My adult child lives with me. Can this affect my ODSP?

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 that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We’ll update this information as things change.

An adult child is someone who is 18 or older. If an adult child lives with you, how this affects from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is complicated and depends on your situation. 

This answer and next steps give basic information. A community legal clinic may be able to explain more fully how this will affect you. For example, they may be able to tell you whether ODSP will expect you to require your child to pay housing costs to live with you.

You have to tell ODSP about other people in your household. ODSP calls this your “benefit unit”. They look at who is in your household when they decide if you qualify for income support and how much you get.

When your adult child is included in your household

ODSP includes your adult child who lives with you as part of your household if:

  • they don’t qualify for income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) on their own, and
  • they’re not “financially independent”. See Step 1.

If ODSP includes them in your household because the rules above apply, they’re called a dependent adult.

Choices “financially independent” children can make

If ODSP says that your adult child who lives with you is financially independent, they may be able to choose between:

  • applying for from Ontario Works (OW) on their own, or
  • being included in your household. To find out how this can affect your income support, talk to a community legal clinic.

But there are times when adult children do not have this choice. See Step 2.

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