Can I leave Ontario and still get ODSP?

2. Ask ODSP to approve more than 30 days away

If you’re away from Ontario for more than 30 days, you need approval from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

If you can, it’s best to ask ODSP to approve your time away from Ontario before you leave. If you didn’t ask before you left, you can ask after you come back.

ODSP will look at your reasons for being away. They will also look at things like whether you pay living costs in Ontario while away. This includes things like rent.

When ODSP can give their approval

ODSP can approve you being away for more than 30 days:

  • for health reasons,
  • to go to a post-secondary school, like a college or university, or
  • for what ODSP calls “exceptional circumstances”.

Health reasons

ODSP will approve you being away for more than 30 days for health reasons if:

  • you need to leave Ontario for medical treatment,
  • your doctor prescribes the treatment for you, and
  • your doctor asks the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) to pay for the treatment and OHIP agrees.

ODSP needs to see the letter from OHIP that says they agree to pay.

Going to school

ODSP can approve you being away from Ontario for 12 months or less to go to a post-secondary school, like a college or university.

Before you start a new school year, you have to come back to Ontario and meet with ODSP. You have to ask them to approve you leaving Ontario again to go to school. They’ll ask you for information to show that you still qualify financially for .

Exceptional circumstances

ODSP can approve you being away from Ontario for more than 30 days for reasons they consider to be “exceptional circumstances”. For example:

  • You need to be with your caregiver who is going on vacation or needs to travel outside Ontario.
  • You need to be away because of a serious family situation. For example, a family member is sick or injured, or has died. ODSP may ask you for proof, such as a letter from a doctor or a death certificate.
  • You left Ontario and were not able to come back within 30 days. ODSP will ask you for proof that the reasons were beyond your control. These could be reasons like a serious illness or problems with travel, such as a cancelled flight.

You can also ask ODSP to decide that your reason for being away is an exceptional circumstance if you:

  • need to travel because of your health, and
  • can’t meet ODSP’s rules about health reasons.

When you ask, give ODSP a letter from your doctor or other health professional.

ODSP may not agree to do this. So, talk to a community legal clinic to find out what you can do if you don’t agree with what ODSP decides.

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