  4. 4. 4 Rates—effective September 1, 2013 ODSP Basic Needs Max Shelter Max OCB Total Single $607 $479 $0 $1086 Couple-1 person disabled $893 $753 $0 $1646 Single Parent + 1 Child $750 $753 $101 $1604 Couple (1 disabled) + 1 Child $893 $816 $101 $1810
  5. 5. 5 Changes to rates  Families of ODSP recipients not given any increase  --just $11 for person with disability  All of increase on basic needs, not shelter  No more basic needs for children; ODSP/OW cheques for families reduced because of increase in Ontario Child Benefit  Support for teens now same as for young children  Families still get more for shelter than singles, so children are still “on social assistance” partially  More info: www.incomesecurity.org –fact sheets
  6. 6. 66 Earnings  The amount of income from a job or self- employment that you can keep changed in September, 2013  The 1st $200.00 of net earnings is “exempt”—it will not be subtracted from ODSP cheque  Net earnings: “take home” pay after deductions like taxes, EI, CPP, union dues  50% of remaining net earnings is deducted  $100 is added to ODSP cheque whenever anyone has net earnings (Work Related Benefit)
  7. 7. 7 Self Employment  Net Earnings for self-employed people means the gross earnings of the business minus approved expenses  Expenses are deemed to be at least $100 per month; no proof is required for expenses less than $100.00  Casual work or odd jobs, earning less than $100.00 per month, are usually considered self- employment.
  8. 8. 8 Benefits: Two main types  Mandatory  Available across Ontario  If ODSP says ‘no’ to your request, you can appeal all the way to the Social Benefits Tribunal  Funding for mandatory benefits is based on needs  Discretionary  Municipalities (OW) provides these but ODSP recipients apply through ODSP  Different benefits are available in different places  You can ask for a review if you are denied, but there is no higher level appeal  Funding is limited/capped
  9. 9. 9 Mandatory Benefits  Special Diet  Drug & Dental card  Vision, Hearing  Guide Dog  Assistive Devices—repairs and Co-payments  Mandatory Special Necessities:  Diabetic supplies  Surgical supplies and dressings  Medical transportation
  10. 10. 10 Discretionary Benefits  Health related—eg orthotics, back brace, air conditioner, artificial limbs  Funeralsburials  Employment related: retraining, work clothing, transportation, “Community Participation” in some places  Housing Stabilization Fund: formerly Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit
  11. 11. 11 Questions sent in  Vehicles: 2 OK if used for work, 2nd <$15,000  No person with a disability on ODSP forced to work in current ODSP law and program  2 quotes for wheelchair repairs: to save gov’t money; not necessary in emergency—eg stranded outside home  ODSP effective from month following your completed application-not before  RDSP not income or asset, does not affect ODSP, but still report it
  12. 12. 12 Questions from Participants
  13. 13. 13 Tips & Strategies  Know about the benefits available  Ask in writing and keep a copy (of everything!)  Ask your worker if specific form needed (and get the form)  Pay attention to time limits (for ex, for appeals)  Keep letters, benefit statements, and work stubs  Make records about conversations, contacts, etc  Where possible and needed, get doctors or other professionals to support your requests in writing  Ask for help from your local community legal clinic
  14. 14. 14 For more information  This presentation is very general and may not have answered your questions.  To find out more information about the work of the ODSP Action Coalition, please see our website: www.odspaction.ca or our facebook page: facebook.com/ODSPACTION  To find your local community legal clinic for free legal advice on ODSP, as well as more information about applying for and receiving ODSP, see http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/