Goverment Services - Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Persons with disabilities who are 18 years of age and older may be eligible for income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income support and employment supports for people with disabilities and is funded through the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

To assist with the transition to independence, a person can apply to the ODSP up to six months prior to his/her 18th birthday. Applicants should go to the local Ontario Works or ODSP office and request an application to determine financial eligibility. Applicants who are financially eligible are given a Disability Determination Package. The package must be completed by an approved health professional and submitted to the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) at the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The DAU is responsible for reviewing the information provided in the package and determining whether the applicant qualifies as a person with a disability in accordance with the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. Under the ODSP, a person with a disability is someone who has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and is expected to last one year or more. The impairment must have a substantial impact on the applicant's ability to attend to his/her activities of daily living, function in the community, and perform in the workplace, taking into account the person's age, level of education, and employment experience/work history.

The ODSP also offers a range of employment supports to assist people with disabilities to find and keep jobs in the competitive work force. Employment supports include employment counselling, pre-employment preparation and skills-based training, and on-the-job supports.

In addition, the ODSP provides an extensive array of health-related benefits including basic dental care, drug coverage, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. Special diet allowances, a guide dog benefit, diabetic supplies, surgical supplies, and medical transportation may also be provided depending on individual need. The ODSP also covers 25 percent of the co-payment required on items covered under the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Assistive Devices Program and assists with the cost of wheelchair/mobility device repairs and batteries.