Ontario Disability Support Program
||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (August 2013)|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
||This article needs attention from an expert in Disability. (August 2013)|
It is paid monthly, with the main component consisting of a fixed amount for basic needs, and a variable - though capped - amount for shelter. Income support is payable to the "benefit unit" collectively, which is an aggregation of co-resident, usually related persons. The larger the benefit unit, the higher the amounts allocated for basic needs and shelter. Similarly, and with some minor exceptions, the total income and assets of the members of the benefit unit are assessed for financial eligibility purposes.
A range of additional benefits are also available. The recipient must be at least 18 years of age to receive the benefit. Single persons make up the majority of beneficiaries, while an increasing number of people on this disability program live with their parents, spouse, or other family members.
Persons who may have trouble managing their money may have their income support administered by a trustee, who can be any of a number of people such as guardians, relatives acting under powers of attorney, or even community service agencies such as the Salvation Army.
Some additional ODSP benefits include:
- prescription medicine coverage (for medications listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit formulary) - a $2 co-pay may still apply
- free dental care
- routine eye examinations (once every three years)
- assistance with the purchase of prescription eyeglasses (once every three years)
- eyeglass repair costs assistance
- free hearing tests
Estate planning for families with an ODSP recipient
Caring for a family member with a disability, and planning for their support for a whole lifetime poses special problems and challenges. A family has three main options: fully support the relative with a disability, plan for ODSP to take care of all of the relative's needs or leave money in a trust. To fully support a relative, the family would require a very large estate and the relative would not claim ODSP benefits. Families that are not able to provide for their relative or provide very little would most likely plan for ODSP to care for their relative. In that case, the family should consider opening a Registered Disability Savings Plan. If the family has some assets, they should consider setting up a trust to help support the loved one for the rest of his/her life. A trust can usually provide the same support as parents do during their lifetime.
It is important when setting up a trust that it does not affect the relative's ODSP benefits. Two kinds of trusts can help ensure that the relative is still eligible to receive ODSP benefits: a Henson trust and an Inheritance or Shelter Trust.
ODSP cannot count the money in a Henson Trust when they do the asset test to decide if the individual is eligible for ODSP. This is because a Henson Trust is an absolute discretionary trust, meaning that the trustee has complete control to make payments from the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary. Assets set up in the trust to support the person with disability are therefore not considered as that person's assets since someone else makes decision about how to spend the money. The trustee can spend up to $6,000 on the relative during any consecutive 12 month period without affecting ODSP benefits. There is no limit to how much is allocated to a Henson Trust.
An inheritance trust can be set up if a family wants their relative to inherit some money, but less than $100,000 or if the relative is a beneficiary for life insurance benefits less than $100,000. This trust can also be set up after the family member's death by the relative with a disability if they inherit less than $100,000. If there is more than one inheritance or Shelter Trust established for the relative with a disability, the total placed in all such trusts must be less than $100,000 under ODSP rules.
- Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Henson trust
- Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ontario)
|This Ontario-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|