2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Do you urgently need financial help because of COVID-19?  If you are not already receiving support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can apply for emergency assistance online.

COVID-19 support for current social assistance clients

Ontario has made additional resources available to enable Ontario Works administrators and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) staff to provide additional assistance for those currently receiving social assistance, who are facing additional costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs, for example: cleaning supplies, non-medical transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID‑19.

Social assistance recipients who are not receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are eligible for monthly payments of $100 for a single person and $200 for a family until July. Families with a youth under 18 receiving the CERB or a family member in full-time school attendance receiving the CERB may still be eligible for the benefit. Emergency benefits for COVID‑19 related expenses are the same for both programs.

People who receive the emergency benefit in March/April and who meet eligibility criteria will automatically receive the benefit in May, June and July. For new requests, Ontario Works recipients can access emergency benefits by contacting their local office. ODSP recipients can access emergency benefits by calling 1‑888‑444‑2412 or emailing ODSP.EmergencyBenefit@ontario.ca with their member ID and details of their additional costs.

Social assistance treatment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

We know these are unprecedented and uncertain times, especially for individuals who are receiving social assistance from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Recognizing the temporary and emergency nature of the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Ontario is treating the CERB similar to earnings under both programs. Ontario will partially exempt income received under the CERB for Ontario Works and ODSP clients who were on the program prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This approach enables existing clients to partially stack the CERB and social assistance payments, and to continue to access health and other benefits while receiving CERB.

Learn about temporary program changes during the COVID-19 outbreak for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Health and safety notice

To help ensure the health and safety of clients and staff, we are asking that clients do not visit Ontario Works or ODSP local offices at this time.

Please:

  • Stay at home
  • Call your caseworker for information
  • Sign up for MyBenefits
  • Call your caseworker to ask about receiving payments electronically through direct bank deposit

If you are told you must visit us, remember the following to help ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Do your best to keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, washing your hands after you do
  • Please delay your visit if you are unwell, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or you have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days

Learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Overview

If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

ODSP offers:

  • financial assistance to help you and your family with essential living expenses
  • benefits, for you and your family, including prescription drugs and vision care
  • help finding and keeping a job, and advancing your career

If you require immediate financial assistance, please contact your local Ontario Works office (you can also still apply for ODSP).

Learn more about temporary program changes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Types of support

ODSP offers two types of support:

  1. Income support - Financial assistance provided each month to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Income support also includes benefits, like drug coverage and vision care, for clients and their eligible family members.

  2. Employment supports - Services and supports to help clients with disabilities find and keep a job, and advance their careers.

 

Eligibility and applying

COVID-19 ODSP Application and Medical Review Update

We are waiving deadlines for ODSP application and medical review packages during the COVID-19 emergency period. If you have a package to determine whether you meet or continue to meet the ODSP definition of disability, but you can’t submit to the Disability Adjudication Unit before it’s due, we will still accept it during the COVID-19 emergency period. You may disregard any letters you receive about the deadline.

Once the emergency period is lifted, outstanding packages will be accepted within the following six months. Additional extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, if requested within the six-month period.

We have stopped sending medical review packages to ODSP recipients whose medical review dates have come due.

We will re-assess the situation at a later date.

Call the Disability Adjudication Unit at 1-888-256-6758 if you have any questions about your file.

Learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Each type of support has its own eligibility requirements and application process.

 

Resources

The links below will take you to policy directives that are used by ODSP staff to help ensure fair and consistent service across the province.

 

Source law

ODSP is governed by the Ontario Disability Support Program Act and