ODSP increase guarantees continued poverty for disabled Ontarians


submitted by ODSP ActionCoalition

Recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program are warning of the inadequacy of the Ontario government’s six and a half per cent inflationary increase to some benefits, which is slated to take effect on July 31st.

Why 6.5% is not enough: Yvonne’s Story

Yvonne Spicer of London Ontario can barely keep her head above water with her monthly Ontario Disability Support Program payments. This month’s six and a half per cent increase means, on average, a rise of around $80 per month, which for most clients of the program does not change much.

“It’s a joke,” says Yvonne, aged 45, who has medium-to-high functioning autism and like so many people with disabilities has difficulties finding and retaining employment. “Six and a half per cent is not enough. You’re not lifting the person from poverty, you’re hitting them so low. The person is still down here, where they would love to be up above the poverty line.”

As a result of her low income, Yvonne has been forced by high rents to move back home and share a rented house with her aging mother who lives on a small pension.

“If not for not my mom,” says Yvonne. “I’d be back on the street.”  She says their combined incomes are not enough to cover the rent while also paying for food and other essentials amid skyrocketing inflation. “We’re going to food banks and church dinners every week.”

“Walk in our shoes,” says Yvonne to her fellow Ontarians. “You can’t live with what we get a month. If you walked in our shoes, you would see that six and a half per cent is still not enough.”

ODSP Action Coalition is a provincial, volunteer, grassroots advocacy group led by people with lived experience of ODSP, with a network of valued allies including legal workers, disability and poverty related NGOs, policy experts, health care professionals and others who advocate for improvements to the income and other supports available to people with disabilities (https//twitter.com/ODSPAction).

For more information, contact ODSPAction Coalition at [email protected].


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