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I’m getting income support from the ODSP. What will happen if I get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

I’m getting income support from the ODSP. What will happen if I get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?
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I’m getting income support from the ODSP. What will happen if I get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?
June 19, 2020

Income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is for people with serious health problems. There are rules about who can get income support and what you must do to keep getting it.

As of March 2020, a single person can get $1,169 a month from ODSP. Couples and people with children get more.

If you get income support from ODSP, you can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), if you qualify for it. The CERB gives people $500 a week for up to 24 weeks.

Income Benefits Chart
Income benefits

Learn about benefits that are available if you need money.

Reporting your extra income

You must report any extra income you get while on ODSP, including what you earn from a job or from other government benefits like Employment Insurance (EI).

If you get too much other income, the government deducts or takes money from the amount you get from ODSP. Money you get from the CERB will also be treated this way.

In most cases, there will generally be a delay before deductions are made. So it is important to plan ahead to make sure you have enough money to pay your rent and other expenses when your ODSP is reduced.

Students and those under 18

Your CERB payments are not counted as extra income if you’re:

  • under 18,
  • a full-time student at a post-secondary institution like a college or university,
  • an adult student within 16 weeks of starting a post-secondary program, or
  • an adult who’s attending secondary or high school

If any of these apply to you, you’ll continue to get your full ODSP payments, plus your payments from the CERB. But you still need to report the money you get from the CERB to your ODSP worker.

Figuring out how much you’ll get

If your CERB payments are not counted as extra income, you should receive both the CERB and your full ODSP payments. If your CERB payments are counted as extra income, then your ODSP payments will be reduced.

In most cases, you can keep $200 a month from the CERB without this affecting what you get from ODSP. After the first $200, ODSP takes away 50 cents of every $1.00 you get from the CERB.

Since monthly CERB payments are $2,000 a month, this means that, in most cases, your ODSP payments will be reduced by $900 a month. This is because:

$2,000 - $200 = $1,800

$1,800 divided in half = $900

So, for example, if you’re a single person getting $1,169 a month from ODSP, with the CERB you would get a total $2,269 a month. You’d get your CERB payment of $2,000 and your ODSP would be reduced to $269. This is because:

$1,169 - $900 = $269

$2,000 + $269 = $2,269

But you’ll be getting the extra CERB benefits for up to 24 weeks. 

Keeping ODSP health benefits

The government has said that even if your ODSP payments are reduced to nothing, you’ll still be eligible for ODSP health benefits.  

Applying for the CERB

For more information about applying for the CERB, read Who can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how do I apply?

If you’re getting ODSP and have applied or want to apply for the CERB, ODSP worker to find out how much your ODSP payments will change.

If you need help or legal advice about what to do, contact your local community legal clinic

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