Letter from Minister Helena Jaczek

Ontario is taking steps to improve the process for young people with developmental disabilities and their families applying for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Until now, young people with developmental disabilities seeking ministry-funded adult developmental services and supports, as well as income support from ODSP, were required to have their developmental disability assessed twice.

Starting September 1, 2016, once a person is deemed eligible for ministry-funded adult developmental services under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 (SIPDDA), they will no longer have to go through a second disability determination process to be eligible to apply for income support through ODSP.

This is a significant improvement made possible through the 2016 Ontario Budget commitment to streamline the ODSP application process for individuals eligible to receive developmental services. It is an approach that will result in a much simpler application process that saves time and paperwork for the approximately 3,000 people every year who are transitioning into adult developmental services.

While existing ODSP requirements, including financial eligibility, will still apply, Ontario is committed to providing more seamless transitions at key life and care stages.

We are constantly working to improve and simplify supports and services in order to best meet people’s needs. We have recently made a few improvements that I want to tell you about:

  • recipients of Special Supports At Home (SSAH) supports no longer need to re-apply for funding every year;
  • those who receive ODSP who do not have a bank account are now able to receive their benefits each month on a reloadable payment card rather than receiving a paper cheque, saving them time and money by no longer having to rely on expensive cheque-cashing services; and
  • starting this fall, the ministry will be replacing the paper drug benefit card Social Assistance that clients receive every month so that those who have an Ontario Health Card can now use that card to access prescription drugs.

All of this is in order to provide better service to those we support. There is still more to be done but we will continue to improve our services in order to provide a better, more person centred system.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact your local ODSP office.

Sincerely,

Dr. Helena Jaczek
Minister

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