The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) was created in 1996 by the Mike Harris PC government. It was a merger of some disability programs to create a new program aligned similarly to the newly renamed social assistance program Ontario Works. This was a reduction of 30% for many disabled individuals.
ODSP since then has not kept up with inflation, has not kept up with rental increase rates, nor does it provide anywhere near the amount needed to pay average market rent almost anywhere in Ontario.
The ODSP benefit comes in 2 parts. For the purposes of simplicity, we will be talking amounts for a single adult. For a single adult, there is a “Basic needs” of a maximum of $672/month and a “Shelter allowance” of max $497. The maximum payment each month is $1169.
These last 4 years have been the hardest. The current Ford PC government has continued this trend of underfunding us as we have had only ONE increase of 1.5% in 2018. There has been no increase since then. Inflation, food, gas, rent have increased significantly & yet nothing from the PCs.
Inflation has increased 11% since 2018. ODSP has increased 0%. Market rent has increased 20-100% since 2018. ODSP has increased 0%. COVID increased costs for everything. #PWD received $0. Every month we have less money. We go into debt, go homeless, or for some of us, we die. Every month it gets worse.
We need bold action on ODSP now. We need to raise the rates. It needs be doubled to start. It needs to be indexed to market value rent, rental increase rate & inflation. In the immediate there should be NO clawbacks until your income + ODSP is higher than poverty rate.