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Financial need

Person with a disability

To qualify for ODSP income support, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be an Ontario resident
  • be in financial need and
  • meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability, or be a member of a Prescribed Class

Note: If you’re under 18, you can start the application process up to six months before your 18th birthday.

Financial need

You are considered to be in financial need if the costs of your household’s basic living expenses are more than your household’s income and assets (as determined by your ODSP caseworker).

When you apply for income support, a caseworker will ask you for specific documents that show:

  • your household’s housing and shelter-related costs
  • any money coming into your household, as well as the value of assets belonging to members of the household

The caseworker will also need your signed consent to disclose and verify personal information. This allows the ODSP office to contact third parties and gather additional information needed to determine your eligibility for income support.

Only a caseworker can decide if you are financially eligible for ODSP, however, you may use the Online Application for Social Assistance to see if you might qualify and to start your application.

Note: If you’re an Ontario Works client, your financial need has already been established. Speak to your caseworker if you want to apply for ODSP income support.

Person with a disability

Note: If you’re a member of a Prescribed Class, you don’t have to meet this qualification.

The program’s definition of a person with a disability is found in the ODSP Act.

Meeting the definition means that:

  • you have a substantial mental or physical impairment that is continuous or recurrent, and is expected to last one year or more and
  • your impairment directly results in a substantial restriction in your ability to work, care for yourself, or take part in community life and
  • your impairment, its duration and restrictions have been verified by an approved health care professional

Your caseworker will give you a Disability Determination Package for you and your health care provider(s) to fill out.

Specialized ministry staff will review your completed package to determine if you meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability.