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 suffering from a disability that limits their ability to work.
This article covers what you need to know about ODSP payment dates in 2023, benefits, how to apply for the ODSP, disabilities that qualify, benefit amounts, and changes to the program.
ODSP Payment Dates 2023
ODSP payments are made available on the last business day of each month. The ODSP payment dates in 2023 are:
|Benefit Month||ODSP Payment Date|
|January 2023||January 31, 2023|
|February 2023||February 28, 2023|
|March 2023||March 31, 2023|
|April 2023||April 28, 2023|
|May 2023||May 31, 2023|
|June 2023||June 30, 2023|
|July 2023||July 31, 2023|
|August 2023||August 31, 2023|
|September 2023||September 29, 2023|
|October 2023||October 31, 2023|
|November 2023||November 30, 2023|
|December 2023||To be determined|
You can receive your payments via direct deposit, cheque, or a reloadable payment card.
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 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.
1. ODSP Basic Needs Benefit
This refers to basic necessities such as food and clothing. The amount you receive varies depending on your household, the 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 with no dependent child is $706. If a spouse is included in the benefit calculation, it goes up to $1,018.
See the table below for different scenarios:
|Number of Dependants other|
than a Spouse
|Dependants 18 Years or Older||Dependants 0-17 Years||Recipient See Note 1||Recipient and Spouse See Note 2||Recipient 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).
2. ODSP Shelter Benefits
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 $522. This amount increases to $821 when the benefit unit consists of two people.
See the table below for shelter allowance amounts based on various family sizes.
|Benefit Unit Size||Maximum Monthly Shelter Allowance|
|6 or more||$1,078|
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.
3. 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 a job, obtaining training, and helping with childcare 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 Requirements
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.
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 monthly income without a benefit reduction. Amounts exceeding $200 are clawed back at a 50% rate. The monthly earnings threshold increases to $1,000 in February 2023 (starts with March 2023 payment).
Employment income earned by ODSP recipients 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 Requirements
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 healthcare professional
To meet these requirements, you must submit a Disability Determination Package (DDP).
You may 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 an OAS pension.
How To Apply for ODSP in 2023
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:
Ophthalmologists, 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 already on Ontario Works generally qualify financially for ODSP and can apply for ODSP through their Ontario Works Office.
If deemed ineligible, you can request an internal review within 30 days. If you are not satisfied with the review’s outcome, you can ask for an appeal hearing.
How Much ODSP Benefit Do I Get in 2023?
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 Unit||Basic Needs||Maximum Shelter||Total ODSP|
|Single parent + 1 child||$849||$821||$1,738|
|Single parent + 2 children||$849||$889||$1,738|
|Couple – 1 child||$1,018||$889||$1,907|
|Couple – 2 children||$1,018||$964||$1,982|
A couple who both have a disability and qualify for ODSP get up to a maximum of $2,070 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 allowance that is $867 for a single person and $1,230 for a couple.
If both spouses are disabled and qualify for ODSP, the payment amount is $1,727 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 Increase and Changes in 2023
While several proposed changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program have been put on hold, ODSP benefits increased by 5% in September 2022.
This 5% increase applied to basic needs and shelter maximums and board and lodge amounts for singles and families. The amounts for services provided by a Long-Term Care Home or a Specialized Care Residence also increased.
Starting in July 2023, ODSP benefits will be indexed to inflation.
Also, the monthly earnings exemption for ODSP increases from $200 to $1,000 per month in February 2023.
ODSP Emergency Benefits
Some ODSP recipients who did 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 received CERB payments had the first $200 exempt from clawback and a 50% clawback rate for each additional dollar.
ODSP recipients who received the monthly Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) had the first $200 exempt and see a 50% clawback of benefits for amounts exceeding $200.
Ontario Works Payment Dates 2023
If you are interested in when Ontario Works payments are made, they are shown in the table below. Ontario Works payment dates in 2023 are made available on the last business day of the previous month:
|OW Benefit Month||OW Payment Date|
|January||December 30, 2022|
|February||January 31, 2023|
|March||February 28, 2023|
|April||March 31, 2023|
|May||April 28, 2023|
|June||May 31, 2023|
|July||June 30, 2023|
|August||July 31, 2023|
|September||August 31, 2023|
|October||September 29, 2023|
|November||October 31, 2023|
|December||November 30, 2023|
Have questions about the ODSP? Leave them in the comments.