ODSP Action Coalition Extends Spring Campaign
Starting in October 2015, people on ODSP will lose the Work-Related Benefit.
The Work-Related Benefit provides $100 per month to each person in an ODSP family who has earnings from a job, a training program, or self-employment. It was put in place in 2006 to provide an incentive for people on ODSP to work by recognizing and helping to pay for the ongoing additional costs that are associated with working.
Eliminating the Work-Related Benefit is a direct cut to the incomes of people on ODSP who already struggle on meagre benefits to get by. Losing these funds will restrict their ability to pay for ongoing work-related expenses, like the transportation required to get to work, and undermine their efforts to be part of the labour market despite the many barriers they face.
The provincial government announced this move in Budget 2014 as part of a consolidation of employment-related benefits. More information and analysis is available at the background links below.
The ODSP Action Coalition, with support from ISAC and others, has been campaigning hard against this benefit cut and has extended its call to action to engage even more ODSP recipients and their allies.
There are two ways you can Take Action!
- Use the online letter writing tool
- Take two minutes to send an electronic letter to your local MPP, all Cabinet ministers, and the leaders of the Opposition parties, urging them to Save the Work-Related Benefit: http://www.odspaction.ca/action/save-the-wrb
- Sign the petition to the Ontario Legislature
- Download a petition form, print, sign, and share with others. Petitions will be read in the Ontario Legislature this spring, so please return signed petition forms by Friday May 22 to the address on the petition webpage:http://www.odspaction.ca/resource/petition-save-work-related-benefit
Earlier this year, the Coalition conducted a survey about the Work-Related Benefit. Over 500 people from more than 100 communities across Ontario participated. They said:
- They work for various reasons – primarily to earn income, but also to make a contribution to community, build social networks and gain a sense of dignity and self-worth – and the Work-Related Benefit supports them to do this.
- They face many barriers to the labour market and deal with a number of costs associated with working.
- The high cost of transportation and work-related clothing and equipment are barriers to their ability to work. Many also raised the problem of being unable to afford healthy food.
- The Work-Related Benefit begins to address these labour market barriers and costs. Without it, many fear they will have to quit working or limit the amount that they work. This would run directly counter to the government’s stated aim to increase the number of people on ODSP who work.
Download the survey report, “Why are they taking it away?” here:http://www.odspaction.ca/resource/why-are-they-taking-it-away-us-results-survey-odsp-recipients-work-related-benefit
- Background paper from ISAC: ISAC Issue Backgrounder - Changes to ODSP Employment Benefits - update March 2015
- Position paper from ODSP Action Coalition: http://www.odspaction.ca/resource/odsp-recipients-who-work-lose-100-month
- ISAC and Coalition joint webinar: http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/odsp-employment-benefits