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How do I qualify for disability in Ontario?

Some accidents produce injuries that give rise to short- or long-term disability claims. Below are some details about meeting the eligibility criteria to receive Ontario Disability Support Program Income Support benefits.

The Ontario Disability Support Program Act defines a disabled person as an individual who has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is either recurring or chronic and anticipated to last at least one year.

Additionally, the impairment must directly cause the individual to be unable to manage his or her self-care, work or participate in activities within his or her community. A health care provider who is approved by the program must verify the person's condition of impairment, the expected duration and any restrictions.

If all of the above criteria are met, the case will be reviewed by staff at the Ministry of Community and Social Services' Disability Adjudication Unit. This review is part of the Disability Determination Process and is only considered once a determination is made that the claimant meet the financial requirements for Income Support.

Claimants will then obtain a Disability Determination Package consisting of instructions and the following documents:

  • Consent to Release Medical Information form
  • Health Status Report
  • Activities of Daily Living Index form
  • Self Report form

A qualified health care provider must fill out the Activities of Daily Living Index and the Health Status Report. This information informs the Disability Adjudication Unit staff about the nature of the disability and whether the claimant is capable of self-care, work and participating in his or her community.

While filling out the Self-Report Form is not mandatory, it can provide pertinent information regarding a claimant's individual situation.

Once it is determined that a claimant qualifies, the Income Support will commence. He or she may also have a future appointment scheduled with the Medical Review Board.

Those who are disqualified can request an Internal Review.

Some applicants only need to meet the financial requirements in order to get Income Support. Applicants will be instructed as to whether they must complete the Disability Determination Process.

The process seems overwhelming to some injured persons struggling to recover. An Ontario personal injury attorney can be a helpful asset during the process.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, "Income Support: Disability/health eligibility," accessed May 29, 2015

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