Can I get spousal support and money from ODSP?

Long delays for hearings

If you're appealing a decision made by OW or ODSP in 2020, your appeal hearing may not happen for a long time. People report that they're getting hearing dates from the that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.

Spousal support payments affect the amount of you get from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

ODSP reduces the amount of income support you get by the amount of you get. For example, if you get $100 in spousal support each month, ODSP will reduce your monthly income support by $100.

But a new rule that applies starting January 1, 2017, says that this only happens if you get the support money. ODSP does not reduce the amount they give you if you're supposed to get spousal support but it's not paid to you.

Trying to get spousal support

ODSP can require you to make “reasonable efforts” to get spousal support from someone who is or was your spouse as defined by family law.

But the rule is different for child support. ODSP will not say that you must try to get when you apply for assistance or while you're getting assistance.

Reporting spousal support payments

You have to tell ODSP about any spousal support payments you get. This lets ODSP know how much to take off your income support.

If you don't tell them, ODSP will say that they gave you too much money and you have an . They can take steps to get the money back.

If ODSP says that you have to pay them back and you don't agree, you may want to contact a community legal clinic.

If ODSP thinks you broke the rules on purpose, they can ask the police to charge you with fraud. If this happens, get legal help right away.

Applying for ODSP

When you apply for ODSP, they include spousal support as part of your . So, getting spousal support affects whether you qualify financially for ODSP.

This is because to qualify financially, your income can't be more than a certain amount. That amount depends on the number of people in your household and the cost of your housing.

Some people who apply for ODSP are already getting from Ontario Works (OW). It's harder to qualify financially for OW. So, if you're getting OW, you should qualify financially for income support from ODSP.

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