Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

Stop the Download and Automation of ODSP

The Ontario government will be downloading the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) onto municipalities starting in June 2022 and automating the application process for social assistance. 

We are calling on the government to re-evaluate their decision and: 
  • Recognize that municipalities across Ontario have been severely impacted financially by COVID-19 and cannot afford to to take on the responsibility of the cost of the program. 
  • Fix the application process as the high success rate of appeals to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) suggests problems with the application process and the initial adjudication of applications. It can currently take years for an appeal to the SBT and automation will only exacerbate this issue. 
  • Accept that every Ontarian has a right to access the SBT, and to receive a timely decision. 
  • Eliminate the barriers of access that many people with disabilities are facing with the current system. Many individuals attempting to access the SBT are living with a disability or chronic illness, may lack access to technology or legal support, and are also dealing with the many challenges of living through the pandemic. 
  • Increase the social assistance rates for both ODSP and Ontario Works as the current rates are well below the poverty line.  People need the proper financial assistance to be able to pay for the additional cost of COVID-19, housing, food, supplies, and beyond. 
  • Recognize that many cannot afford to pay for internet services, creating a barrier to access the digitalization of social assistance. Internet has become a vital service and should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their income,geographic location, and health status. 
  • Understand that casework requires human interaction between workers and recipients.  No one should be at risk to lose their jobs if the government decides to amalgamate ODSP and Ontario Works. 

To read MPP Lisa Gretzky's letter to the Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services click here

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