ODSP Payment Dates, Benefit Amounts and Application

Ontario has two main social assistance programs that provide income to eligible residents who need financial help – Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Ontario Works provides financial assistance to Ontarians who need money to pay for basic needs including food and housing.

ODSP provides financial assistance and health benefits to eligible Ontarians who are suffering from a disability that limits their ability to work.

This article covers what you need to know about ODSP payment dates in 2021, benefits, how to apply for the ODSP, disabilities that qualify, benefit amounts, and changes to the program.

Related: Ontario Trillium Program

What is ODSP?

The Ontario Disability Support Program offers income and employment support to people with disabilities. The program is administered by the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services.

ODSP Payment Dates 2021

ODSP payments are made available on the last business day of each month. For 2021, ODSP payment dates are:

  • January 29, 2021
  • February 26, 2021
  • March 31, 2021
  • April 30, 2021
  • May 31, 2021
  • June 30, 2021
  • July 30, 2021
  • August 31, 2021
  • September 30, 2021
  • October 29, 2021
  • November 30, 2021
  • December (usually earlier in the month, but not yet determined)

You can receive your payments via direct deposit, cheque, or on a reloadable payment card.

ODSP Income Support

Eligible recipients receive a monthly payment that covers their basic needs and the cost of shelter. They may also receive, health benefits and employment support.

ODSP Basic Needs Support

This refers to basic necessities such as food and clothing. The amount you receive varies depending on your household, age of family members, and whether your spouse or partner is also disabled.

The maximum monthly amount provided for basic needs for a single recipient who has no dependent child is $672. If a spouse is included in the benefit calculation, it goes up to $969.

See table below for different scenarios:

Number of Dependants other
than a Spouse
Dependants 18 Years or OlderDependants 0-17 YearsRecipient See Note 1Recipient and Spouse See Note 2Recipient and Spouse See Note 3

Note 1. A recipient if there is no spouse included in the benefit unit.
Note 2. A recipient with a spouse included in the benefit unit if Note 3 does not apply.
Note 3. A recipient with a spouse included in the benefit unit if each of the recipient and the spouse is a person with a disability or a person referred to in subparagraph 1 i of subsection 4 (1) or paragraph 3, 5.1, 5.2, 6, 7 or 8 of subsection 4 (1).

Source: Ontario.ca

ODSP Cost of shelter

This refers to rent, mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, utilities, and condo fees. The maximum amount you can get for shelter allowance is based on your family size up to a maximum.

The maximum monthly amount provided to cover the shelter cost of a single ODSP recipient is $497. This amount increases to $781 when the benefit unit consists of two people.

See the table below for shelter allowance amounts based on various family sizes.

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

In cases where utilities are not included in the rent or mortgage, their actual cost can be paid out separately. There is also additional support for those residing in remote communities.

If an ODSP resident is living in a room and board arrangement and not renting or dwelling in a principal residence, the combined board and lodging amount they are paid is different.

ODSP Health Benefits

Health benefits available through the ODSP include:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Dental benefits
  • Vision care and hearing benefits
  • Medical supplies benefits e.g. diabetic and incontinence supplies
  • Nutritional allowance for pregnant and breastfeeding parents
  • Extended health benefits
  • Medical transportation benefits
  • Transitional health benefits if you move on to a paid job and no longer qualify for ODSP

ODSP Employment Support

ODSP provides employment support to recipients who are able or willing to work by helping them with starting at a job, obtaining training, and helping with child care costs.

For example, if you start running a business, you can claim up to the full cost of child care as a deduction from your earnings.

Related: AISH Benefits Explained

ODSP Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the ODSP, you must meet the age, residency, financial and disability requirements.

ODSP Age and Residency Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of the province of Ontario.

ODSP Financial Requirements

You must need financial help to pay for basic living expenses. Your household income and assets are assessed by a care worker in consideration for eligibility.

Income that may impact how much ODSP you receive include CPP, employment income, Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS), Old Age Security, and EI.

Income from Canada Child Benefits, Ontario Child Benefit, child support, or payments from a Registered Disability Savings Plan are exempt when calculating your ODSP eligibility.

The value of your assets also goes into determining whether you are eligible for ODSP or not.

Assets that impact your application include cash, RRSP, investments, TFSA, secondary properties, chequing account, etc.

Exempt assets include your primary residence and vehicle, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), prepaid funerals, RDSP, personal effects e.g. clothing, and the cash value of a life insurance policy (within specified limits).

For assets that impact your ODSP eligibility, you can have a limit of $40,000 as a single person or up to $50,000 for a couple and remain eligible.

ODSP recipients can work while receiving benefits. You earn up to $200 in net income per month without a reduction in benefits. Amounts exceeding $200 are clawed back at a 50% rate.

Employment income earned by ODSP recipients who are enrolled in full-time education (high-school or post secondary) is fully exempt.

Cash gifts, donations and inheritances up to $10,000 per 12 month period are also exempt.

ODSP Disability Requirement

You must have a mental or physical disability that prevents you from being able to sustain yourself. As per the ODSP Act, this means that:

  • You have an impairment that is expected to last one year or more
  • Your disability limits your ability to care for yourself or function in a workplace or community
  • Your impairment has been verified by an approved health care professional

To meet this requirements, you must submit a Disability Determination Package (DDP).

You may be able to qualify for ODSP income support without completing DDP if you are already a recipient of the Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit or you are over 65 years of age and do not qualify for OAS pension.

How To Apply for ODSP

If you meet the age and residency requirements, you can proceed with starting the application process to determine whether you are financially eligible. You can complete this process online, by phone, or in-person at your local ODSP office.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has offices in the East, North, Central, and West regions of the province, and Toronto. Find a location here.

A decision on this initial step is sent to you within 15 business days.

If you are deemed financially eligible for income support, your care worker will give you a Disability Determination Package. Your healthcare provider is required to complete the “Health Status Report” (HSR) and “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLI) sections of the DDP.

The following professionals can complete both the HSR and ADLI forms:

Opthamologists, Optometrists, Physicians, Psychological Associates, Psychologists, Registered Nurses in extended class and Registered Nurses.

These healthcare professionals can only complete the ADLI:

Audiologists, Chiropractors, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists, Social Workers, and Speech Language Pathologists.

The two other forms in the package i.e. the “Consent to Release Medical Information” and Self Report” are completed by you.

The completed package is sent to the Disability Adjudication Unit. A decision is usually completed within 90 business days.

If you have questions about your application, call the Disability Adjudication Unit at 1-888-256-6758.

Applicants who are already on Ontario Works generally qualify financially for ODSP and can apply for ODSP through their Ontario Works Office.

If you are deemed to be ineligible, you can request an internal review within 30 days. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the review, you can ask for an appeal hearing.

How Much ODSP Do You Get?

The maximum amount of ODSP you receive will vary depending on the actual cost of shelter you incur, type of shelter, number of dependent children (i.e. benefit unit size), eligibility for the remoteness allowance, and whether your spouse or partner is also disabled and qualifies for ODSP.

Here are some examples:

Benefit UnitBasic NeedsMaximum ShelterTotal ODSP
Single parent + 1 child$815$781$1,596
Single parent + 2 children$815$846$1,661
Couple – 1 child$969$846$1,815
Couple – 2 children$969$918$1,887

A couple who both have a disability and qualify for ODSP get up to a maximum of $1,971 per month (i.e. the double disabled rate).

ODSP recipients who receive board and lodging from the same place are paid a room and board allowaance that is $825 for a single person and $1,230 for a couple.

If both spouses are disabled and qualify for ODSP, the payment amount is $1,644 under a room and board arrangement.

Again, your ODSP amount may vary based on many factors, and these are just some of the potential scenarios.

In addition to ODSP benefits, you may also qualify to receive other provincial and federal benefits such as the GST/HST credit, Canada Child Benefit, and the Ontario Trillium Benefit/Trillium Drug Program.

ODSP Changes and Increase

Several of the proposed changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program have been put on hold. The main update is related to the implementation of a one-time 1.5% increase in ODSP rates in September 2018.

This increase is however lower than the initial plan to increase ODSP by 3% annually for 3 years.

ODSP COVID-19 Emergency Benefits

Some ODSP recipients who do not receive the CERB were eligible for an extra $100 monthly payment (single) or $200 (for a family) in 2020.

To inquire about this extra payment, call 1-888-444-2412 or email [email protected].

ODSP recipients who receive CERB payments will have the first $200 exempt and a 50% clawback rate for each additional dollar.

ODSP recipients who receive the monthly Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) have the first $200 exempt and see a 50% clawback of benefits for amounts exceeding $200.

Ontario Works Payment Dates 2021

If you are interested in when Ontario Works payments are made, they are shown in the table below. Ontario Works payment dates are made available on the last business day of the previous month:

OW Benefit MonthOW Payment Date
JanuaryDecember 31, 2020
FebruaryJanuary 29, 2021
MarchFebruary 26, 2021
AprilMarch 31, 2021
MayApril 30, 2021
JuneMay 31, 2021
JulyJune 30, 2021
AugustJuly 30, 2021
SeptemberAugust 31, 2021
OctoberSeptember 30, 2021
NovemberOctober 29, 2021
DecemberNovember 30, 2021

Have questions about the ODSP? Leave them in the comments.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

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18 thoughts on “ODSP Payment Dates, Benefit Amounts and Application”

    • Im not on disability but sonething needs to be done. How can the Government not understand the amount they give is ridiculously below poverty level. The amount won’t even cover rent at current prices.
      It’s disgusting.
      Time for a change, also need to disconnect the pairing with welfare. The two are very different groups of people.

  1. Since we are going into lockdown are we getting extra funding as well? With the cost of living going up due to the pandemic $100 really doesn’t help. We too are in need of the extra support.

  2. I’m on ODSP and rent has been going up every year but single men without children get nearly nothing for a check but our government doubled women’s bb bonuse checks with children and dont deducted there child support I dont understand how women with two to three kids almost $ 4500 to $5500 by the time you add up the odsp bb bonouse and child support but single men with out kids are expected to live on $1130 monthly how is this justified

    • Try living on the $760 a single woman/Indigenous person gets for being disabled but having too hard a time of finding the correct help in order to qualify. Try living with brain damage where rent costs $650 and medications cost $50. You think that’s fair?

  3. The reason why people with disability are struggling is because, people who work have employment insurance plus they can get welfare if they don’t make enough.
    People who are on disability can not work PERIOD. Why is there a EI (Employment insurance)and social assistance if these people can work and they can save money. When I worked I did not apply for EI because I saved money. Minimum wage went up. Its time to wake up and help people who are on ODSP and not welfare or EI because work is out there waiting for you.

    • I know a few people on odsp. If they had to, they all could work. I have arthritis in my back and hands from 35 years of working, guess what, im still givin er. If you dont want to work, stop whining about being poor and get out of bed before noon and get to work, really its not that bad!

  4. For family of 3 I get 1260, and I can’t contact my worker . I didn’t get a penny extra, since the covid began. My husband is my caregiver, as per ch aid, do to my pain , I can’t live alone w my daughter. It’s hopeless.

  5. I keep reading about this ”disability determination package”, but i can`t find out
    how to get the package sent to me…I am not computer smart, when it is to be done
    online, how do I down load?…by phone, i don`t like that idea sorry to say…all i want
    to do is send for the package, fill it out, have my Dr. fill in her information, and
    mail it back…why is it so complicated to get the ODSP package sent to me?

  6. Is there any funding for ODSP recipients during this lockdown period which began on December 26th, 2020?
    What really annoys me is as an ODSP recipient, I was entitled to 100.00/month for added expenses and would seriously like to know why I had to discover this online, purely by accident while assisting someone with CERB. When I submitted my application I certainly received the 100.00 funding for the month of July only and was told it was the last month being paid and was NOT retroactive. Why was I not told by my ODSP caseworker who knew that I was struggling financially due to the extra costs involved with purchasing disinfectant wipes, masks, gloves, and the list could go on. Having a comproimmune system I feel that I, and every one should have been told that the funding was was available an we could at least apply. Why is this being kept a secret, so it seems. I find it totally wrong and unacceptable and feel like I’m begging for money or suffering due to the lack of financial support. I know that it’s not like it’s coming from the worker’s paycheck.

  7. I just applied for odsp on Thursday jan 21.sent 8n the doctor forms and papers must have been 10 papers.faxed it to them. When will I receive notice of the decision

    Neil Jackson

  8. Do like I did, I got a job. Now I dont have to rely on hand outs, and have a purpose in life. Most people can work if they have to.

  9. Welfare in Quebec is way worse a single person in quebec gets $708 a month doesn’t leave much to live off when rent is $650 it’s ridiculous I’d like to see them live off that amount

  10. Is there a restriction in leaving Canada for a certain period of time? Will i stop receiving my ODSP if I am out of the country for a month or so?

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