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To receive Ontario Disability Support Program Income Support, you must meet the definition of a "person with a disability" as defined under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act.

Under the act, a person with a disability is someone who has a substantial mental or physical disability that:

  • is continuous or recurrent
  • is expected to last for a year or more
  • significantly limits their ability to work, look after themselves, or get out in the community, and
  • has been verified by an approved health professional.

Who makes the decision about your disability?

Specially trained staff who work in the Disability Adjudication Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services will:

  • look at the information you provide about your disability, and
  • decide whether or not you meet the program's definition of a person with a disability.

This is called the Disability Determination Process. It is only done after we decide you qualify financially for Income Support.

How you provide information about your disability

If you qualify financially, you will need a Disability Determination Package to provide information about your disability. The package contains the following forms:

  • Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index form
  • Self Report form
  • Consent to Release Medical Information form
  • instructions on how to complete these forms.

You will need to get an approved health professional, such as a doctor, to fill out the Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index. This information will tell staff in the Disability Adjudication Unit about your ability to work, look after yourself or get out in the community.

The Self-Report Form is optional. You don't have to complete this form, but it will help us understand your situation.

If you meet the definition of a person with a disability

Your local Ontario Disability Support Program office will confirm that you still qualify financially. If you still qualify, you will receive Income Support.

If the Disability Adjudication Unit thinks that your disability might get better over time, you will also be given a date for a Medical Review.

If you do not meet the definition of a person with a disability

If the Disability Adjudication Unit decides that you do not meet the definition of a person with a disability, you can ask to have the decision reviewed. This is the first step in the appeal process and is called an Internal Review.

Does everyone have to go through the Disability Determination Process?

Some people only have to qualify financially to receive Income Support.

You do not need to go through the Disability Determination Process if you:

  • receive federal Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits
  • receive Quebec Pension Plan Disability benefits
  • are 65 or older but do not qualify for Old Age Security
  • live in certain types of institutions, such as a mental health facility or a home for people with developmental disabilities.

Your worker will tell you whether you need to go through the Disability Determination Process when you apply for Income Support.

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