OW & ODSP Presentation
(posted: April 29 2018)
Presentation to Ontario Regional Council
April 2018 Spring Annual General Meeting
ONTARIO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Ontario has 2 social assistance programs to help eligible residents of Ontario who are in financial need.
One is Ontario Works and the other is the Ontario Disability Support Program.
This provincial assistance program is delivered according to the Ontario Works Act. The Employment and Social Services Offices issue the financial benefits. Ontario Works helps people who are in temporary financial need. The program offers both financial and employment assistance. OW provides money for food, shelter and other costs to people in financial need who meet the eligibility criteria.
Financial assistance may include money for food, shelter, clothing and other household costs, the cost of prescription medications and other help with health costs. OW also provides employment assistance which may include options to help people find jobs or become more job ready, money for training and other employment related expenses. The monthly amount of assistance one can receive depends on family size, housing costs and income.
WHO CAN APPLY
Eligibility for OW assistance will be assessed during either a telephone application or an online application. If it appears the person qualifies, he will need to attend an in-person interview at an OW office. The office one will receive assistance from is determined by a person's postal code.
A homeless person can apply by calling 416-338-8888 or simply walk into any Employment and Social Services Office to apply.
One can also apply for OW online at any time...google Toronto Employment and Social Services. After you have completed answering all the questions and have submitted your application online, you will need to attend an in-person interview where you will meet with your caseworker to sign the application forms and learn more about the program. Usually this in-person appointment takes place at your local Employment and Social Services Office. If you're not able to physically come to the office, other arrangements can be made.
EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR AN APPLICATION
Within 4 days of providing all needed documents, you'll be told whether or not you qualify for assistance and for how much. You will be assigned a caseworker who will be your primary contact while you receive assistance.
OTHER OW BENEFITS
Medication, subsidy for recreation programs, child care, money for training costs or employment or school related costs, special diet, funeral expenses, eye exams and eye glasses, dental coverage.
There is also the Housing Stabilization Fund - which provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works.
ONTARIO DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAM
Anyone with a disability and needing help with living expenses may be eligible for ODSP.
ODSP offers 2 types of support just like the OW.
To qualify for ODSP income support, a person must be
A person is considered to be in a financial need if the cost of the household's basic living expenses are more than the household's income and assets (as determined by your ODSP caseworker)
When you apply for income support, a caseworker will ask you for specific documents that show
Only a caseworker can decide if you're financially eligible for ODSP.
MEETING THE DEFINITION OF A PERSON WITH DISABILITY
The application process can be started either online, by phone or in person. Once you've started the process, a caseworker will contact you within 5 days to schedule an in-person meeting. You will be asked to bring specific documents to the meeting so that the caseworker can verify
A decision notice will be sent to you within 15 business days of your meeting with a caseworker.
If you're found to be financially eligible for income support, you will then be given a Disability Determination Package for part 2 of the application process for you and your health care provider to fill out. Specialized Ministry staff - Ministry of Community & Social Services will review the completed package to determine if you meet the program's definition of a person with disability. If yes, here comes ODSP.
If found to be financially ineligible, and you disagree with the decision, you will have 30 days to submit a request for an internal review and this is the first step in appealing a decision.
SOME ASSETS WILL AFFECT ELIGIBILITY cash in hand
money in bank accounts
Property other than the house you live in
vehicle other than the main vehicle you drive
ASSETS THAT WILL NOT AFFECT ELIGIBILITY
the house you own and live in
necessary household & personal items such as furniture and clothing
your primary vehicle
LIMITS TO THE VALUE OF ASSETS
For a single person, the limit is $40,000
For a couple, it is $50,000
In terms of assisting someone who probably needs support, we actually can. The case worker will only need the individual's consent to have another person around or speak for them.
211 is a good resource to use too. It is your community connection. It provides information about human services - health, social and community services from any level of government and other service providers. It connects you with an information specialist who can provide information and referrals 24 hours a day.
311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency city services programs and information 24 hours a day. From Outside Toronto, dial 416-392-city (2489).
Presentation by: Funmi Olagesin, Housing Worker, Toronto Central Council
OW & ODSP Presentation