ODSP is an essential program for persons with disabilities who have no or very limited sources of income. The way the program defines disability is very important. ISAC is co-counselling with Community Legal Services of Ottawa in a case that will argue that a person was wrongly denied ODSP benefits because the wrong definition of disability was applied in his case.
The law in Ontario has a very broad understanding of disability, including that people may have temporary or episodic disabilities. People with disabilities that are not “severe” but that affect their day-to-day lives in important ways can still qualify for ODSP.
In M.C.’s case, we will argue that the Social Benefits Tribunal did not use the right definition of disability. Instead, the Tribunal relied on out-dated assumptions about chronic pain and mental health to deny his appeal. For example, the Tribunal said that M.C.’s mental health condition was not serious enough because he had not received crisis intervention treatment. But as a recent report from mental health experts shows, whether a person has had crisis intervention treatment is not a good way to judge the severity of their disability.
A hearing is scheduled for May 1.
You can read our legal arguments on this case here: MC Legal Argument 2019 01 09