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When I apply to the Ontario Disability Support Program, how do I prove that I have a disability?
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.
When you apply 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".
Who is a “person with a disability”
To meet the ODSP definition of a “person with a disability” you need an approved health professional, such as a doctor, to confirm that:
- you have a physical or mental health problem that’s expected to last a year or more, and
- your health problem limits your ability to work, look after yourself, or do daily activities at home or in the community.
The law also says that your health problem must be substantial and must limit your abilities in a substantial way.
It can be a health problem that you have all the time or one that sometimes goes away but then comes back.
And it can be one health problem or a number of different problems that together limit your abilities.
Proving you have a disability
To show that you’re a “person with a disability”, you use the Disability Determination Package. It contains 4 forms:
- Health Status Report
- Activities of Daily Living Index
- Consent to Release Medical Information
- Self Report
The forms have to be completed and sent to the Disability Adjudication Unit. They use the information to decide whether you qualify as a "person with a disability".
When you apply for ODSP, you get the Disability Determination Package after you qualify financially.
If ODSP says you don’t qualify financially
You can still get the Disability Determination Package if you appeal a decision about whether you qualify financially. This means you can complete your application for income support.
It’s important to do this because if you win your appeal, you might be able to get income support from the date that the Disability Adjudication Unit received your completed application.
Not having to prove that you’re a “person with a disability”
Some people can get ODSP without having to prove that they’re a person with a disability. ODSP gives them income support once they qualify financially.