A person with a disability is defined under the ODSP Act as a person who has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and expected to last one year or more; the direct and cumulative effect of the impairment results in a substantial restrictions in one or more of the activities of daily living (i.e., the ability to attend to personal care, function in the community or function in a workplace); and the impairment, its likely duration and restrictions have been verified by a prescribed health care professional.
The applicant must have a Disability Determination Package (DDP) completed and returned to the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) within 90 days. If not, the application shall be determined withdrawn unless the DAU receives a written request for an extension from the applicant and approves a longer period of time. Only prescribed healthcare professionals can complete the DDP.
It is the role of the DAU’s Disability Determination Adjudicators to make the determination of whether or not the applicant is “a person with a disability” under the ODSP Act. An applicant, who is found to be a person with a disability, may be assigned a medical review date if their medical condition is likely to improve.
Section 4(1), (2), 5(1),10(1) (2) of the ODSP Act
Sections 4(1), 5(1), (2), 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 of the ODSP Regulation
Sections 38(2) and (3) of the Ontario Works Regulation
Section 13(1) 5 of the Child and Family Services Regulation 2006/00
The Directive outlines:
To describe the policy relating to the adjudication of applicants who apply as a person with a disability under the ODSP Act.
Anyone has the right to make an application for ODSP if he/she believes him/herself to be a person with a disability as defined by subsection 4(1) of the ODSP Act.
An applicant for ODSP may apply through Ontario Works or an ODSP local office. Financial eligibility must be determined before an applicant for ODSP can be referred to the DAU. An applicant's financial eligibility is determined following the completion of the Application for Assistance Part 1 by Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program staff.
Once financial eligibility is established, a referral must be made to the DAU by the Ontario Works or ODSP local office and the applicant is given a DDP.
The DDP is the approved application form used to obtain information related to an applicant's disability, medical conditions(s), impairment(s), restriction(s) and duration.
The DDP includes the following forms:
An envelope is provided with the DDP to submit the application directly to the DAU. Applicants should not submit the DDP through the Ontario Works or the ODSP local office.
The following prescribed health care professionals who are members with their regulatory college in Ontario may complete the forms:
The DDP is only considered complete for adjudication when the HSR and ADL is completed by the appropriate prescribed healthcare professional, the Consent to the Release Medical Information is complete, and the package is submitted in its entirety.
Applicants are encouraged to have their health care professional submit additional medical and supporting information with their application, e.g. specialist reports, psychological assessments, radiology reports, functional assessments etc.
The DDP is to be completed and returned to the DAU within the prescribed 90-days.
If an applicant encounters difficulty getting his or her DDP completed or submitted within the 90-day prescribed time frame, the person may contact the DAU directly and ask for an extension. An extension will be provided for extenuating circumstances such as hospitalization, detained in a lawful place of confinement or illness.
An applicant who is not in need of immediate financial assistance should apply for ODSP through the local ODSP office. ODSP staff are responsible for taking the initial application, and verifying and recording the information obtained from the applicant/trustee.
Once financial eligibility has been established a referral is made to the DAU and a DDP is provided to the applicant by the local ODSP office or Ontario Works office.
If the DAU determines that the applicant is a person with a disability, the DAU notifies the local office and the applicant. The local ODSP office is responsible for granting ODSP income support.
If the DAU determines that the applicant does not meet the definition of disability the DAU notifies the applicant and the referring ODSP office.
Anyone wishing to apply for ODSP who is in immediate financial need can apply for financial assistance through Ontario Works. An applicant for ODSP applying through an Ontario Works office must first meet financial eligibility requirements.
Once financial eligibility has been established, a referral is made to the DAU and a DDP is provided to the applicant/participant.
If the DAU determines that the applicant is a person with a disability, the Ontario Works office transfers the case to ODSP, and the local ODSP office is responsible for granting ODSP income support.
If the DAU determines that the applicant does not meet the definition of disability, the DAU notifies the applicant and the referring Ontario Works office.
The DAU is responsible for determining if a person meets the legislative definition of a “person with a disability” under the ODSP Act.
The DAU is a centralized unit that comprises various ministry staff, including Disability Determination Adjudicators, who have a range of education and experiences in the health care field.
The DAU is also responsible for determining whether or not a medical review date should be assigned. A medical review date is to be assigned unless there is no likelihood of improvement in the applicant’s medical condition. For conditions that may improve, a medical review date is assigned for a date of two or five years.
The decision to assign a medical review date cannot be appealed to the SBT. The SBT does not have the authority to hear appeals about setting a medical review date.
Recipients are informed at the time of being granted if a medical review date has been assigned. In such cases and at the appropriate time, the DAU provides the recipient with a medical review DDP and conducts a medical review.
Applicants who are members of a prescribed class do not require disability adjudication and are granted ODSP income support if they are found to be financially eligible.
Members of a prescribed class include:
The following are also members of a prescribed class but only while residing in the institutions listed.
If a former recipient qualifies for rapid reinstatement, they are not required to go through the disability adjudication process. However, they must qualify financially and meet all other eligibility requirements. All other ODSP applicants must be referred to the DAU and determined to be a person with a disability before being granted ODSP income support.
Where a recipient who was eligible for income support because he/she received CPP-D or QPP-D (a “prescribed class” under ODSP) becomes ineligible for CPP-D or QPP-D. In these cases, the person is no longer eligible for ODSP as a member of a prescribed class and would need to apply for ODSP as a person with a disability and go through the adjudication process.
An Application for Assistance Part 1 should be taken to determine financial eligibility 6 months prior to an applicant’s 18th birthday. Once financial eligibility is established, the applicant is given the DDP to complete and submit to the DAU. In addition, local office staff need to ensure that a referral is made to the DAU when the DDP is provided to the individual. While the application can be adjudicated, the earliest that a person can be granted ODSP is on their 18th birthday provided that all other eligibility criteria are met.
Children who are in receipt of Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) may be eligible for ODSP and may apply 6 months prior to their 18th birthday.
Youth in Children’s Aid Society’s (CAS) care who are approaching the age of 18 may apply for ODSP 6 months before their 18th birthday.
Youth who are in receipt of Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) may be eligible for ODSP and may also apply.
ECM is a support service provided by CASs to eligible youth who require financial and/or other supports beyond their 18th birthday in order to successfully complete the transition to independent living or to achieve transfer to an appropriate adult program. The amount of financial support varies as the rate is set by the Board of the individual CAS in accordance with the “Extended Care and Maintenance Guidelines”.
Under the Child and Family Services Act and Ontario Regulation 206/00, ECM payments for financial support must stop when ODSP commences. ECM payments are often provided to youth at the beginning of the month. ODSP is provided at the end of the month. To facilitate a smooth transition from ECM to ODSP and to avoid a lapse in funding, CASs have the flexibility to double a youth’s ECM payment in the last month of his or her eligibility for ECM financial support. The decision to increase this final payment rests with the individual CAS. ODSP staff are to confirm the exact amount of the financial support by contacting the local CAS and advising the CAS of the youth’s grant date so that ECM payments may be discontinued once ODSP is granted.
Note that the CAS may continue to provide non-financial ECM support to an individual on an as needed basis. Examples of non-financial support include but is not limited to indirect payments for day treatment, therapy, support services, bus passes, etc.. As these indirect payments for support services are voluntary on the part of the CAS, they are not to be treated as income for ODSP purposes. Please refer to Directive 5.8 - Gifts and Voluntary Payments for further information on voluntary payments.
If a case is to be granted retroactively, the ECM financial support payment that was received during the retroactive period is to be charged as income and deducted. As ODSP rates are generally higher than ECM financial support payments, this will likely result in ODSP arrears owing to the applicant. However, it should be noted that there may not be any ODSP eligibility during the last month that ECM is issued, depending on the amount of ECM that has been provided by the local CAS. See example below which assumes that the applicant was receiving a monthly ECM financial support payment of $663, received a double ECM payment in the month of ODSP grant, and is eligible for $1075 per month.
|ODSP completes the application Part 1. All required information received: November 3, 2012||Financial eligibility determined and DDP provided: November 9, 2012||DAU receives completed DDP: December 30, 2012||DAU determines applicant to be a person with a disability: March 3, 2013|
The date of grant is the first day of the month following the date the application was completed: Date of grant is January 1, 2011.
|Month||ODSP Monthly Maximum||ECM Monthly Payment Received||ODSP Entitlement (Arrears Owing)|
|January 2013||$1075 -||$663 =||$412|
|February 2013||$1075 -||$663 =||$412|
|March 2013||$1075 -||$1326
(double ECM payment) =
(no eligibility as ECM income precludes)
|April 2013||$1075 -||$0.00 =||$1075
first full ODSP cheque
ECM terminated in March, after the double payment was issued, as ODSP commenced.
Persons who are in a lawful place of confinement are not eligible for income support.
However, to facilitate a smooth transition to the community, the DAU provides DDPs directly to correctional facilities. Where appropriate, correctional facility physicians or other approved health care professionals can complete the DDP and return it to the DAU. Local offices should not provide DDPs if requested by a provincial or federal correctional facility by an advocate or individual in a facility; they are to be directed to contact the DAU.
Ontario Works and ODSP staff should not complete an Application Part 1 for a person detained in custody. The individual is provided with direction from the correctional facility once he or she is released to contact either the Ontario Works Intake Screening Unit or the ODSP local office to have financial eligibility established.
An electronic referral must be made to the DAU by the Ontario Works or ODSP office for persons who are financially eligible. The DDP is only adjudicated by the DAU once financial eligibility has been determined by Ontario Works or ODSP local office upon the person’s release.
People residing in a former PPH, divested psychiatric hospital, institution under the Developmental Services Act, Residences under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, and a home under the Homes for Special Care Act are members of a prescribed class.
However, upon being discharged from the facility, they cease to be members of a prescribed class unless they qualify as a member of a prescribed class for other reasons (e.g. in receipt of CPP-D). Residents leaving the facility who no longer qualify as a member of a prescribed class must be adjudicated.
For this reason, at the time of the initial application, intake staff should attempt to determine the anticipated length of the applicant’s stay in the institution.
ODSP staff should facilitate discussions with the applicant or their advocate and/or institution staff to determine if and when a referral to the DAU should be made.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to make the referral to the DAU at the time of the initial application. In other cases, it may be more appropriate to wait until a discharge plan is in place. However, a referral to the DAU is not contingent upon a discharge plan being in place.
A resident who will cease to be of a prescribed class can apply as follows:
Applicants temporarily residing in a hospital, psychiatric facility1 or a substance abuse recovery home (SARH) may be eligible for income support. The budgetary requirements are calculated in accordance with Section 6 of the Directives. Once the budgetary requirements have been determined, please see Directive 8.2 Budgetary Requirements for Recipients/Dependants Temporarily in a Hospital, Psychiatric Facility, or Substance Abuse Recovery Home for related policy.
1A psychiatric facility is a Schedule 1 facility designated under the Mental Health Act that is not a Provincial Psychiatric Hospital, former Provincial Psychiatric Hospital, Homewood Health Centre, or CAMH.)