Injured Person’s Rights if Injured While on ODSP
In cases where a person is receiving benefits from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), receiving compensation from the person who caused the injuries may very well have an impact on what ODSP pays. When settling a personal injury matter, it is important to consult a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer to provide you with advice.
In some cases if you receive compensation, ODSP may be entitled to receive a portion of that compensation; in other cases the amount ODSP pays may be reduced or a refund may be requested from prior ODSP payments made.
Most personal injury lawyers like Ottawa injury lawyer Marc Quinn agree to represent a person on ODSP on the basis of a contingency fee agreement meaning you don’t pay legal fees until you win.
Because ODSP is a government assistance program run by the Ontario government, the government does have an interest in knowing about personal injury settlements for persons receiving ODSP. Under the program, persons with disabilities who meet the legal test under the program can receive monthly benefits. Ontario residents must meet a financial and medical test to receive the benefits.
What should you do if you are receiving ODSP and also have a personal injury claim ongoing or have reached a settlement in your injury matter?
You should notify your case worker of the personal injury case and settlement. Let your lawyer know you are receiving ODSP.  In most cases, any amount up to a maximum of $100,000 in pain and suffering compensation you receive in your personal injury matter does not entitle ODSP to take any part of the settlement from you nor can ODSP reduce your benefits. This limit is set by Ontario Regulation and may change form time to time. In some cases the limit can be increased with permission of the Ministry (application to the Director of the program). This is sometimes possible where the amounts over $100,000 are for rehabilitation and medical expenses.
In order for the exclusion to apply, the settlement funds must be for pain and suffering as a result of injury to or the death of a member of the benefit unit or expenses actually and reasonably incurred or to be incurred as a result of injury to or the death of a member of the benefit unit.
It is important to note that any part of the settlement obtained that is for lost wages, ODSP will claim a refund owed if the payment for lost wages was provided for the period the lost wages were paid.
Personal injury litigation is a very complex area of law and if you are injured in an accident, it would be beneficial to consult a personal injury lawyer.
Ottawa Injury Lawyer
Marc Quinn