The Ontario Disability Support Program (“ODSP”) provides income, health benefits, and employment supports to eligible Ontario residents who have disabilities. It is a means-tested support model that, until recently, has remained unchanged for years.
However, in 2017, the Ontario government increased the asset test for a single person from $5,000 to $40,000 and for a couple from $7,500 to $50,000. This allowed ODSP recipients to build a nest egg, outside of an RDSP, for the first time. Additionally, the income exemption for cash gifts was increased from $6,000 to $10,000.
And just last week, the Ontario government announced further proposed changes which include a relaxation of the rules relating to the treatment of those ODSP recipients who earn income. Under the current ODSP Act, only $200 per month in earned income is exempt. Under the proposed changes, an ODSP recipient may receive $6,000 per year in income without their ODSP support being impacted. For those who earn more, 25% of that income will be exempted.
Not all ODSP recipients are able to work, but for those who can, this is welcome news. As details are released, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Cate Grainger is an Estate Lawyer in London with the Harrison Pensa Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Charities Law Group. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, corporate succession strategies and not-for-profit law. Contact Cate by email or phone at (519) 661-6751.