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Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
In order to qualify for ODSP benefits, you must meet the definition of a “person with a disability”. This means:

  • You have a substantial physical or mental health problem that is expected to last a year or more
  • Your health problem substantially limits your ability to work, look after yourself, or carry out daily activities at home and in the community


  • People who get Canada Pension Plan disability benefits (CPP-D)
  • People over 65 years of age who are not eligible for Old Age Security
  • People who live in certain psychiatric or developmental services facilities, or in some special care homes
  • People who are discharged from developmental services facilities if they were living there on May 31, 1998
  • Most people who have been transferred to the ODSP from Family Benefits (FB)


    This means that you cannot have income above a certain amount, that amount depends on your family size and housing costs.

  • You cannot have savings, or assets, above a certain level. That level also depends on family size.
  • Some income or assets do not count, call EOLC for help in determining if you qualify.
  • Exemptions on Income: some types of approved loans, payments used for disability-related items or services, gifts or voluntary payments up to $4000 in any 12 months

    Exemptions on assets: principle residence, motor vehicle, tools of trade for employment, monetary awards for pain and suffering up to $100 000, special government compensation, locked in RRSPs, inheritance trusts and life insurance policies up to a max of $100 000, loans for the purchase of assets, loans for first and last months rent

    You have an obligation to realize all financial resources. Examples: child support, support from sponsors, uncollected debt, student loans, EI benefits, CPP benefits

  • How to Apply
  • You can only apply for ODSP through Ontario Works or a local ODSP office. If you need money right away, you should apply at an Ontario Works (OW) office so that you can get OW benefits while you wait for your ODSP application to be decided.
  • If you cannot apply in person you should contact the local OW office and will be given the telephone number of the regional Intake Screening Unit (ISU) to apply
  • If you are found to be eligible for assistance, you will be sent a disability determination package (DDP) to complete and forward to the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) within 90 days

  • Disability Determination Package
    The Disability Determination Package consists of the following:

    1. Health Status Report (HSR)
    Only certain health professionals may verify each of the elements of the disability, The Health Status Report must be completed by a doctor, psychologist, optometrist, or nurse practitioner who is a registered nurse in the extended class

    2. Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
    The ADL form can be completed by a: doctor, psychologist, optometrist, audiologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, or, nurse practitioner who is a registered nurse in the extended class

    3. Self Report (SR)
    This form is completed by the applicant Completion of the SR is optional, but you must sign and date the form. The application will be deemed incomplete if the form is not signed and dated Completing this form may help to explain your disability, but you must make sure that all information provided is accurate and complete.

    4. Consent to Release Medical Information (Consent)
    This form is completed by the applicant

    If the applicant meets the test of a “person with a disability”, the DAU will send notice to the local ODSP office. The local ODSP staff will verify financial eligibility and calculate the effective date of grant.

    If DAU believes that the applicant does not qualify, the applicant is advised of their right to request an internal review of the decision

    Missing the 90 Day Time Limit

  • If you do not send in your completed forms within 90 days, your application will be considered withdrawn and you will have to re-apply.
  • If you cannot sent in the completed forms within 90 days, you can ask the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) to give you more time but you must give them a reason for the extension.
  • If you are getting OW benefits when you apply to ODSP and you miss the 90-day deadline, you may lose your OW benefits.

  • If You Are Refused ODSP Benefits

  • If you are found to be ineligible, you should immediately ask for the reasons in writing
  • You will have 10 days to object in writing to an ISU decision and ask for an Internal Review – this objection and request MUST be made in writing.
  • If you miss the 10-day time limit, you should still ask for an internal review. You will need to ask for an extension of time in your written request for an internal review.
  • You should get a decision regarding the internal review within 10 days of requesting it. If the decision to refuse benefits is confirmed, you have 30 days from the date of the decision to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT)

  • Internal Review

  • If an application has been denied or a recipient’s benefits have been reduced or suspended, the individual should receive a notice of decision including the decision, the date of the decision, the reasons for it, and should advise that a request for an internal review has to be made if the applicant intends to appeal to the SBT
  • An internal review request should include: applicant’s name, date of birth OR case ID number, address, a statement that a review is requested, and the reason for the request

  • Appeal to the SBT

  • In order to appeal to the SBT an approved form must be used for the notice of appeal, and it must include reasons for the appeal request. This form is available at the local ODSP or OW office. EOLC can also assist you in filing the appropriate forms.
  • When you appeal, you can ask the SBT to order interim assistance. If this request is denied, you can write and ask SBT to reconsider.
  • If the SBT does order interim assistance, the local OW office will have to pay you OW benefits while you wait for your appeal. If the appeal is unsuccessful, you will have to pay back the benefits.

  • Benefits Provided Under ODSP
    Income Support

  • Income Support is made up of two parts: (i) an amount for basic needs, and (ii) an amount for shelter (actual costs up to a maximum)
  • the amount of income support available is dependant on the size of your family, actual shelter costs, any special needs, and any other income that other family members have

    Health and Other Benefits

  • Each member of the recipient’s family is entitled to certain health and other benefits. This includes prescription drug coverage, some dental, vision and hearing service, and some medical equipment and supplies

    Employment Supports

  • Services are provided in order to remove an individual’s barriers to employment and to assist the person in reaching their employment goals
  • The most commonly covered expenses relate to training, or setting up small businesses
  • There is an alternative appeal process for employment supports. If you need help with any aspect of the application process or if you have been denied benefits and would like to appeal that decision, contact EOLC.

  • Interim Assistance
    Interim Assistance is money paid to the applicant while he or she waits for a Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) hearing An application for interim assistance is part of the SBT appeal form. The SBT may order the local office to pay the Applicant interim assistance if they are satisfied that the Appellant will suffer financial hardship during the time it takes the SBT to decide the case If the appellant withdraws the appeal, loses the appeal to the SBT, or does not attend the hearing, the interim assistance is deemed to be an overpayment

    Other Benefit Programs
  • People with disabilities qualify for benefits under the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP). The rules about CPP disability pension are different from the ODSP. Contact EOLC for more information or check out the CPP link on this website.
  • Depending on your situation, you might be entitled to other benefits such as Employment Insurance sickness benefits, Veterans Affairs disability benefits, or pension benefits from another country where you once lived. ODSP Offices - South West Region

    St. Thomas
    Ministry of Community and Social Services
    Ontario Disability Support Program
    Income and Employment Supports
    427 Talbot St., 3rd Floor
    St. Thomas ON N7M 4V7
    Tel: (519) 631-3032
    Toll Free: 1-800-561-3886
    TDD/TTY: (519) 637-2217

    Ministry of Community and Social Services
    Ontario Disability Support Program
    Income and Employment Supports
    93 Graham St.
    Woodstock, ON N4S 6J8
    Tel: (519) 537-5579
    Toll Free: 1-800-461-7296
    TDD/TTY: (519) 537-8429

    Ministry of Community and Social Services
    Ontario Disability Support Program
    Income and Employment Supports
    217 York Street
    Box 5217, Suite 203
    London, ON N6A 5R1
    Tel: (519) 438-5111
    Toll Free: 1-800-265-4197
    TDD/TTY: (519) 663-5276

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