Ford’s Eligibility Restrictions Means Deeper Cuts to Ontarians With Disabilities

Restrictive definition of disability could exclude thousands from getting the care they need

A News Release from Ontaro’s NDP/Official Opposition Party

Posted May 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park — The Ford government’s cuts are already hurting people with disabilities in Ontario, and now new eligibility restrictions could be devastating to vulnerable Ontarians, said Lisa Gretzky, NDP critic for Community and Social Services.

“This government announced upcoming changes to the definition of disability, which is used to determine ODSP eligibility,”  Gretzky said during question period on Monday. “Experts, advocates and recipients are rightly concerned that this Conservative government is moving toward a narrower definition that would exclude thousands of people.”

The Ford government cut the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in November by slashing a planned increase by 50 per cent, and lowered the amount of earned income that people on ODSP could receive to 25 per cent after clawbacks. Gretzky said Ontarians with disabilities and their families are extremely anxious about a definition change to receive disability support, which could exclude those with episodic or temporary disabilities, like cancer.

“Those with episodic disabilities like multiple sclerosis, cancer, or mental health concerns are terrified that this government is looking for a way to cancel support for them if they need to be off work,” said Gretzky. “In Ontario, people need and deserve a strong social safety net. They deserve to have a government that has their back if they have to face off against cancer.”

Gretzky said that cuts to ODSP are just one of the many ways that this Conservative government is hurting people with disabilities and their families.

“Not only are ODSP recipients living in poverty, they’re also waiting decades for supportive housing. They’re languishing on waitlists for support through the Passport program,” said Gretzky.  “This government is wreaking havoc on people’s lives with their careless and dangerous decisions.”

To listen to or watch a  discussion that took place this May 6th, 2019 in the Ontario legislature about this issue, click on one of the following links –

Audio: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jwsh0bhceqch8z/Q8_Gretzky_05-06-2019.mp3?dl=0

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mominf0rjuk18z4/Q8_Gretzky_05-06-2019.mp4?dl=0

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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