The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income and employment support to people with disabilities. You can apply for ODSP while receiving Ontario Works, but it is not a requirement to be on Ontario Works to apply for the program.
To qualify for ODSP, you must:
- be 18 years or older
- live in Ontario
- be financially eligible
- have a substantial physical or mental health problem, expected to last one year or longer, that substantially limits your ability to work, look after yourself or carry out daily activities.
The Disability Determination Package (DDP) includes:
- four forms: two to be filled out by your health care provider(s) and two to be filled out by you
- instructions on how to fill out the forms
- a list of the type of health care providers who can fill out the two medical forms.
The Health Status Report and the Activities of Daily Living forms should be completed by your health care providers who know your health situation best. You do not have to pay the health care provider(s) to fill out the forms. Health care providers are paid by the provincial government to complete these forms. Letters of support from additional health care providers can also be included with your application.
You fill out the Consent and Self Report forms. The Consent form lets the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) get information for your application. The DAU is the office that reviews and makes decisions on all ODSP medical applications. The Self Report is your chance to explain, in your own words, how your health impacts your ability to work, look after yourself or carry out daily activities at home and in the community. A family member, friend, trustee or someone from a community group who knows about your health problem(s) can help you fill it out. Please talk to your OW caseworker if you need help with the Self Report. If you decide you do not want to fill out the Self Report, you still have to sign and return it. Your application cannot be processed without it.
Once you receive the medical application, you have 90 days to complete it and return it to the DAU. If you cannot get all the medical information you need within 90 days, you can ask for more time to return the application. Once the medical application has been completed, mail it to the DAU in the envelope provided.
Before you mail in your package:
- review the forms and make sure that your name and address are on all the forms
- keep a copy for your records
- make sure that there is enough postage on the envelope
Make sure that your application has all the information on your health problem(s) as the DAU decision is based on the medical information on the application.
The DAU will mail you their decision. If the DAU says yes to your application, your OW caseworker will send your file to the local ODSP office. The local ODSP office will then grant ODSP benefits based on the financial information from OW.
If the DAU says no to your application and you don’t agree with this decision, you have the right to ask the DAU, in writing, for an Internal Review (IR), within 30 days of receiving the decision.
If the answer to the Internal Review is also no, or you do not get an answer within 10 days of your request, you have the right to ask for an appeal hearing with the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT). The SBT is an independent body that hears appeals of OW and ODSP decisions.
Your request must be in writing and within 30 days of the date of the decision. A hearing to discuss your medical situation will be scheduled. You have the right to bring a legal representative to your hearing. A representative from a community legal clinic may be able to assist you. Ask your OW caseworker for a community legal clinic in your area.
You can give more medical information to the DAU up to 30 days from your hearing date with the Social Benefits Tribunal.
How to Apply for ODSP while Receiving Ontario Works
If you are receiving Ontario Works (OW) and believe you may be a person with a disability, you have the right to apply to ODSP from OW. Ask your OW caseworker for the ODSP application, called “Disability Determination Package (DDP).”
If You Received ODSP in the Past
If you received ODSP in the past, you may be able to return to ODSP without starting a new application. Please speak to your OW caseworker or contact your local ODSP office about rapid reinstatement.
More Medical Information
If you get more medical information after you mail in the DDP — for example, test results or medical reports, or there is a change in your health — mail this information to the DAU. You can do this at any time during the application process.
No Medical Needed
You do not have to fill out the ODSP medical application form if you are:
- receiving the Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D), or
- 65 years of age and over and do not qualify for Old Age Security (OAS).
Your application would only require confirmation of financial eligibility. Please speak to your OW caseworker about making a referral to ODSP.