Information on changes coming in 2015
Right now, people on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) who are preparing to work or who are working have access to three employment benefits.
Starting in April 2015, these three benefits will be replaced by one new benefit, called the “Employment-Related Benefit”. This change was announced in the 2014 Ontario budget.
There are some important differences in the way the current benefits work and the way the new benefit will work.
And a very important part of this change is the elimination of the Work-Related Benefit. This benefit gives $100 / month to people on ODSP who have income from a job, training, or self-employment to help pay for ongoing employment-related costs. ISAC is opposed to the elimination of this benefit.
We’ve created some resources to help you understand:
- what the current benefits are and how they work
- what we have been told by the Ministry of Community and Social Services about the new benefit and how it will work
- the implications of these changes for people on ODSP.
We co-hosted a webinar on the changes to employment benefits with the ODSP Action Coalition and Your Legal Rights on December 11 – we taped the webinar so you can watch it any time.
2) ISAC’s Issue Backgrounder
Our Issue Backgrounder explains the changes and discusses some of the implications.
The ODSP Action Coalition (see their website here) is also opposed to the elimination of the Work-Related Benefit and has prepared a position paper to explain their position.
They are asking people on ODSP who get the Work-Related Benefit to answer a questionnaire to help demonstrate what’s wrong with eliminating this benefit.
1) ODSP Action Coalition Position Paper
The Coalition’s Position Paper talks specifically about the elimination of the Work-Related Benefit and provides information about the Coalition’s position on this change.
2) ODSP Action Coalition Questionnaire
If you are on ODSP and get the Work-Related Benefit, the Coalition would like you to fill out a questionnaire about your experience with working, with the benefit, and what you think you will do when it’s eliminated.
- Complete the questionnaire online – just click this link and it will take you to the questionnaire, which you can fill out right on your computer.
- If you need to download a paper version and fill it out by hand, you can return it by email, fax, or mail. Download the paper version of the questionnaire here.
If you are a staff person of an agency that works with people on ODSP, please consider helping your clients who are working and receiving the Work-Related Benefit to fill out this questionnaire.