Important Changes to ODSP and OW

Important Changes to ODSP and OW

Postby CLS » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:35 pm

Effective September 1, 2017, the province has made significant changes to asset limits and other program rules. These changes will allow more people to meet the eligibility requirements for each program, while retaining assets that may be crucial to their ability to eventually exit the assistance program. As explained in a Backgrounder posted to the Ministry of Community and Social Services website (https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2017/09 ... grams.html:

"Improving Ontario's Social Assistance Programs
September 1, 2017 12:30 P.M.

The province is taking steps to build a fairer Ontario by making improvements to social assistance programs. Changes include:
Increasing rates

• Social assistance rates for all individuals receiving support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works will be increased by two per cent starting in September 2017 for ODSP and October 2017 for Ontario Works.
Helping people in remote and northern communities
• The Remote Communities Allowance will increase by $50 for the first recipient and $25 for each additional family member starting in September 2017 for ODSP and October 2017 for Ontario Works. This allowance provides extra support for people living in remote and northern communities to help address the unique challenges they face.


Increasing income and asset exemptions

In the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), asset limits will increase:
* from $5,000 to $40,000 for single individuals
* from $7,500 to $50,000 for couples

In Ontario Works, asset limits will increase:
* from $2,500 to $10,000 for single individuals
* from $5,000 to $15,000 for couples
* As of September 1, 2017, the income exemption for cash gifts will increase from $6,000 to $10,000 for both ODSP and Ontario Works.
* As of August 1, 2017, compensation awards for individuals receiving ODSP are fully exempt as income and assets and the exemption limit for individuals receiving Ontario Works will be increased to $50,000 from the previous $25,000 limit.
* As of September 1, 2017, the monthly maximum deduction for disability-related employment expenses will increase from $300 to $1,000.
* The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disabled Contributor’s Child Benefit and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) Pension for a Disabled Person’s Child will be fully exempt from social assistance beginning October 2017. These benefits provide monthly financial support for the eligible child of a person receiving a CPP/QPP disability benefits. ..."


Additional information about other program changes is included in the Backgrounder. Advocates and other working with social assistance recipients or applicants, as well as recipients themselves, are urged to review the complete document on the Ministry's website.
Kathryn M. Bullon, B.Sc., J.D., M.Ad.Ed.
Legal Education Co-Coordinator
Community Law School
CLS
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