Disability Grants in Canada: What Is Available to You in Ontario?April 21, 2019
If you are disabled and a resident of Ontario, it is worthwhile to explore the different types of Canadian government grants for disabled persons and other assistance available to you.
Several disability grants and other programs exist to help disabled residents prepare for their financial futures, cover essential living expenses, find gainful employment, and improve their housing situations with home renovation assistance.
Ontario Disability Support Program
If you are a resident of Ontario and have a disability that is expected to last one year or more, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
This program offers two types of support:
Each type of support has its own eligibility requirements and application process.
An individual who qualifies for income support may receive financial assistance for living expenses as well as drug coverage and vision care.
A person who qualifies for employment support may receive help finding a job or transportation assistance. Employment support is also available if you are interested in starting up your own business. You can receive help developing and implementing a business plan, financial help for your start-up costs, and assistance in securing work-related disability supports.
Additional information about ODSP is available at: https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/index.aspx
Disability Grants for Homeowners in Ontario
If you are a disabled homeowner or the parent or guardian of a disabled child in Ontario, there are several grants that may be available to assist you with making your home more accessible for your disabled child, or yourself, through home renovation grants.
Easter Seals provides funding to children and young adults with physical disabilities for home renovations or equipment not covered by the Ministry of Health’s Assistive Devices Program.
The March of Dimes Home and Vehicle Modification Program Provides funding for basic home accessibility renovations and and vehicle modifications to Ontario residents with substantial impairment based on financial need.
Ontario Renovates is a program that offers forgivable loans up to $20,000 to households occupied by people with disabilities who require modifications for accessibility.
Some municipalities offer special assistance in the form of water rebates, tax increase deferrals, and repair assistance.
Information about these programs can be found at: https://showmethegreen.ca/home/home-improvement/ontario-renovation-grants-2018/
Canada Disability Savings Program
An important benefit available to people with disabilities not just in Ontario but Canada-wide is the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). This plan is a registered matched savings plan with the aim of assisting people with disabilities to prepare financially for the future.
Once you have an RDSP, depending on your annual family income, you can apply for a Canada Disability Savings Grant or Bond. If you qualify for the Grant, for every $1 you put into your RDSP account, the federal government will match up to $3.
If you qualify for the Bond, the government will put in up to $1,000 a year each year for 20 years regardless of how much you deposit.
Significantly, in Ontario, the RDSP is fully exempt from disability and income assistance benefits. This means that both money held in an RDSP and money taken out of an RDSP do not reduce an individual’s disability benefits payments.
Applying for Disability Grants in Canada
If you are a resident of Ontario with a disability, there are several programs that can improve your quality of life. Whether you need modifications to your home, or you are thinking of starting your own business, the help you need may be available.
A lawyer with knowledge of the eligibility requirements and application processes can help you apply to the programs that will benefit you the most. Based on a review of your financials, a they can identify the programs for which you are likely to qualify.
In some cases, a lawyer may be able to help you secure temporary income assistance immediately while your application for permanent assistance is pending.
There are a wide variety of disability grants in Canada, and no matter what your particular need is, a lawyer with experience in this area can help you save time and energy and maximize your benefits.
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