Starting on August 1, 2017, some Canadians began to benefit from changes in the Ontario Disability Support Program (OCSP) and Ontario Works (OW). Fortunately, none of the changes affected the ODSP eligibility of disabled workers.
Changes to benefits
Any award for pain and suffering is fully exempt from taxes. It is not considered as income or assets. Pre-judgment interest is also exempt. In other words, it does not count as income. You need to be aware that all awards for medical and rehabilitation benefits, issued under SABS are also exempt. This helps the accident victim get a larger share to pay off the pending medical and hospital treatmentbills.
If the earlier recipient of awarded money elected to come off ODSP, he or she can now reapply for those particular benefits. Moreover, any money received from a past settlement cannot be considered, when deciding on the status of someone that has re-applied. This provision has been included, in order to guarantee a free flow of benefits to those that deserve them. If an eligible individual is denied such benefits, it is essential that they hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Kingston.
The lawyers understand the intricacies of the law, and can help you get the documents ready, submit the medical reports so that your rights are protected.
While awards for pain and suffering do not count as income, certain other benefits do count as income.
• Income replacement benefits now count as income.
• Non-earner benefits now count as income
• Past or future lost income counts as income; a lost earning opportunity would count as lost income.
Usually, the income benefits that are provided to the accident victims are the basic costs of shelter, food and clothes. It includes medical and vision care costs to a certain limit. Additionally, people with disabilities are provided employment opportunities so that they can try to get back on their feet.
Those on Ontario Works (OW) get an increase in their exemption limit.
That limit is now $50,000.00. That is an increase of $25,000.00, over what it was before. That is the maximum size of an award that can be paid to someone that benefits from OW, before the person receiving those benefits must get removed from the program.
What has triggered such changes?
These changes reflect the fact that the law has placed a cap on the amount of money that can be awarded a victim that filed a claim for pain and suffering. Ontario chose not to tax the small awards that went to any recipients of ODSP benefits or OW benefits.