I have a developmental or intellectual disability. Can I get help from the government?

3. Apply for services and supports

You can apply for help from Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) by phoning them, sending them an email, or using their website.

Apply to the DSO office in your area or by calling 1-855-DS-ADULT (372-3858) or 416-925-4930. They will explain what is required to determine eligibility.  

The application is usually completed in two meetings along with an assessment called the Supports Intensity Scale.

At the first meeting, you meet with an assessor who helps you fill out the form. You need to give the assessor general information about what you are able to do, what you need, and your medical condition. You will also talk about your likes and dislikes, and your dreams and future goals.

At the second meeting, you talk about how much support you need in different areas like:

  • medical and behavioural concerns
  • taking care of your home
  • being part of the community
  • learning new ideas and skills
  • finding and keeping a job
  • being part of social activities
  • understanding your rights
  • protecting your rights

Each meeting takes about 2 hours, depending on your needs and the amount of information that is available.

After the second meeting, DSO will assess your needs, and decides whether to give you services and supports.

The DSO will probably put you on a waiting list. The DSO is supposed to help people on the waiting list who urgently need supports more quickly.

If you’re already getting developmental services and supports, or are on a waiting list

Some people don’t have to follow all the steps to apply. You might not have to follow all the steps if you:

This also depends on your age, and when you got on a waiting list or started services. For example, in the past, Special Services at Home had different age limits. But it is no longer available for people over 18 years of age.

These rules are complicated. If you think any of these rules might apply to you, it is a good idea to get legal help.

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