When we assess your eligibility for Ontario Disability Support Program Income Support, we consider any money held in a trust for you and your family.

It is possible that all or part of the money held in a trust for you or a family member may be exempt as an asset. This means it does not affect your eligibility for Income Support.

For you and each family member, up to $100,000 of a trust may be exempt as an asset if the money to set up the trust came from:

  • an inheritance, or
  • the proceeds of a life insurance policy.

If you or a family member has a trust and a life insurance policy, up to $100,000 of the combined value of the trust and the cash surrender value of the life insurance policy may be exempt as an asset.

"Cash surrender value" refers to the money an insurance company will pay when the insurance policy is terminated by the insurer or the policyholder cancels a life insurance policy early.

There are different types of trusts and the impact on a person's Income Support depends on the details of the trust. Your Ontario Disability Support Program worker can help you figure out how a trust could affect your eligibility for Income Support.

Interest earned in a trust

Any interest earned from the money held in trust for you is exempt as income if:

  • it is reinvested in the trust, and
  • the value of the trust is still within the allowable limits.

You must report any interest you earn from the trust and any changes to the value of your trust to your worker.

Payments from a trust

If you receive any payments from your trust, you need to tell your worker. This includes any interest earned that is paid out.

Generally, we consider payments from a trust as income when you receive them.

But there are some exceptions. Up to $6,000 of the total value of all gifts, voluntary payments and payments from a life insurance policy or trust you receive in a 12-month period, is exempt as income.

Also, if you use the payment for a disability-related item or service that has been approved in advance (such as attendant services), it may be exempt as income and may not count against your $6,000 limit.

Discretionary Trusts

In some cases, your inheritance may be in a discretionary trust that has been set up in a will. A discretionary trust is one where the trustee has absolute discretion over how the trust is used to help the beneficiary. These types of trusts are treated differently under the Ontario Disability Support Program, and you will need to speak to your worker about this.

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