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Kanadiana

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I'm wondering if anyone in here is on Ontario Disability as I'm seriously considering staying in Ontario and I don't know the process or how long it takes to establish disability status and income/benefits.

... am also wondering how anyone on low income can survive in Toronto??? YIKES. Rentals are astronomical. Where do these people live, other than low housing?

I don't know the Ontario/Toronto reources for someone who knows nothing of the city and its neighborhoods, and am not connected to anyone in the community/city other than my partner (who I am leaving very soon and know no one else here)

Any feedback appreciated bigtime, and thanks :)
 

Kanadiana

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PS: I am familiar and have been through the BC disability process and was on full disability there, and imagine Ontario to be similar dancing through hoops and all.
 

healthbound

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hey Kanadiana - how ironic - I'm heading down to inquire about BC disability tomorrow and know nothing about it. Is the application process very long?

I'm sorry - I don't know anything about Ontario :(
 

healthbound

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ps...I'm actually ready to "get a real job", but i need to start very part time to see how i do first.
 

David Baxter

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To both of you, the first thing you are going to need is medical/psychological documentation.

Kanadiana, email me to remind me and I'll look up the procedure for Ontario and post it back here. I can well imagine that trying to live on ODP in Toronto would be tough. You might want to look a little outside that Toronto core if that's an option.
 

Kanadiana

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Healthbound,

Hi there. Below is a link regards BC Disability, applying, etc.

http://www.mhr.gov.bc.ca/pwd/eapwd.htm

I was approved for full disability just prior to rules changing ... there were still a lot of hoops to jump through, and waits. Policies are different ... once you finally get an application for disability from them, I know that for full time with full "enhanced" medical benefits, you'll probably have a 25 page form to fill in, get filled in by doc and an assessor, you, etc ... any mistakes or unclear information in anything could result in longer delays when they either outright reject, or request more info. There are groups, like advocacy centers that can walk you through the processes. I would suggest you find someone who knows the process to go over the forms with you and explain whats needed/expected ... ya wanna get it right the first time so as to get processed as quickly (which is slow) as possible.

My disability status was based solely on my physical health issues, which are chronic, progressive, etc. It tooks months for me to get approval. They also have a rapid reinstatement, or did, meaning I left BC and if I go back (unless I've been away too long, or the rules have changed yet again) they can rapidly reinstate my disability status ... perhaps 2 months after I reapply for assistance. I was going to go back but am having 2nd thoughts ... many reasons., biggest being I've found me a good doc and rheumatologist and I need relief. Hard to find docs taking new patients anywhere in the country, and months to see specialists... my new doc got me in to rheumy within a month!!! Amazing good fortune! Hate to give that up and start from scratch again...

For mental health issues, you'd need a psychiatrist or psychologist etc to fill out the forms.

Anyways ... I suggest you check out the link I sent you for more information. Advocacy centers and such should be able to tell you "current" policies... I hope ;)

Thats about all I can think of ... am woozy on anti-inflammatories at the moment, not thinking clearly (tendons/ligaments in my whole body/all joints driving me nuts and quite disabling right now... never know what to expect as far as symptoms go each day. What a pain ... pun intended LOL )

I hope this helps you! Good luck.
 

Kanadiana

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David Baxter said:
Ontario Disability Support Program

The ODSP has two parts:
  1. Income Supports provides financial assistance to people with disabilities
  2. Employment Supports provides the supports people with disabilities need to get and keep jobs. [/list:eek:]

  1. http://www.cfcs.gov.on.ca/CFCS/en/programs/IES/OntarioDisabilitySupportProgram/default.htm


  1. Hey David, thanks. You're a real mover and a shaker LOL ... I was JUST going to reply to your first reply in here and see you've answered both of us already ... :)

    And YES I have considered moving farther out of core Toronto ... I'm playing with possibilities and will gladly listen to anyones ideas and information :)
 

healthbound

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Hey, thanks to both of you.

Dr. Baxter wrote:
To both of you, the first thing you are going to need is medical/psychological documentation.

Perfect. Can you hook me up?

Kidding. I have a GP and Psychiatrist who are very supportive and who also had to do something similar when I initially went on medical leave.

However, I am feeling panicked that the process may take so long. for some reason, I didn't think it would. There's lots of documentation on the legitimacy of my limitations however I am concerned about the time it will take to be assessed. And what if I DON'T qualify?

And I also recently lost my medical and dental coverage (the company I was working for at the time I went on medical leave continued to pay my medical insurance until Dec.31). I wonder how I will be able to get my Doctors to fill out the info if I'm no longer covered and have no money (I actually just found out that I was no longer covered yesterday)? I was very lucky to also have the approximately $400/month medications I'm on covered by my previous employer.

Last week, I was offered a part time job (my previous employer can't employ me part time), but it is extremely limited hours. This is a good starting point, but it won't pay the bills.

Super. I'd better get the paper bag ready - I feel a hyper-ventilation session comin on.
 

David Baxter

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You may be eligible for EI medical benefits while you're exploring/applying for Disability benefits.
 

healthbound

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I've exhausted those.

And actually, I've exhausted regular EI as well as of now. And in fact, I'm thinking this might be a challenge when applying for disability assistance.
 

David Baxter

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Welfare benefits then? That would usually give you drug coverage, etc., while you await the outcome of the disability application.
 

healthbound

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hmmmmm....i thought that's what we were talking about?

Are we talking about provincial or federal disability support?

I'm thinking I need help on the provincial level as I am functioning better and better -therefore am anticipating that I'll eventually be back in the chain gang (I don't know why Pat Benatar had to enter the conversation - and no, I'm not hallucinating. Just trying to lighten myself up right now :).

My understanding is that National support for disability is for undeniably permanent disability. Whereas, I am hoping to be eligible for help while I'm limited to working part time.

??
 

David Baxter

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You don't need to prove medical disability for regular welfare assistance - just financial need. Porgrams like Ontario Disability (and I assume the BC version) are separate and different from welfare.
 

healthbound

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ahhhhhhh....ok. So, while waiting I could apply for regular benefits to at least help out while I go through the process. Lol... I didn't even think of that.

So, it sounds like I can remain calm and know that I will most likely be able to pay rent and eat until I figure this out.

And on another note, my Anxiety Management appropriately starts back up tomorrow :)
 

Kanadiana

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Hi Again Healthbound,

Basic/regular income assistance AND/OR Disability level both are considered based on FINANCIAL NEED. Medical stuff based on need with supporting documentation from docs etc. You would be entitled to basic assistance immediately if your income needs qualify you ... I think the maximum for regular assistance for singles is about $525.00 ... not a lot, but I do think you'd get some medical coverage. I also believe that if you have supporting doctors letters and are applying for disability that you will also be "forgiven" from having to apply for work etc, while your disability application process is happening. You don't mention if you have kids ... if you are a single parent the welfare rates would be higher of course, and as a parent, you would also automatically be given "enhanced medical" coverage for you and kids.

On basic regular assistance, if you need prescription refills, I think the process is telling the assistance worker EVERY TIME you need to get a presription covered and they approve/reject depending on what its for. Some things they don't cover. These days they also tend to cover "generic brands" but not "name brands" prescriptions. EXAMPLE: Ventolin = NO. Generic (ventolin) YES. Cheaper! LOL Docs and pharmacies should be able to tell you if the ministry will cover what you've been prescribed.

IF you are entitled to Federal disability (CPP), (you'll have to check/verify this as I'm not sure) you may be told you'll have to apply to them for disability ... you would still be entitled to regular provincial welfare assistance while you go through the process of applying for federal disability though.

Regards disability ... in BC they have different "levels" of classifying ... I think it's level 1 and level 2. WHEN you've completed the application for disability, the ministry looks at your app and decides which level to place you in (DB 1 or DB 2) then they will inform you.

If I think of more, I'll add it here for you. Meanwhile ... there are many people on disability not being able to work full time or have a hard time holding employment because of fluctuating health issues. Disability does not prevent working, they even encourage folks to do what they can, and are allowed to earn up to a certain amount without that being deducted from next cheques. The other good news is that should you quit or lose a job while on disability you will not be penalized. On regular assistance, should you quit or lose a job, you could, probably would, be penalized by being ineligible for assistance check/checks for a period of time, etc.

While in the process of applying for disability, folks are forgiven from having to do job searches and such. It's a sort of state of grace while your case is being decided.

Some policies may have changed (they frequently do) and they may handle some things differently than hat i told you, but i don't think the stuff I mentioned has changed much, if at all, in the two years I've been off BC rolls ;)
 

Kanadiana

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healthbound said:
I've exhausted those.

And actually, I've exhausted regular EI as well as of now. And in fact, I'm thinking this might be a challenge when applying for disability assistance.

Having exhausted EI, and having no other source of income, or enough income to support yourself, makes you eligible for social assistance.

It will HELP QUALIFY YOU for social assistance if you are not entitled to any EI ... if you are entitled to ANY help from EI, money or medical coverage, you won't be eligible for help from social assistance, either regular or disability. What they may do in the case of someone waiting for EI applications to go through and you need support/help in the interim, they may assist you. Find out their policies on EI and eligibility for social assistance. If EI is no longer available to you, then it's no issue, so don't worry ;)

Remember, Social Assistance (aka Welfare) is a LAST RESORT after all other avenues of income and assistance have been exhausted (like you aren't entitled to financial or disability support from any other sources like EI or CPP, or you can't access their help immediately.)
 

Kanadiana

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PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE: if you currently have prescriptions you need filled and can't afford them, and they are on social assistances list of "coverable prescriptions", you may be entitled to prescription coverage. Some low income workers income is low enough for them to be eligible for prescription and medical benefits/coverage, so that while they don't receive money from assistance, they DO receive just that medical prescriptions coverage.

Whatever the case, getting full assistance (money AND/or med) ... doctors supporting documents/letters are necessary and the meds must be on the ministry's list of "covered meds".
 

healthbound

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Wow - Thanks for all your info Kanadiana!

I'm going to their offices today to begin the process. I've definitely exhausted ALL my resources (and after the last time he helped me out, my dad made it very clear that he would NOT do so again) and so I have been extremely nervous.

I had thought that maybe I could return to my old employer. However, they are concerned about 1) the roles I am requesting to be in (I'm "way over qualified") and more importantly, 2) that I'm not capable of full time.

They said they could accommodate a "ramp up into full time" (which is completely understandable because all the roles I know of really do require a full time person) but could not accommodate part time.

They also said that the first thing I need is a letter from my doctor stating that I can return to work on a full time basis. Ya right. I KNOW my doctor will support "very part time" work and then wants to assess how I'm doing in the spring-summer. This makes sense to me too. I certainly don't feel ready for full time work and frankly, it scares the crap out of me. In fact, I don't even know if I'm ready for part time - but, I'm certainly willing to try it and see how it goes. If it goes well, then I'll push further...then further...then further until I get to full time - or whatever I'm capable of.

I also got a call on Tuesday informing me that my medical and dental coverage has now been discontinued and will begin again if/when I am working FULL time at the company again. And - of course, I completely understand this. However, of course, I also began to really panic -I desperately still need medications, doctor visits, therapy visits and - I had a scheduled ultrasound this week and a specialist appointment in February because I think my cervix is closing again. Super. Last time this happened, I ended up in Emergency. Isn't that extremely expensive?

Anyway, I wasn't sure how the heck I was going to pay medical, rent, food and bills for my son and I -on no or a part time income. But, it sounds like there are some options...so, I'll check those out and keep you posted.

THANKS for all your help and suggestions db and Kanadiana. I'm off to begin the application process and then (THANK GOD) have an anxiety management group afterwards (crap...I wonder if I need medical coverage to attend!?!).
 

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