ODSP Earnings & Employment Changes
1. Employment Requirements for non-disabled spouses –
spouses of ODSP recipients will now be subject to mandatory participation requirements,
as a condition of continuing eligibility for benefits.
makes both spouses and dependent adults who are part of an ODSP benefit unit
subject to the same participation requirements.
· Participation will not be required where:
· The spouse is a caregiver for a family member "who requires ongoing physical assistance or supervision on ongoing basis as a result of disability, illness or old age" AND there is documentation from someone providing support services to the household that the level of caregiving makes participation impractical.
· The spouse is already participating in employment or employment related activities and it is unlikely that participation in OW will increase the chances of being employed
· The spouse is age 65 or older
The spouse is
experiencing exceptional circumstances which would excuse participation (i.e.
is a CAS foster parent) or is ill, injured or disabled.
Spouses to whom
the participation requirement applies will be referred to Ontario Works to
complete a Participation Agreement and participate in OW employment assistance
for the benefit unit will be reduced if a spouse who is referred to OW refuses
or fails to make reasonable efforts to participate in employment assistance
activity or employment, or if the spouse resigns from employment without cause
or is dismissed with cause
documentation states that it is expected that a spouse referred to OW under
this new provision will complete a participation agreement within 30 days of
the referral and will begin employment activities shortly after. Ministry
transitional information says that referrals will not start until after
Implementation Agreements are negotiated between ODSP regional offices and
local OW delivery agents. The deadline
for having approved agreements in place is
· No regulatory changes needed
· Updated Employment Supports to be issued
Supports Delivery and Funding guidelines & service provider information
packages to be available in February 2006
Employment Information Session for ODSP recipients wanted to access services
select a service provider
Focus of service
providers will be on job placement and retention
· Funding of service providers will be results-based
3. Work Related Benefit – New
· New "Transportation Expense" of $100/month for each recipient, spouse and dependent adult not in full time school, who reports:
· Earnings from employment or a training program
automatic and not pro-rated with level of income or related to actual costs
indicated in the new regulation, Ministry policy states that this new benefit
is intended to cover all employment related expenses, not just transportation
Does not replace
medical transportation costs which will still be available as a separate
benefit (see s. 44(1)1iii.1 of regulation 222/98)
· Income that will trigger this benefit includes:
· Business income
· Farm income
· Training allowance
· Nominal remuneration
Exemption – Changed
S. 38 of
Basic flat rate
exemption increased from 25% to 50% of net earnings
Net earnings =
gross earnings minus mandatory payroll deductions (CPP, Tax, EI, mandatory
pension plan, union dues)
improved exemption rate and replacement of basic flat exemption with the $100
Transportation benefits may leave some single earner families with income in
the $200 - $300 level worse off.
recipients and families with earnings above or below the $200-$300 range should
be better off under the new rules.
· The Ministry will be flagging families who will be adversely affected by the new rules for priority assistance in accessing other benefits and services, including employment supports.
Child Care Deduction - Improved to match OW deduction
S. 38 (2)(ii) of
deduction from earned income increased from $390 to $600
Deduction, up to
the new maximum, applies to net employment earnings, training allowance or
Brings ODSP in line
with OW changes made in May 2005
· There is no change in the treatment of licensed child care where actual costs are already deducted from net earnings, unless they are reimbursed through some other program.
5. Disability-related Work Expense Deduction – Improved
s. 38 1v of
deduction from earned income increased from $140 to $300
applied to net employment earnings, training allowance or business income
· To qualify, expenses must be "necessary for employment and not paid through any other program"
Start-up Benefit (ESUB) - Increased
44 (1)6 of
benefits available in any 12-month period increased from $253 to $500
Available to any
recipient, spouse or dependent adult not in full-time school for actual costs
such as work wear, tools and equipment, grooming costs, licensing fees,
drive-clean tests, etc.
activities expanded to include any employment-related activity approved by the
Director, in addition to commencement of employment
· Definition of employment-related activities includes, but is not limited to:
· Job search activities
· Job preparation activities
positions that will prepare a recipient for employment
benefit matches OW Full-Time Employment Start Up Benefit, but unlike the OW
benefit, ODSP recipients do not have to be engaged in full-time employment
related activities to qualify for the ESUB
when a recipient leaves ODSP for employment (see Employment Transitional Benefit)
may not be issued retroactively for expenses incurred before
Child Care Benefit -
S. 44(1)7 of
available to cover upfront informal child care expenses increased from $390 to
$600 per child per month
Can be provided
in any 12-month period to cover commencement of any employment- related
activity approved by the Director (See ESUB for approved activities), in
addition to start of employment.
Applies to start
of work-related activities for a recipient or eligible members of the benefit
In the first
month of training, recipients who have received the upfront child care benefit
can also use the Child Care deduction
not available retroactively to cover child care costs incurred before
Transition Benefit (ETB) – New
S. 44 (1) 6.1 of
New benefit of
$500 payable to recipients who leave ODSP for employment.
Also payable to
recipient, if the employment earnings of a spouse cause the benefit unit to
Do not have to
be leaving ODSP for full time work to be eligible for this benefit. As long as the benefit unit's income includes
income from employment, training or the operation of a business, the benefit is
available to the benefit unit once in any 12-month period.
Benefit is a
flat rate and not related to actual costs incurred as a result of employment
· Payable even if ESUB has been provided within the past 12 months.
Health Benefit (THB) – New
yet, but will issued under the authority of the Ministry and Community and Social Services Act
· Available to recipients who:
· Are ineligible for ODSP because their income exceeds or equals their budgetary requirements AND the income includes earnings from employment or a training program or income from self-employment.
· Cannot get benefit coverage through their employer.
Are not eligible
for Extended Health Benefits.
· Transitional Health Benefits include:
· Prescription drugs under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.
· Dental services in accordance with the Ministry Schedule of Dental Services.
benefits, including routine eye examinations.
employment is not required to be eligible for this benefit.
exit ODSP with a combination of earnings and other income are eligible.
continue until the recipient is covered by an employer health plan (recipient's
plan or plan of family member) - there is no time limit to this benefit.
· Eligibility for the benefit must be re-established annually.
Rapid Reinstatement – Extended
S. 19 of
· The 12-month limitation for grandparented FBA recipients who left for employment is removed.
· Recipients grandparented from FBA will qualify for rapid reinstatement, if financially eligible, regardless of how long they have been off ODSP, so long as they left ODSP because of income from employment, training or the operation of a business.
recipients who leave ODSP for reasons other than employment will continue to be
ineligible for rapid reinstatement
· All other ODSP recipients who have left ODSP will be eligible for rapid reinstatement at any time, so long as they meet financial and other eligibility requirements:
· Regardless of their reason for leaving ODSP
Even if their
medical eligibility review date has been passed
· Where an ODSP recipient who was subject to a medical review date is given rapid reinstatement, the review date after reinstatement will be either:
· The original review date, if it is not passed, or
A new date to be
set by the Director