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Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
If you need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
ODSP income support provides monthly financial assistance to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Income support also includes benefits, like drug coverage and vision care, for you and your eligible family members.
Employment services and supports are also available to help you find and keep a job and advance your career.
» Learn more about ODSP eligibility
Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
Tax credits and deductions are available for you and for your supporting family members and caregivers. These credits help to reduce the amount of income tax you and your supporting persons have to pay, given the unavoidable additional expenses of living with an SCI.
Being eligible for the DTC can open the door to other federal, provincial, or territorial programs such as the registered disability savings plan, the working income tax benefit, and the child disability benefit.
You are eligible for the DTC if the government approves you after a completed Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, is submitted. A medical practitioner has to fill out and certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment and must describe its effects.
» See the eligibility criteria for the disability tax credit to learn more about the requirements.
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a plan that is intended to help parents and people who are living with a disability save for your long-term financial security if you are eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC).
Contributions to an RDSP are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which you turn 59. Contributions that are withdrawn are not included as your income when they are paid out of an RDSP. However, the Canada disability savings grant, the Canada disability savings bond, investment income earned in the plan, and the proceeds from rollovers are included in your income for tax purposes when they are paid out of the RDSP.
You will be eligible for an RDSP if you are eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC), have a valid social insurance number, are a resident of Canada and are under the age of 60.
» Get more information about eligibility, who can contribute to an RDSP, and much more.
Ontario Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
If your SCI has led to a long-term physical disability, you can get help paying for equipment and supplies when you qualify for the Assistive Devices Program.
To qualify, you must be an Ontario resident, have a valid Ontario health card and have a disability requiring the equipment or supplies for six months or longer.
The ADP helps to cover costs for mobility aids such as wheelchairs (manual, power and scooters), power add-ons (devices added to a manual wheelchair), positioning devices (e.g. cushions, back and head supports, power tilt and recline), forearm crutches, walkers and standers. In addition to mobility aids, the ADP will contribute to the cost of a variety of aids/equipment/supplies required as a result of a permanent disability.
The Ontario government website lists qualifying criteria, what is/isn’t covered and application process.
Funding for Education.
The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) (link to https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/A-ZListofAid/PRDR019233.html ) can help full and part-time post-secondary students with the costs of their disability-related educational services and equipment. A person may receive assistance for the disability-related accommodations they require, such as note-takers, tutors, interpreters or technical aids while they’re in post-secondary studies.
Other sources of funding for education include the NEADS National Student Awards Program, the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit and the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
Depending on need and circumstances, there are a variety of other sources to help people with a disability with funding for different things. Contact your local Regional Services Coordinator at SCIO to learn more about what is available.