Ontario Announces a Five Percent Increase to ODSP
Last week, the Ontario Government announced a 5% increase to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – to the average Ontarian with a disability, that translates to just $58 extra per month.
While an increase to the program has been long awaited in the province, many are baffled at persons with disabilities being left behind once again. “A five percent increase is nowhere near the $2000 a month that Ontarians on CERB received at the height of the pandemic, just to meet their basic needs,” says Peter Athanasapoulous, SCIO’s Director of Public Policy, “People with disabilities need guaranteed income equitable to the general public – especially because the costs of living with a disability are higher.”
Indeed, living with a disability is expensive, with high costs of essential medical supplies that in many cases, lack adequate coverage, requiring Ontarians to fend for themselves. The result is perpetual poverty, even though more than 40% of people with disabilities in Ontario have a post-secondary education and are capable of contributing to the workforce. ODSP’s restrictions to obtaining employment certainly don’t help – by landing full time work, many are at risk of losing their ODSP benefits altogether, making it impossible to afford living expenses and medical needs at once. For catheter supplies alone, some Ontarians with disabilities pay up to $2400 a month out of pocket, just to be able to empty their bladders regularly – and that doesn’t even cover the other disability related expenses that can come up on any given day.
Ontarians with disabilities deserve better. We continue to fall through the cracks of a system that perpetuates poverty, making it extremely difficult to advance financially and access resources that many take for granted.
SCIO is committed to advocating on behalf of people with disabilities in Ontario and will continue to engage with the government to make long lasting and impactful changes to public coverage for medical supplies, accessible housing, greater regulation of PSWs, ODSP and more.