Ontario Disability Support Program

A:

May 25, 2015

Miss Monique Taylor: Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with members of the ODSP Action Coalition, a province-wide coalition of advocates tirelessly fighting on behalf of people living with disabilities.

Many people with disabilities depend on ODSP for their survival, but surviving on ODSP is no small feat. Poverty-level benefits have failed to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of food, electricity and rent in Ontario, where a monthly benefit for a single person tops out at $1,100, while the average bachelor apartment in Toronto is close to $900.

Due to their disabilities, most ODSP recipients are not able to work full-time, but when their health allows, many try to work part-time, both for the sense of satisfaction it provides and because they desperately need every possible extra dollar to pay for the extra basic costs of living in Ontario.

This October, the Liberal government will cut the Work-Related Benefit for ODSP recipients. They will cut the $100 monthly benefit that supports people with disabilities to participate in the workforce. This cut will deepen poverty and will create yet another barrier for people with disabilities to participate in the workforce.

As the NDP critic for community and social services, I call on this Premier, Kathleen Wynne, and her Liberal government to reverse this cruel decision and reverse the cut to the Work-Related Benefit for people on ODSP.