Note: If you require immediate financial assistance, please contact your local Ontario Works office (you can also still apply for ODSP).
Note: If you’re an Ontario Works client, your financial need has already been established. Speak to your caseworker about applying for ODSP income support.
You can start the application process either online, by phone or in person.
Once you’ve started the process, a caseworker will contact you within five days to schedule an in-person meeting.
You will be asked to bring specific documents to the meeting, so that the caseworker can verify:
At your meeting, you will be asked to read and sign these forms:
You may be asked to sign additional forms, as needed.
Your signed “consent to disclose and verify information” gives the ODSP office permission to get information about you from other government programs, organizations and other parties (e.g. Canada Revenue Agency, Ministry of Transportation).
The ODSP office will use the information you provide, along with the information from other organizations, to determine if you qualify financially for income support.
A decision notice will be sent to you within 15 business days of your meeting.
If you are found to be:
Note: If you are a member of a Prescribed Class, you do not need to complete this part of the application process.
The program’s definition of a person with a disability is found in the ODSP Act.
Meeting the definition means that:
To determine whether you meet this definition, your caseworker will give you a Disability Determination Package for you and your health care provider to complete.
Your completed package (along with any supporting information) will be used to determine if you meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability.
The Disability Determination Package is used to collect information about your disability.
The two main parts of the Disability Determination Package must be completed by an approved health care professional. These parts are:
Health care professionals who are approved to complete both the Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index:
Health care professionals who are approved to complete the Activities of Daily Living Index only:
Important: You should also ask your health care professional to submit any additional supporting information they may have (e.g. clinical notes, hospital reports, psychological/functional assessments) that helps describe your medical condition and disability, as well as how it affects you.
In addition to the Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index, the Disability Determination Package contains:
Once you’ve completed the required pieces of the Disability Determination Package, use the envelope provided to send the package to the ODSP Disability Adjudication Unit.
Specialized ODSP staff—called adjudicators—review your completed Disability Determination Package to determine if you meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability.
Adjudicators have a wide range of education and experience in the health care field. They include:
About 25% of Disability Determination Packages received are reviewed within 10 business days.
Complex applications, or applications missing medical information, will take longer to review. A decision on these applications is usually made within 90 business days, once all information is provided.