| Oct 12, 2006

Legalese - October 12, 2006

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Legalese - October 12, 2006 Change to Employment Requirements if You Receive ODSP

Deirdre McDade, Clinic Lawyer

[The following article appeared in the October 2006 edition of Bafflegab, the Newsletter of the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, a community legal clinic in Bellville. We thank the clinic for allowing us to share the information.]

If you are married or living common-law with someone who receives Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits and you are not disabled yourself, as of April 1, 2006 you will have to meet Ontario Works (OW) employment requirements.

This means that you will be referred to OW and have to go to school, or do volunteer work (workfare), or look for a job and/or participate in a job placement program. The goal will be to find you paid work.

You may not have to participate in the OW employment assistance program if:

Backstage_anticsYou are a caregiver for a family member who needs assistance or supervision because of disability, illness or old age and this makes it impossible for you to look for work or participate in retraining. You can get a form from your local ODSP office to take to your doctor or other service provider to verify that you cannot participate in OW activities.You are already looking for work or working and it is unlikely that participation in OW will increase the chances of you being employedYou are 65 years of age or olderYou are a caregiver for a young childYou are experiencing “exceptional circumstances” which would make it difficult for you to participate (for example, if you experience anxiety, depression or other illness).

Your family’s ODSP cheque may be cut back if a non-disabled spouse refuses or fails to make good efforts to participate in OW employment assistance activities or quits a job without a good reason or is fired from a job.

If you need more information about this change or if your ODSP benefits are cut back, contact the legal clinic immediately.

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