DAWN Ontario: DisAbled Women's Network Ontario


Access to ODSP Campaign
Ontario Disability Support Program
Summary of Forum Reports

January 9, 2003

Page Contents

A. Introduction
B. The Forums
C. The Main Themes
D. Specific Concerns

1. The Application Process
2. DAU Adjudication
3. Client Service
4. Other

E. Specific Recommendations

1. The Application Process
2. DAU Adjudication
3. Client Service
4. Other

View Endorsements of Recommendations




A. Introduction

In November 2000, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa and the Financial Assistance Committee of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ottawa-Carleton) held a public forum and companion focus group sessions on the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP]. A panel of seven respected community members heard individual ODSP recipients, staff from community organizations serving or representing recipients, and representatives of municipal social services and the provincial ODSP office speak out about their experiences with the ODSP program. A detailed report was produced on the Ottawa events and the panel's ultimate recommendations for action, entitled The Experience of People with Disabilities in Ottawa and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) (Social Planning Council of Ottawa, October 2001). The report catalogued problems confronted by ODSP recipients in accessing the program, problems with program delivery, the program's failure to accommodate applicant disabilities, inadequacies of the Employment Supports program, gaps in the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, and the hardships for applicants and recipients caused by the crisis in affordable housing in Ottawa.

Inspired by the work done in Ottawa and recognizing the systemic nature of many of the problems identified in the Ottawa report, the Steering Committee on Social Assistance [SCSA], which represents social assistance advocates in community legal clinics around the province, launched a concerted public campaign in the fall of 2001 to work for changes in the ODSP disability determination process.

The SCSA asked clinics, either on their own or in conjunction with other community groups, to hold public forums, focus groups, or inter-agency meetings on the theme of "Access to ODSP". At the same time, the SCSA joined forces with other concerned organizations, including the Canadian Mental Health Association [CMHA], Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [CAMH], Coalition of Family Practitioners, and CONNECT/Canadian Hearing Society, to develop recommendations and discuss lobbying and media strategy aimed at raising public awareness of the issues and potential solutions. This expanded "Access to ODSP" campaign committee took on a new name - the "ODSP Action Coalition".

"Access to ODSP" forums were held in many parts of the province throughout 2002. These events proved to be valuable two-way information sharing occasions. Clinic staff and other activists had an opportunity to speak about the issues, and people in attendance had an opportunity to provide examples of their experiences with the system, and to discuss changes that could and should be made. These forums and the reports that were generated from them served as the practical underpinning for the ODSP Action Coalition's ultimate recommendations for reform of the ODSP disability determination process.

B. The Forums

"Access to ODSP" forums and focus group meetings took place in the following Ontario locations:

  • Toronto (18 March 2002)
  • London (27 March 2002)
  • Lindsay (10 May 2002)
  • Cobourg (15 May 2002)
  • Scarborough (16 May 2002)
  • Barrie (22 May 2002)
  • Hamilton (29 May 2002)
  • Thunder Bay (7 June 2002)
  • Toronto - Parkdale (27 June 2002)
  • Renfrew (September 2002)
  • Windsor (20 September 2002)
  • Durham Region (7 October 2002)
  • Georgina (17 October 2002)
  • Kitchener (21 October 2002)
  • Cambridge (24 October 2002)
  • Sarnia (22 November 2002)

Clinics were asked to organize their forums in the same general way and to follow the same general format in producing subsequent reports, so that forum results could be compiled and interpreted as easily as possible,

Participants at many of the forums split up into small groups. Either as a group or in small groups, forum participants generated a list of problems, with specific examples, under the following categories:

  • the application process (e.g. the complexity of the process, confusing forms, length of time it takes, lack of help for applicants, etc);

  • who gets accepted and who doesn't: the definition and how it is applied by the Disability Adjudication Unit;

  • the internal review and appeal process;

  • reassessments: the two year reviews of disability status;

  • client service: the way of treating clients, the phones, the "team" approach, the computer-generated letters, repeated demands for the same information;

  • additional benefits/special needs: transportation, special diet, community start-up, extended health coverage, etc.;

  • employment supports and employment income;

  • amount of income support, deductions, overpayments, etc.; and

  • other issues.

Each group then listed recommendations for change under the same categories.

Each group was asked to assign priority to their top recommendations for change, and to report back only those recommendations that had not been mentioned already by other groups. Notes from all the groups were compiled to produce the main forum reports.

C. The Main Themes

The main themes that emerged from the Access to ODSP forums were:

  • It's too difficult to get information about ODSP benefits and programs and too difficult to apply for them

  • The application forms don't ask for enough information or the right information

  • It takes too long to find out if a decision has been made and too long to get through the appeal process

  • Individuals - especially those with additional needs - aren't getting enough support at any stage

  • ODSP administrative processes are designed to treat applicants and recipients as files rather than human beings

  • ODSP benefit rates are far too low

D. Specific Concerns

"When you set up a system that has at least four steps in it, in which the person who has the least ability-the person with disabilities-has to collect all the information and run around and make sure doctors and ministries and tax departments send in all these papers, is it any wonder why so many people give up even before a decision is made?"

[quote from Parkdale Town Hall]

"The sentiment that seems to come from this program is 'what we don't want to do for you'. The government needs to look at what its overall savings would be if it tried to help recipients."

[report from Georgina Forum - October 2002]

The concerns voiced at the Access to ODSP forums touched on many and varied issues. However, there were three main areas of concern - the application process, Disability Adjudication Unit [DAU] adjudication and client service.

1. The Application Process

Forum participants described problems at all stages in the application process. Many observed that these problems are compounded, and can become insurmountable when an applicant with disabilities is facing other barriers as well.

Many people called the application process too slow and too complicated, and pointed out that just obtaining the necessary application forms was difficult. Some described the process as "discouraging" and "demoralizing". A recurring theme was that the intent seemed to be to keep people off ODSP, rather than serve persons with disabilities in need of assistance. Specific issues included:

  • applicants do not know when or where to apply, or how to get application forms
  • the Ontario Works [OW] telephone intake system does not work well, it is very difficult for non-English speakers to access it properly, and it is hard to bypass the system to get through to a live person
  • an ODSP application cannot be completed in one step - applicants have to go through a separate financial screening before even getting the medical application forms
  • some OW offices are either not making requested or needed referrals to ODSP, or making late referrals, and some ODSP offices are refusing to accept direct applications - in any of these situations, the result is lost benefits for the individual
  • people who need additional help to navigate the application process and assemble the necessary information to establish eligibility - for example, because of homelessness, mental illness, cognitive impairments or language difficulties - are not getting the resources and support they need from ODSP, and, as a result, many are falling through the cracks or simply giving up

There were many criticisms of the Disability Determination Package [DDP] itself. Participants described the application forms as overly lengthy and complex, and very often confusing to both applicants and the health professionals who have to complete them. Specific issues included:

  • the forms are only available in English and are not written in "plain language"
  • the forms do not contain the statutory definition of disability and do not clearly identify for doctors the criteria to be met
  • the forms do not adequately capture the nature and extent of mental health problems, recurrent impairments, impairments with a pattern of "good" and "bad" days, or the cumulative impact of multiple conditions
  • the instructions on the Health Status Report form state that the Intellectual and Emotional Wellness Scale should not be completed if the person's principal problem is physical, and this may result in mental health conditions going unreported
  • the Activities of Daily Living rating scale is complicated and often misunderstood by applicants and health professionals
  • the list of persons permitted to complete the forms is too restrictive - in particular, it does not include social workers, mental health workers, and teachers who may not have medical qualifications but may be best placed to provide accurate information as to an applicant's ability to function on a day to day basis, particularly where mental health problems are involved
  • the forms do not capture socio-economic factors such as age, education, employment experience and skills, which often compound a person's functional restrictions and are relevant to ODSP eligibility
  • the Self Report has little practical value as its completion is optional and it appears to be completely ignored by the DAU

Another major area of concern was getting adequate medical documentation in time to satisfy the application requirements. Specific issues included:

  • chronic shortages of both family physicians and specialists mean that people who wish to apply may not be able to find a doctor to complete the forms, especially if they do not have a regular family doctor - applicants have limited choices as to medical care and may have to go on long waiting-lists for specialist appointments, psychological assessments and other evaluations
  • the fees paid to doctors to complete the forms are too low - consequently, doctors are often reluctant to complete the forms and may do a less than thorough job, and some applicants are charged extra by their doctors for the form completion
  • the 90-day time limit for submission of medical information is unrealistically short - some applicants are unable to meet the deadline because of long waits to get forms completed, or receive rushed reports from doctors at the last minute
  • doctors are not clearly advised as to the importance of submitting consultation reports and test findings - as a result, key documents are often missing from applications
  • doctors often complete forms without direct input from the applicant and may therefore often not have sufficient information about the restrictions on the applicant's activities of daily living to provide an accurate picture to the DAU

2. DAU Adjudication

Many concerns were raised at the forums both about recurrent administrative problems at the DAU and about the quality of DAU adjudication.

Administrative problems identified by participants ranged from lost documents to unacceptable delays. Specific issues included:

  • the DAU does not always acknowledge receipt of DDPs, causing uncertainty for applicants
  • the DAU is not easily accessible - callers to the "1-800" number can be left on hold for a very long time
  • forms and letters too often get mixed up or lost altogether at the DAU
  • the DAU often notes that additional information (such as X-ray reports or test results) has not been submitted, but does not take the initiative to obtain documentation that it needs to make its determination, and does not always advise applicants when information is missing
  • it takes too long for the DAU to make its initial decisions

Participants were very critical of the substance of DAU decisions. Specific issues included:

  • little information is available as to the qualifications of DAU adjudicators and the criteria they use in making their decision
  • when DAU adjudicators do identify criteria they are applying, they often seem to be using tests that are more difficult to meet than the statutory test, as interpreted by the courts
  • the DAU denial letters (both on initial adjudication and on internal review) are form letters citing the statutory definitions and do not contain meaningful reasons
  • DAU decisions are often inconsistent
  • the DAU appears to automatically refuse to recognize certain medical conditions as resulting in impairments (for example, fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, environmental sensitivities) and gives too little significance to mental and learning disabilities
  • the DAU tends to discount opinions of family doctors, particularly where mental health conditions are involved - the DAU often cites a lack of specialist treatment without recognizing the shortage of specialist resources and limited referral options
  • the DAU often denies eligibility on the basis that an individual is not seeking or has refused treatment, without recognizing that an individual's attitude towards treatment may actually stem from his or her medical conditions

3. Client Service

The way in which individual applicants and recipients are treated by ODSP staff appeared to be the most significant area of concern for agency workers and individuals alike. Specific issues included:

  • the implementation of new computer technology and the shift away from individual case management to a call-centre or "team" style of case management have created a client service system that is impersonal, isolating, inefficient and inadequate - the system appears to be used to avoid dealing with client problems rather than to resolve them - an individual does not have a specific caseworker who knows him or her
  • the automated telephone system is very problematic - clients have difficulty using it (particularly where they have any language or communication barriers), messages are often not returned in a timely fashion, and special access needs are not adequately addressed - many clients do not even have telephones
  • there are too few staff members in the ODSP offices to answer questions and the staff members who are there appear stressed
  • attending at ODSP offices can be a stressful experience for clients both because of the office design and staff attitudes - some clients reported harsh and inappropriate treatment from ODSP workers - others reported a lack of privacy because of open doors or a feeling of being in a "jail cell" environment - still others reported a lack of understanding and respect for disabled individuals and psychiatric survivors in particular
  • clients are sent too many computer-generated form letters, and too often these letters are either incomprehensible or inaccurate - contact information is rarely included and follow-up can be difficult and frustrating, particularly as ODSP offices will not give out lists of staff phone numbers and extensions
  • ODSP workers show little flexibility and little willingness to find solutions to problems
  • clients are expected to understand and comply with their rights and responsibilities and are given little guidance or assistance by ODSP staff, even where medical documentation indicates that they need additional support - it is assumed that clients have ID or other necessary documents, and that they are able to obtain requested information on their own

4. Other

A number of other important issues were raised at the Access to ODSP forums. Participants expressed concern about the complexity of the internal review and appeals process, the unpredictability of the eligibility reassessment process, the Consolidated Verification Process, access to discretionary benefits, the treatment of employment earnings, access to Employment Supports, and the basic inadequacy of ODSP income support.

Specific issues included:

  • the timeframes for internal review and appeal are too short, the procedural requirements are too rigid, and applicants who have been denied eligibility are rarely referred to clinics for legal assistance - as a result, some applicants may simply give up after a negative internal review decision
  • the chance of success on internal review is minimal - as a result, the internal review process appears to be little more than an additional procedural hurdle for applicants, especially as the DAU cannot consider new medical evidence at this stage
  • it takes too long for an appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal [SBT] to be heard - participants estimated that the current wait time is about a year - the waiting period between the time of appeal can be very stressful
  • the DAU's practice of only looking at new medical evidence 10 days before an SBT hearing results in unnecessary appeal costs - even if the DAU then reverses its decision, it is too late to schedule another appeal into that hearing slot
  • the eligibility reassessment process is confusing and traumatizing for recipients - the usual reassessment period of 2 years is too short - doctors should not be required to complete a whole new application package for a person whose condition has not changed
  • file transfers from OW and Consolidated Verification Process [CVP] interviews are lengthy and onerous - individuals may be told to provide information that is out of date, information that they are unable to or cannot afford to obtain, or the same information over and over again
  • information reported by recipients (e.g. change of address) is not input and processed quickly enough
  • information is not being properly communicated between different social assistance offices (e.g. between ODSP and OW; between ODSP and the DAU) and this often leads to file errors and delays
  • transfers between ODSP and OAS are often problematic - in particular, recipients are often not told they can apply for a Guaranteed Income Supplement [GIS]
  • the income reporting cycle for employed ODSP recipients is error-prone and complicated, resulting in many incorrect suspensions and overpayments, and the rapid reinstatement provisions are too restrictive - the result is that ODSP recipients are discouraged from attempting any work
  • information provided to recipients and community agencies about additional discretionary benefits that may be available is inadequate and often inconsistent
  • the current drug card coverage is inadequate
  • the medical transportation policy is too cumbersome and restrictive
  • ODSP Employment Supports are difficult to access and not well explained to recipients - not enough job coaching services and ongoing supports to maintain employment are available - recipients are afraid to try to work for fear that they will lose their drug cards and will not get back on ODSP if they are unable to manage
  • current policies make it difficult for ODSP recipients to find and maintain housing - in particular, recipients are unable to obtain "pay directs" for shelter and utilities, and are unable to obtain timely responses to community start up benefit (CSUB) requests
  • the ODSP benefit rate is inadequate to meet basic needs of food and shelter and the STEP deductions offer very little incentive to individuals to work even on a part-time basis

E. Specific Recommendations

1. The Application Process

  • pamphlets on self-help and where to get assistance with an application should be available at all ODSP offices and should be given to all applicants
  • support workers should be assigned to help with the application process - ODSP offices should ensure that applicants who need special help are matched with appropriate support groups or advocates
  • consideration should be given to the establishment of a funded advocacy office with a mandate to assist individuals with the ODSP application process
  • ODSP applications should be made available at community agencies and institutions
  • ODSP workers should be permitted to send forms and correspondence to applicants through designated agencies or individuals where applicants are homeless or transient
  • the number of local ODSP offices in each region should be increased, and both ODSP offices and the DAU should be given adequate resources so that applications can be processed in a timely fashion
  • the application forms should be revised and simplified to make them more "user-friendly", with clearer plain-language explanations of the information required and the tests to be met - they should also be made available in different languages
  • individuals should have access to an effective doctor-referral service
  • doctors should be given clearer instructions on the completion of the application forms - in particular, doctors should be told to attach relevant specialist reports and test results - and they should be provided additional space on the forms to include further information
  • the fees paid to doctors for ODSP applications should be sufficient to cover both completion of the application forms and attachment of consultation reports
  • the categories of people who are legally qualified to complete the ODSP application forms should be expanded to include social workers
  • the 90-day deadline on the return of applications should be extended
  • the transition between OW and ODSP should be streamlined to avoid unnecessary delays, OW referrals to ODSP should be confirmed in writing to the applicant, and communication between OW and ODSP should generally be improved

2. DAU Adjudication

  • substance addiction should be recognized as a disease and the statutory bar on eligibility in addiction cases should be eliminated
  • the DAU should apply the ODSP disability test in accordance with the principles established by the courts and the SBT, and should consider the individual's whole picture, including the cumulative effect of all impairments and the compounding effects of socio-economic barriers
  • DAU adjudicators should be required to have certain minimum qualifications
  • DAU adjudicators should have greater accountability for their decisions
  • the DAU should be more pro-active in obtaining necessary medical documents and clarification
  • the DAU should provide fuller reasons for its denial at first instance - including attaching a copy of its adjudication summary to the denial letter
  • resources and funding should be made available so that an ODSP applicant can obtain a psychological or functional assessment in appropriate circumstances

3. Client Service

  • bring back the human element to ODSP delivery - each client should have a specific ODSP caseworker who is held accountable for actions and decisions taken on his or her file
  • OW offices should designate specific workers to handle all ODSP application cases, and the telephone screening process should not apply to ODSP applicants
  • staffing at ODSP offices should be increased
  • telephones in ODSP offices should be answered by human beings, not voice mail, and telephone staff should be trained to be able to accurately answer questions
  • ODSP offices and communications should be fully accessible to clients with diverse disabilities
  • steps should be taken to ensure privacy and confidentiality at all ODSP offices
  • communication between offices should be improved so that individuals are not burdened with duplicate information requests
  • all clients should be given clear and accurate written information as to their ODSP entitlements and any other available benefits and programs, their responsibilities, relevant telephone and fax numbers, and their rights of appeal - decision notices and all correspondence from ODSP should be clear and case-specific, and should include a contact name and number for any necessary follow-up
  • ODSP workers should receive additional training and ongoing retraining on service standards, client relations, mental health issues and sensitivity (accommodating disabilities, anti-racism, cultural issues)
  • ODSP workers should be more pro-active in assisting clients in obtaining necessary information necessary for eligibility determination
  • ODSP should take steps to increase community presence and awareness - by holding information workshops, sending representatives to employment resource centres, establishing liaison workers in community agencies, institutions, hostels and shelters
  • ODSP should consider establishing a standing committee of ODSP clients to advise on client service issues as they arise

4. Other

  • the internal review process should either be eliminated altogether, or should be overhauled - in particular, an internal review request form should be attached to all initial denial letters, the timelines for internal review should be relaxed, the DAU should be able to consider new medical information at the internal review stage
  • the number of SBT members and resources should be increased, in order to reduce the wait time for appeal hearings, extend the time allocated to hearings and arrange for better hearing locations
  • when an SBT appeal is pending, the DAU should review all new medical evidence as soon as it has been notified by the appellant that no new reports are expected and the matter is ready for hearing
  • eligibility reassessment periods should be longer, and the reassessment process should be simplified - a recipient who is being reassessed should not have to provide as much information as on his or her original application
  • reassessments should not be scheduled for persons with chronic, long-term illnesses or other disabilities of a clearly permanent nature
  • statutory and policy disincentives to work attempts should be eliminated - the income reporting system should be improved, the rapid reinstatement rules relaxed, and ODSP recipients should be given more assistance and support to find meaningful work
  • the drug plan and mandatory necessities program should be more responsive to the real needs of persons with disabilities
  • all recipients should be provided with transportation costs, including transportation to social recreation programs where medically recommended
  • ODSP recipients should be permitted to set up rent-direct or utility-direct payment on request
  • CSUB requests should be processed in a more timely manner and there should be more flexibility in CSUB allocation
  • ODSP should set realistic timelines for the CVP process and should pay costs associated with obtaining information necessary to determine eligibility
  • coordination between OW and ODSP should be improved
  • the STEP program should be changed to provide true work incentives
  • benefit rates should be increased to reflect real current market rents and costs, and should be adjusted regularly for cost of living

For further info:

Please visit the website of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre

ODSP Action Coalition Campaign chairperson is Nancy Vander Plaats

To send endorsements and/or personal stories:

please email Catherine Manson



The O.D.S.P. Action Coalition is pleased to announce the following community partners have endorsed the Recommendations for Change to reform the Ontario Disability Support Program:

1. A Place Called Home, Lindsay

2. Adult Protective Service Association of Ontario, Perth

3. Alternatives, Toronto

4. Anglican Social Services, Ottawa

5. ARCH: A Legal Resource Centre for Persons, Toronto

6. Bethany Centre, London

7. Bonnie Buxton, Toronto

8. Brain Injury Association of Nipissing (BIAN), North Bay

9. Canadian Hearing Society - Newmarket, Newmarket

10. Canadian Mental Health Association Victoria Count, Lindsay

11. Canadian Mental Health Association - Grey Bruce, Owen Sound

12. Canadian Mental Health Association - Sarnia, Sarnia

13. Canadian Mental Health Association - York Region, York Region

14. Canadian Mental Health Association-London/Middlese, London

15. Carlington Community and Health Services, Ottawa

16. Causeway Work Centre, Ottawa

17. Central Neighbourhood House, Toronto

18. Centretown Community Health Centre, Ottawa

19. Common Ground Co-operative, Inc., Toronto

20. Community Connection, Collingwood

21. Community Legal Clinic - Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brantford

22. Community Legal Education of Ontario, Toronto

23. Community Legal Services (Ottawa-Carleton), Ottawa

24. Community Living Owen Sound, Owen Sound

25. Cornerstone / Le Pilier, Ottawa

26. Couchiching Jubilee House, Orillia

27. DAWN Ontario: DisAbled Women's Network Ontario, North Bay

28. East Toronto Community Legal Services, Toronto

29. Family Services Perth-Huron, Stratford

30. FASworld Toronto, Toronto

31. Faye Peterson Transition House Board, Thunder Bay

32. Flemingdon Community Legal Services, Toronto

33. Friends and Advocates Centre (Etobicoke), Toronto

34. Georgina Community Legal Services, Richmond Hill

35. Grey Bruce Community Legal Clinic, Owen Sound

36. Hamilton Mountain Legal & Community Services, Hamilton

37. Hastings and Prince Edward Legal Services, Belleville

38. Head Injury Association of Durham-Region, Oshawa

39. HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario), Toronto

40. Income Security Advocacy Centre, Toronto

41. Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario, Toronto

42. Jane Finch Community Legal Clinic, Toronto

43. Kinna-Aweya Legal Clinic, Thunder Bay

44. Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Legal Clinic, Perth

45. Legal Assistance of Windsor, Windsor

46. LifeSpin (Low Income Family Empowerment *, London

47. Lowertown Community Resource Centre, Ottawa

48. Lutheran Community Care Centre, Thunder Bay

49. Mental Health Services of York Region, Newmarket

50. Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Cli, Toronto

51. Midland Area Reading Council, Midland

52. Neighbourhood Legal Services (London and Middlesex, London

53. Nellie's, Toronto

54. Northumberland Coalition Against Poverty, Cobourg

55. Northumberland Legal Clinic, Cobourg

56. NorWest Community Health Centres, Thunder Bay

57. Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) Committee of Nipissing, North Bay

58. Ottawa City Council, Ottawa

59. Parent/Advocate Support Group - Supporting CLASS, Everett

60. Parkdale Community Legal Clinic, Toronto

61. People Advocating for Change through Empowerment, Thunder Bay

62. People First of Dufferin, Orangeville

63. Peterborough Community Legal Clinic, Peterborough

64. Peterborough ODSP Action Group, Peterborough

65. Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, Toronto

66. RAINET, Durham

67. Royal Ottawa Hospital Social Work Group, Ottawa

68. Rural Legal Services, Sharbot Lake

69. Scarborough Community Legal Services, Toronto

70. Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disab, Barrie

71. Sistering: A Women's Place, Toronto

72. South Etobicoke Legal Clinic, Toronto

73. The Independent Living Centre London and Area, London

74. The Mary McGill Community Mental Health Clinic, Alliston

75. The Salvation Community & Family Services-Orillia, Orillia

76. The Women's Centre (Grey & Bruce) Inc., Owen Sound

77. Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic, Windsor

78. Women's Resources of Simcoe County, Midland

79. York Community Services, Toronto

80. York Support Services Network, York Region York Region

81. YWCA of Peterborough, Victoria & Haliburton, Haliburton

82. North Bay Network for Social Action (NNSA), North Bay



Send email:

The Hon. Brenda Elliott, Minister of Community, Family, & Children's Services

Send a letter:

The Honourable Brenda Elliott,
Minister of Community, Family and Children's Services
Hepburn Block, 6th Floor
80 Grosvenor St.
Toronto ON  M7A 1E9

What to say:

As an Ontarian, I am disturbed by the government's role in creating barriers for people who need Ontario Disability Support. The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) should be accessible to people in need. Vulnerable people should not have to face the unjustifiable barriers when asked to complete the Disability Determination Package. If people succeed in getting on ODSP, they again face additional barriers contacting workers and accessing the program.

We urge you to adopt the recommendations of the ODSP Action Coalition and make the ODSP accessible to people with disabilities.


  • The application & reassessment process - Make them accessible and easy to complete

  • Decision-making - A transparent, accountable, speedier process

  • Client Services - Clients need clear language decisions, individual caseworkers, interpreters, and an increase in O.W. and O.D.S.P. rates

webmaster's note: Please note that the Minister does not respond to emails by email due to "privacy concerns" as per Ministry staff. You must include your mailing address if you want a response from the Minister.

Postal Code:
Signature: (if sending by mail)


O.D.S.P. Action Coalition
c/o Flemingdon Community Legal Services
49 The Donway West, Suite 205
Don Mills, ON   M3C-3M9

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Page created November 13, 2002 see previous draft

Page last revised on June 12, 2003