The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income and employment support to people with disabilities.

To qualify for ODSP, you must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • live in Ontario
  • be financially eligible
  • have a 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.

How to apply for ODSP while receiving Ontario Works

If you receive Ontario Works (OW) and you have a substantial disability, you can apply for ODSP. Ask your OW caseworker for the ODSP application, called “Disability Determination Package (DDP).”

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.

The ODSP application forms

The  DDP or application package includes instructions and four forms:

  • Your health care provider will complete these forms at no cost to you:
    • Health Status Report
    • Activities of Daily Living
  • You will complete a:
    • Consent form
    • Self-report

A family member, friend, trustee or someone from a community group who knows about your health problem(s) can help you with your application. If you need help finding a health care professional to complete the forms, contact Health Care Connect at 1-800-445-1822.

The Disability Adjudication Unit is the office that reviews and makes decisions on all ODSP medical applications. 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.

You have 90 days to complete and mail the forms to the DAU. You may request more time if necessary. If you have questions or need more time to complete the DDP, you can contact the DAU at 416-326-5079 (Toronto) or toll free at 1-888-256-6758.

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

If you get more medical information after submitting your application, you can mail it to DAU 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.

The Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) decision

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, you have the right to ask the DAU, in writing, for an Internal Review (IR), within 30 days of receiving the decision.

Requesting an appeal hearing

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.

Read more about Ontario Works.