ODSP employment supports: Preparing for work, finding work and advancing my career

ODSP employment supports can help you prepare for, get and keep a job.

ODSP employment supports can help you even if you have never worked before, or have been out of work for some time.

A person with a disability doesn’t have to be receiving ODSP income support to be eligible for employment supports.

Can I work and still get ODSP income support?

Yes. You can work if you are receiving financial help from ODSP.

In some cases, if your earnings are too high, you may no longer qualify for ODSP.

How will my work affect my ODSP income support?

You can earn up to $200 a month without having your income support reduced. If you earn more than $200 a month, only 50 per cent of your net earnings (or business profits, if you are self-employed) over $200 are deducted from your income support payment. If you’re attending a secondary or post-secondary school full-time, we won’t deduct any your earnings from your ODSP income support.

Talk to your caseworker to find out more about how your earnings or business profits will specifically affect your ODSP income support.

Net earnings refer to the money you get after mandatory deductions are made. That is, it’s the money you take home.

Mandatory deductions are things like income tax, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance contributions and union dues.

How can I end up with more money by working?

People who work while they are on ODSP are always better off financially than people who don’t:

  • You – and each adult in your family – can earn up to $200 each month without affecting your ODSP income support
  • Every dollar over $200 only reduces your ODSP income support by 50 per cent, and
  • ODSP will give you $100 each month you work or when your business makes a profit. This is called the Work-Related Benefit.

Between your family’s work income, your income support and the $100 Work-Related Benefit, you and your family will have more money while working than from ODSP income support alone.

If you’re attending full-time secondary or post-secondary school, all of your earnings will be 100% exempt, though you won’t receive the Work-Related Benefit.

What kind of employment supports can I get?

ODSP employment supports are provided by community-based service providers. Service providers offer many supports, including:

  • job coaching
  • on-the-job training
  • interpreter/intervenor services
  • transportation assistance
  • specialized computer training
  • assistive devices and training to use them
  • adaptive software and mobility devices
  • tools and equipment
  • special clothing, and
  • other items you may need for work.

A service provider is a community-based organization that helps people find work or start a business.

ODSP works with about 150 service providers across Ontario.

Am I eligible for ODSP employment supports?

You may be eligible, if you:

  • are 16 years of age or older
  • live in Ontario
  • are legally allowed to work in Canada, and
  • have a physical or mental disability that is expected to last a year or more, making it hard for you to find or keep a job.

How can I get these supports?

Participation in employment supports is voluntary.

If you are currently receiving ODSP income support and are interested in getting help from ODSP employment supports, talk to your ODSP caseworker.

If you are a person with a disability who is not currently receiving ODSP income support, you can still apply for ODSP employment supports at your local ODSP office.

How can ODSP employment supports help me find and keep work?

Your ODSP caseworker will help you pick an employment supports service provider.

The service provider will make sure you’re ready to work. When you are ready, the service provider will work with you to find a job that matches your skills.

Once you find a job, the service provider will work with your employer to help you:

  • get disability accommodations, if you need them, and
  • resolve any problems you may have while you’re working.

How can ODSP employment supports help me advance my career?

The ODSP employment supports service provider can also help you:

  • pursue opportunities for promotion
  • explore other job opportunities using transferable skills and experience, and
  • upgrade your job skills.

Can ODSP employment supports help me start my own business?

Yes. If you want to start your own business, ODSP employment supports may be able to help you:

  • create a business plan
  • learn financial management and budgeting
  • develop marketing strategies, and
  • apply for appropriate licenses or certifications.

For more information about self-employment, please talk to your caseworker or call your local ODSP office.

Can my family members use ODSP employment supports?

Yes, but only if:

  • they are 16 or older
  • they have a disability that is expected to last a year or more, and
  • their disability makes it hard for them to find or keep a job

People who don’t qualify for ODSP income support as a person with a disability may still qualify for employment supports. This is because the programs have different rules for disability.

Other adult family members that live with you who don’t have a disability cannot use ODSP employment supports. They need to participate in Ontario Works employment assistance activities.

Ontario Works employment assistance activities can help your family members find work.

Talk to your caseworker for more information.

Don’t agree with a decision about your ODSP employment supports?

You can ask for a review if you disagree with a decision that affects your ODSP employment supports. The review will make sure the decision followed ODSP rules.

You must ask your ODSP office to review the decision within 30 days of the date of the decision.

Need more information?

For more information, please contact your caseworker at your local ODSP office.

To find contact information for your local office and learn more about ODSP visit: ontario.ca/socialassistance.

For general questions, please call ServiceOntario at:

Telephone: 1-888-789-4199
Teletypewriter (TTY):1-800-387-5559