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How do I start an application to the Ontario Disability Support Program?

Question
How do I start an application to the Ontario Disability Support Program?

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Reviewed: 
September, 2016
Answer

To get income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you have to qualify both:

  1. financially, and
  2. in most cases, as a person with a disability.

If you’re on OW

If you’re already getting financial assistance from Ontario Works (OW), you have to apply for ODSP income support through your OW office.

And because you’re already on OW, you should qualify financially for ODSP income support.

If you’re not on OW

If you need money right away, you may want to start by applying for financial assistance from OW.

This is because it can take months to find out if you qualify for income support from ODSP.

If you don’t need assistance from OW, you can start your ODSP application by contacting your local ODSP office. They decide if you qualify financially for income support.

Or, you may be able to use ODSP's online application.

After you start your application, the ODSP office should contact you within 5 days to give you an appointment to complete your application.

If you qualify financially

If ODSP decides that you do qualify financially, you’ll get a Disability Determination Package with forms that ask about your health.

Sending in the completed forms is how you prove that you’re a person with a disability.

If you don’t qualify financially

If ODSP decides that you don’t qualify financially for income support, you may be able to appeal that decision. For help and advice about appealing, contact a community legal clinic.

If you’re appealing that decision, you can go ahead with the next step in your application for income support while you wait for your appeal. This means completing the Disability Determination Package to show that you’re a “person with a disability”.

You can get the Disability Determination Package from the ODSP worker, complete the forms, and send them to the Disability Adjudication Unit.

It’s important to do this because, if you win your appeal, your income support can start from the date that the Disability Adjudication Unit received your completed application.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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