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Understanding the ODSP with Disability Claims Lawyers

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If you’ve suffered a severe injury as a result of an accident—whether it’s a serious motor vehicle collision, a slip and fall, a bicycle accident, or anything else—and now you have a permanent or long term disability, you should be thankful that you live in Canada. Much has been made of our excellent health care system, such that many often forget about the important role that our social safety net plays. As all disability claims lawyers know, Ontario in particular has excellent regulations in place to provide disability claims benefits.

 

The Ontario Disability Support Program

 

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is a provincial program in place to provide people with disabilities access to financial assistance to cover cost of living, medical benefits, and even help finding a job and progressing your career. The Ontario Disability Support Program Act, which disability claims lawyers know well, governs the ODSP. The Act defines people with disabilities as those:

  • Whose physical or mental impairment is continuous and recurrent for at least one year;
  • Which impairment substantially restricts their personal care, function in the community, or function in the workplace; and
  • A doctor, neuropsychologist, or other qualified professional has verified this impairment.

If you qualify as disabled by this description, the ODSP provides aid for two main categories: income and employment.

 

Income Support

The income support in the ODSP provides monthly financial assistance for basic expenses like food, clothing, and shelter (including rent, utilities, etc.) You can apply for income support online or by calling your local ODSP office. Before inquiring about the ODSP, we also recommend getting a free consultation with a disability claims lawyer, as you want to be prepared for the application process. Within 5 days of applying, you will have an in-person meeting with an ODSP caseworker, who will determine your financial eligibility. You’re eligible for income support if your current income is less than your necessary expenses, and your caseworker will ask for documents that detail this information.

 

Employment Supports

 

Beyond direct finances, the ODSP helps to get people with disabilities into positions of self-sufficiency. If you are eligible (i.e. 16 or older, an Ontario resident, and disabled by the ODSP definition), a community service provider can get you:

  • Help preparing for work;
  • Help finding a job that is right for you, given your skills and limitations;
  • Help keeping a job;
  • Job coaching;
  • On-the-job training;
  • Help advancing your career;
  • Software, mobility, and other assistive technology;
  • An interpreter or intervenor;
  • Transportation assistance;
  • Tools, equipment, special clothing, and other items you need for your job; and
  • Specialized computer training.

Employment supports can even help you to start your own business by providing training in money management, record keeping and budgeting, help with marketing, and other mentoring activities.

The ODSP is an excellent service, however it can only help you if you’re able to make use of it. Book a free consultation with a Toronto personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you are having trouble with the application process.

 

Sources:

http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/97o25b#BK3

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/

Level 7 (XP: 2700)
last year
very informative, there are so many people who have no idea what their rights are or what kind of help they can ask for. It's always important to do the necessary research and get well infomed in order to get the full benefit of professional help with matters involving the ODSP and disability claims lawyers.