Support for People with Disabilities
WHAT IS ODSP?
for persons with physical, intellectual and/or mental health disabilities.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH ODSP?
Benefits are grossly inadequate causing poverty
- People cannot afford
their most basic needs of rent, utilities, food, transportation, clothing
and medical expenses.
- Rates have been
frozen for 10 years during a time when the cost of living has soared
- Benefits for a
single person with a disability ($930/mo) and families with children
are little more than about ½ of the poverty line.
2. Denial of access to disability benefits
- Thousands of deserving
people with disabilities are denied access to assistance.
- Only about 35%
of people who start the application process succeed in getting assistance.
- Application process
is too complicated and lacks accommoda tions for special needs e.g.
visual/hearing impairments, literacy, itellectual problems.
- No personal assistance
available to complete application and to navigate system - system by
it's design, denies access.
3. Barriers to employment and rehabilitation
- Earnings cap for
a single ODSP recipient of $160/mo fails miserably to close the poverty
- Employment rules,
earnings cap and harsh penalties impose undue hardship and barriers
to work and rehabilitation.
- Therefore unemployment
rate for people with disabilities is unacceptably high.
quality client services
- People are unable
to receive help from individual caseworkers - bounced from one worker
to the next.
- Local ODSP offices
are not designed to be responsive to per sons with disabilities and
fails to meet their unique needs.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?
Raise the ODSP income support rates.
the application and adjudication process: provide help to guide applicants
the approach to work with higher earnings exemptions, better reinstatement
rules and avoidance of work related overpayments.
local offices so clients receive better service. Bring back individual
Peterborough ODSP Action Coalition
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Support Program (ODSP) - Fact Sheet
to ODSP Campaign - Ontario Disability Support Program
Summary of Forum Reports
by Design - Ontario Disability Support Program
© Income Security Advocacy Centre 2003
with Disabilities Act (ODA) Committee
into the Death of Kimberly Rogers
of the Rogers Inquest Jury
2003 Information & Resources