LETTER: ODSP income cap increase misses the mark for amputees

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Editor: Earlier this month, the Ontario government touted a win when it announced that recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) could now earn more money from working, without their ODSP support being affected.

But for Ontarians with the most severe disabilities, including amputees, it’s status quo amidst the skyrocketing cost of living.

What the government misses completely is that amputees receiving ODSP simply cannot work – let alone work more – without the artificial arms or legs needed for basic tasks such as walking, dressing or holding objects. Thanks to outdated funding models from the Ontario government, these crucial artificial limbs are often impossible to afford for ODSP recipients, leaving amputees literally without a leg to stand on.

While Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP) states “75 per cent coverage” for artificial limbs, this coverage is based on outdated prosthetic costs. In reality, ADP covers only about 20 per cent of the cost of an artificial limb for the average Ontarian.

As a first step to alleviate this double whammy against amputees, ODSP must be increased to be on par with other provinces. At a maximum of $1,228 per month, Ontario lags behind Quebec ($1,463), BC ($1,358) and Alberta ($1,685). Better still, the government must recognize that this amount is well below the poverty line and provide a living wage to all persons with disabilities and increased coverage for artificial limbs – it’s the least we owe to Ontario’s most vulnerable and in need.

Annelise Petlock

Director of Advocacy for The War Amps

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