| Oct 19, 2006

Legalese - October 19, 2006

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Legalese - October 19, 2006 On ODSP and Working? David Little, 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.] Starting in November 2006, if you receive Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits and have a job, you will notice a difference in how your employment income is taken into account in calculating your ODSP benefits. A complex and confusing set of rules will be replaced with a much simpler process. Starting in November, you will receive an extra $100 for each member of your family who is working. Half of your gross income will come off your cheque, and you will keep the other half. We do not yet know if these simpler rules will be accompanied by an understandable explanation of how your cheque is calculated. Several other new rules about working and receiving ODSP will also come into effect in November: The employment start up benefit (usually used for work uniforms, equipment and professional fees) will increase to $500 in any 12 month period Informal child care costs of up to $600 per month will be allowed (formal child care costs are fully deductible) Drug card and dental and vision care benefits will continue to be covered by ODSP until coverage by an employer is available (no information is yet available about how long these benefits will last if the employer never provides health benefits); and If your job doesn’t work out because of your disability, ODSP is promising a “rapid reinstatement” of your benefits. We haven’t seen the details of this yet. ODSP benefits for shelter and basic needs (as well as Ontario Works benefits) will be increased 2% across the board as of November 1, 2006.

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