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I have a problem with ODSP. Where can I get help?
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.
If you have a problem about getting income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you may want to get legal help to understand your rights and act on them.
Decisions about ODSP income support are made by:
- your local ODSP office, if the decision is about whether you qualify financially
- the Disability Adjudication Unit, if the decision is about whether you’re a person with a disability
If you disagree with a decision about ODSP income support, it’s important to get help as soon as possible.
When to get help
You may want to get legal advice if, for example, ODSP:
- refuses to give you income support
- says you are not a “person with a disability”
- reduces or cuts off your income support
- asks for information or documents you can’t get
- asks for information you don’t think you should have to give
- says you owe them money
There may be things you can do. For example, you may be able to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT). The SBT is not part of ODSP and has the power to make a different decision.
Where to get help
There are community legal clinics across Ontario that provide free legal services to people with low incomes.
At these clinics, lawyers, community legal workers, and law students help people with a variety of legal problems, including problems with ODSP.
Clinics give legal information and advice, and can also help you appeal a decision about getting ODSP income support.
A clinic may be able to help you fill out forms and prepare for a hearing at the SBT. They may also represent you at your hearing.
Getting medical evidence
Staff at a community legal clinic may also be able to talk to your health professional about the information you need to prove that you have a disability. In some cases, they may be able to help pay for medical reports that you need to get.
If a clinic can’t help you
If you need legal help that a clinic can’t give you, they may be able to refer you to someone who can. For example, if ODSP has asked the police to investigate because they think you’re guilty of fraud, you might need a criminal lawyer.