What the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Has to Offer

Introduction

Living with a disability, whether mental or physical, is never easy. However, if you live in Ontario, there is excellent support available. You can obtain financial assistance for daily living including housing and food through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). There is also employment support for those disabled persons who are looking to re-enter the workforce.

Income Support

ODSP provides income support for persons with disabilities who live on a low income and are in need of assistance for basic living expenses. Whether or not you qualify will be adjusted depending on your income as well as the size of your family. In addition, you must be at least 18 years old, suffer from a disability that strongly affects your daily living, and reside in Ontario.

Some of the covered benefits include medications, dental expenses, hearing aids and required diabetic supplies. You may also receive help paying for transportation to medical appointments as well as employment.

People with disabilities are still permitted to work and obtain support. The amount you receive will be based on 50% of your income the other 50% is exempt. Based on the documentation for 2011 there is also a $100.00 work-related benefit that is calculated into the amount that would be given per month. It is important that all income and expenses be reported accurately in order to determine the amount of support provided.

Employment Supports

This provides people with disability assistance with the preparation and obtaining of employment as long as the person is capable of performing a job.  You can also get help if you are planning to open your own business. The support is available even once gaining employment so that you can continue to maintain your job or advance in your career.

You will receive:

  • Help finding a suitable job
  • On-the-job training
  • Assistance with transportation
  • Provision of any required mobility devices
  • Tools and equipment
  • Support for job advancement
  • Devices that are needed for employment

There is also a great deal of support if you are planning to open your own business. Some of the benefits included are:

  • Assistance with the startup cost of equipment needed as well as any licensing.
  • Help preparing a business plan
  • A mentor program
  • Provision of any disability support that is required in order to perform the job

Qualification

There are a variety of guidelines that are used to determine whether a person would qualify and they are based on each independent situation. For any inquiries and information on how you can apply for assistance please contact your local office. See list below:

  • Belleville: 1-800-267-4355
  • Bracebridge: 1-800-655-9718
  • Brampton: 1-877-466-5025
  • Brantford: 1-888-814-7005
  • Brockville: 1-800-267-0834
  • Burlington: 1-800-567-6388
  • Cambridge: 1-888-214-0738
  • Chatham: 1-800-265-2705
  • Barrie: 1-800-461-7551
  • Cornwall: 1-800-565-5374
  • Downtown Toronto: 1-416-314-5700, 1-416-212-7411
  • Guelph: 1-800-567-2953
  • Hamilton: 1-800-561-0369
  • Hawkesbury: 1-800-565-4431
  • Kenora: 1-800-268-2970
  • Kingston: 1-800-267-0236
  • Kirkland Lake: 1-800-461-4961
  • Kitchener/Waterloo: 1-800-441-9820
  • Lindsay: 1-800-565-3554
  • London: 1-800-265-4197
  • Mississauga: 1-800-361-0897
  • Newmarket: 1-877-669-6658
  • North Bay: 1-800-461-6977
  • Orillia: 1-800-565-9871
  • Ottawa: 1-800-267-5111
  • Owen Sound: 1-800-265-3790
  • Pembroke: 1-800-267-0112
  • Peterborough: 1-800-663-8560
  • Renfrew: 1-800-267-5872
  • Sarnia: 1-800-663-7633
  • Sault Ste. Marie: 1-800-825-7593
  • Simcoe: 1-800-265-8071
  • Smiths Falls: 1-800-267-7911
  • St. Catharines: 1-800-263-5413
  • St. Thomas: 1-800-561-3886
  • Stratford: 1-800-565-5762
  • Sudbury: 1-800-461-1167
  • Thunder Bay: 1-800-465-5561
  • Timmins: 1-800-461-9843
  • Toronto Central: 1-416-314-6514
  • Toronto East: 1-416-325-0123
  • Toronto West: 1-416-325-5900
  • Whitby: 1-800-722-1196
  • Windsor: 1-800-387-7327
  • Woodstock: 1-800-461-7296

Differences Between ODSP and the Disability Tax Credit

There are some key differences between Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Some are listed below:

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

  • Serves people with disabilities in Ontario
  • Provides basic income support (for living expenses, like food and shelter, and medical expenses)
  • Provides employment support, including training and devices
  • Intended for people with low incomes
Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

  • For people with disabilities throughout Canada
  • Provides a refund of taxes paid during a tax year
  • Also includes a monthly benefit for the primary caregivers of disabled children
  • Can go back 10 years retroactively
  • Income level is not important for qualification purposes; tax credits can be transferred to family members if the person with the disability cannot utilize them

Conclusion

Having a disability does not mean that you have to live a lower quality of life than what you desire. With all this support available with the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can see dreams come true and reach goals that may not be possible on your own. So make the first step by making that phone call and open up a whole new level of possibilities.