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The federal government provides a wide range of benefits and tax credits that aid Canadians who are struggling financially or lack the resources to maintain an adequate standard of living. These programs provide help with the cost of raising children, purchasing a home, attending a post-secondary institute, planning for retirement, living with a disability, and more.

Check out these tax considerations for parents.

Besides the vast array of benefits offered at the federal level, additional help is available from the provinces. For those living in Ontario and in need of financial assistance due to a disability, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is worth investigating.

Struggling due to COVID-19? Check out Ontario’s Emergency Assistance Program.

What is The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)?

The ODSP is a program that provides financial assistance and other benefits to Ontarians living with a disability. The program was created in 1997 and is administered by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Currently, the ODSP serves over 500,000 Ontario residents.

Check out these tax benefits for seniors in Canada.

How Much Can You Get Through the ODSP?

The ODSP provides financial aid for your basic needs, such as food and clothing, and the cost of shelter. You may also receive an additional amount for health-related expenses you incur, as well as have access to employment support services.

If you’re single and have no children, the maximum amount of ODSP you can qualify for is $1,169 per month to cover your basic needs and shelter. 

This amount increases based on other factors, including:

  • Whether your spouse also has a disability
  • The number of children you have
  • The age of your children
  • Your geographic location
  • The type of home you live in

ODSP Payment Dates 2023

Below are the payment dates for the ODSP for the year 2023.

January January 31, 2023
FebruaryFebruary 28, 2023
MarchMarch 31, 2023
AprilApril 28, 2023
MayMay 31, 2023
JuneJune 30, 2023
JulyJuly 31, 2023
AugustAugust 31, 2023
SeptemberSeptember 29, 2023
OctoberOctober 31, 2023
NovemberNovember 30, 2023
DecemberTo be determined

You can arrange payments to be sent to you by direct deposit, cheque, or have them loaded into a reloadable payment card.

Types of Support Available Under The Ontario Disability Support Program

The types of support offered by the ODSP program are divided into four categories: basic needs, shelter, health, and employment.

Basic Needs

Basic needs refer to everyday necessities, such as food and clothing. The amount you’re eligible for is based on the size of your family, the age of each family member, and whether your spouse has a disability as well. If you’re single, the maximum monthly amount you can receive is $672. If you have a spouse, the amount increases to $969 or to $1,341 if your spouse also has a disability. 

Does your spouse or child have a disability? Then you may qualify for the disability tax credit.

This amount is also affected by the number of dependents and whether they are of legal age or not. In general, for each additional dependant, add $211 if the dependant is 18 years of age or older, $0 if the dependant is 0 to 17 years of age.

Here is a table that shows the size of the ODSP payment you can get based on the composition of your household:

Number of Dependants Amount You May Be Eligible For*
0$672 – 1,341
1$815 – $1,529
2$815 – $1,739

*The amount you receive will depend on the age of your dependents and whether they have a disability. 


The shelter component of the ODSP covers expenses related to your primary residence, such as rent, mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, condo fees, and utilities. The benefit is calculated based on the number of people in your family. Here is how much you can expect to receive:

Benefit Unit SizeMaximum Monthly Shelter Allowance
6 or more$1,026

You can claim additional support if you reside in a remote location:

*Number of Dependants
other than a Spouse
RecipientRecipient and Spouse

*You are eligible for an extra $102 for every additional dependant.

If your living arrangement is verified as a board and lodging situation, the shelter benefit is calculated differently. The base payment starts at $825 for you as an individual. It rises according to your family’s size, the age of your children, your location, and other factors.

Check out these tax rebates for going green.

Health Benefits

You and your family may be eligible to receive financial aid for a variety of health-related costs under the ODSP, such as:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision care coverage
  • Medical supplies coverage
  • Medical-related transportation costs 
  • Nutritional allowance for pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Extended health benefits for when you no longer qualify for income support and have trouble paying for healthcare costs
  • Transitional health benefit if you obtain employment and no longer qualify for ODSP payments

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The ODSP maintains a partnership with many service providers who specialize in helping beneficiaries who want to re-enter the workforce, advance their careers, or start their own business. The types of employment support you can receive include:

  • On-the-job training
  • Job coaching
  • Help finding and keeping a job
  • Transportation assistance
  • Tools and equipment necessary for your job
  • Specialized computer training
  • Creating a business plan
  • Help with marketing your business
  • Mentorship
  • Financial management training

You won’t be able to utilize any employment support services that are typically delivered through other public and private organizations, such as private insurers, Canada Pension Plan, and Employment Insurance.

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How Does The ODSP Work?

Before you begin the application process, ensure you and each member of your family gathers the following:

  • Social Insurance Number
  • OHIP cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Immigration papers
  • Banking information

Once you’re ready, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Fill out the application and submit it

You’ll be asked to provide various details about your household, such as names, dates of births, email addresses, housing costs, assets, expenses, and bank account information.

Step 2 – ODSP will review your application

You may have to wait up to 15 business days for a response from the ODSP office.

Step 3 – The ODSP will contact you

After reviewing your application, the ODSP will contact you and arrange an intake interview. During this phase, they may ask you to provide additional documentation.

Step 4 – Meet your caseworker

You’ll meet with a caseworker from the ODSP to evaluate your application. They may ask you to supply additional documents to help them assess whether you’re eligible for the ODSP. You’ll also sign a consent form to allow the ODSP to gather any further details they may need to verify about you.

Once the meeting is complete, the caseworker will contact you within 15 days to inform you if you’re eligible for the ODSP. 

Step 5 – Submit your Disability Determination Package

If you’re deemed eligible for income support, your caseworker will provide you with a disability determination package. The purpose of this report is to provide details on the status of your health and how your medical condition affects your daily life.

The disability determination package must be completed by qualified medical professionals and sent to the Disability Adjudication Unit for assessment. 

Step 6 – ODSP will review your disability determination package

Medical professionals that work for the ODSP organization will evaluate your disability determination package to determine if your medical condition qualifies you for the ODSP. The Disability Adjudication Unit will send you a letter informing you of their decision within 90 days.

Step 7 – The ODSP will contact you to review the decision of the Disability Adjudication Unit

If you’re approved for ODSP benefits based on the Disability Adjudications Unit’s decision, your caseworker will let you know when you’ll receive your first payment.

Ontario Disability Support Program FAQs

What documents do I need when applying for the ODSP?

You’ll need the following documents to apply for the ODSP:
  • Social Insurance Number
  • OHIP cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Immigration papers
  • Banking information

What is the age requirement for the ODSP?

You must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for the ODSP.

Can I receive ODSP if I’m on OAS?

You’ll likely be unable to receive ODSP benefits if you’re also collecting OAS payments. The reason for this is because your OAS payments may exceed the amount you receive from the ODSP, so you may no longer financially qualify for ODSP income support. However, suppose you don’t qualify for the OAS program. In that case, you can still receive ODSP payments, provided you don’t have substantial income from other sources.

Final Thoughts

The ODSP will help you immensely if you have a disability and limited means to support yourself and your family financially. You can use the payments to pay for an assortment of living expenses, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care, ensuring you and your family are cared for.

Though the application process may be burdensome and drawn out, the wide variety of benefits you’ll have access makes the ODSP a valuable program worth checking out.

Mark Gregorski avatar on Loans Canada
Mark Gregorski

Mark is a writer who specializes in writing content for companies in the financial services industry. He has written articles about personal finance, mortgages, and real estate and is passionate about educating people on how to make smart financial decisions. Mark graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a degree in finance and has more than ten years' experience as an accountant. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing poker, going to the gym, composing music, and learning about digital marketing.

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