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How do I start an ODSP application?
Long delays for appeal 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 Social Benefits Tribunal that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.
To get income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you have to qualify both:
- financially, and
- 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 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.