Financial assistance and other benefits for people with disabilities – The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
The Ontario Disability Support Program is designed to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities who are in financial need, or who want and are able to work and need support. Ontarians 65 years or older who are not eligible for Old Age Security may also qualify for ODSP supports if they are in financial need.
The program has two components: Income Support and Employment Supports.
Income Support provides financial assistance and other benefits to eligible people with disabilities and their families. This includes accommodation and basic living expenses, as well as prescription drugs and basic dental care. Other supports and benefits that may be available include:
- eyes glasses
- hearing aids
- wheelchair/mobility device repair and batteries
- back to school and winter clothing allowances for dependent children
- diabetic, ostomy and surgical supplies
- Extended Health Benefits
- emergency home repairs
- transportation needed to attend medical appointments
- guide dog allowance
- Upfront Child Care Benefit
- special diet allowance
- Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit
- Employment Start-Up Benefit.
Other work-related, financial supports are available to eligible ODSP recipients who are participating in an approved employment-related activity (e.g. job search), starting or changing jobs, or participating in a training program.
To be eligible for Income Support under the ODSP, you must:
- be a resident of Ontario
- qualify financially
- have a disability (substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent) which is expected to last one year or more.
You may also qualify if you:
- receive disability benefits under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP);
- are 65 or older and are not eligible for Old Age Security (OAS);
- live in a psychiatric facility;
- live in a facility under the Development Services Act or in a home under the Homes for Special Care Act; or
- are about to turn 18 and currently get a benefit called the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Benefit (this used to be called Handicapped Children’s Benefit).
The amount of money you receive from the ODSP will vary depending on such factors as rent costs and family size.
The ODSP Employment Supports program works with community service providers to help people with disabilities prepare for and find jobs, keep a job and advance their career. The program can also help people with disabilities become self-employed.
Some examples of the supports that may be available include:
- Job coaching
- On-the-job training
- Adaptive software and mobility devices
- Interpreter/intervenor services
- Transportation assistance
- Assistive devices and training to use them
- Tools and equipment
- Special clothing
- Specialized computer training
- Other items you may need for work.
ODSP Employment Supports help people who have a wide range of disabilities.
To be eligible for Employment Supports, you must:
- Be 16 years of age or older;
- Be a resident of Ontario; and,
- Have a disability that is expected to last a year or more, and your disability makes it hard for you to find or keep a job.
Participation in Employment Supports is voluntary.
You do not have to be receiving ODSP Income Support to be eligible for Employment Supports.
If you are eligible for or receiving disability or rehabilitation benefits from other public or private sources, you may not be eligible for ODSP Employment Supports.
People who participate in Ontario Works are not eligible for ODSP Employment Supports. They receive employment assistance from Ontario Works.
The ODSP is managed and delivered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. If you would like more information on the program, you can contact your local ODSP Income Support office or local ODSP Employment Supports office.General enquiries Tel: (416) 325-5666 Ministry of Community and Social Services Toll Free: 1-888-789-4199 Client Services Unit TTY: 1-800-387-5559 900 Bay Street, M1-57 Macdonald Block Toronto ON M7A 1N3 http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/
Ontario Disability Support Program offices
To find the Ontario Disability Support Program office that serves your address, please go to the following link: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/contacts/index.aspx
Income Support: How to apply
The Ontario Disability Support Program is a social assistance program. To determine if you are eligible to receive Income Support, we look at your:
- financial situation, and
- disability status.
If you are applying for Income Support, please note that there are two parts to the application process:
- Part one looks at your financial situation.
- Part two looks at your disability status.