In Ontario, if you are in financial need and are sick, disabled or have health challenges that can keep you away from work for at least a year, you could qualify to apply for the Ontario Disability Support program (ODSP).
To qualify for ODSP benefits, one must meet the medical eligibility threshold test and the financial testing provisions regarding assets and income as set out in the regulations under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act.However there have been many instances of people getting rejected while filing for their ODSP benefits.
That’s why it is important to be aware of a few key steps to ensure that you get your ODSP Benefits smoothly and quickly.
1: If you are disabled or have a medical condition that prevents you from doing your normal activities or going to work, get on welfare and tell them you want to apply for ODSP – as your ODSP application may take a year or two and you will need money to live on.
2: Fill out your ODSP forms properly and submit as soon as you can. You could ask your welfare worker to help you procure the forms and it is recommended to ask your doctor to help you fill the ODSP forms. As support documents, also submit copies of tests, specialists’ reports and any information that would help your case, along with your ODSP forms. You must remember to submit your forms to the DAU (Disability Adduction Unit).
Your ODSP application could get approved or rejected at this stage. If unfortunately, your claim is denied, don’t get discouraged but consider strong alternatives,
3: If your claim has been denied, you have 10 days to set an appeal in motion. It is better to send in a hand written note clearly requesting an internal review.
4: If the ODSP rejects your request for an internal review is denied, they may send you an appeal form. You have 30 days to fill and submit it back to them
5: At this stage, you should see a specialist and update your medical files as it could take some time to get a hearing. Always keep in mind that any medical evidence has to be submitted 30 days in advance and other evidence has to be submitted 20 days in advance.
6: At this stage an adjudicator will consider your appeal hearing. There could be a strong chance that a Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) representative could show up to argue their side and you will be given a fair chance to respond with your comments.
It is strongly advised to get the help of a knowledgeable lawyer who knows the system well and help you win your appeal.
If you or someone you know has been denied an ODSP claim, you can contact Mackesy Smye. As one of Hamilton’s most trusted personal claims lawyers, Mackesy Smye help individuals who have been unfairly denied disability benefits from a variety of sources and policies including ODSP.
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