Pre-Budget Recommendations: Changes to Special Services at Home, Passport and ODSP

Community Living Ontario submitted its pre-budget recommendations and is hopeful that the government will adopt the suggested changes to ensure that people who have an intellectual disability continue to receive the support they need to live full and meaningful lives in the community.

Among the recommendations that were provided to the government on January 25th was the consolidation of Special Services at Home and Passport into a single direct funding program that puts an end to the often-needless assessment and re-assessment of people.

Parents of young people who have an intellectual disability have long complained of the cliff for supports and services when their children aged out of Special Services at Home at 18 years of age and are then placed on a waiting list for Passport funding.

Community Living Ontario would like to see children’s treatment centers determine people’s eligibility and that occupational therapists and professional social workers be allowed to conduct more streamlined assessments, freeing up higher-cost professionals to focus on other work.

Also, the organization has asked that the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services continue to provide at least $5,000 a year to adults who are eligible for Passport funding until additional dollars are made available to meet their needs. The guarantee would begin to address the long wait list for developmental services.

Community Living Ontario continues to call on the government to address the persistent levels of poverty experienced by people that rely on income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program. The organization was disappointed by the government’s decision in 2018 to replace the commitment of a 3% multi-year increase with a one-time hike of 1.5%.

The pre-budget submission also included requests for the government to remove the $10,000 limit on voluntary gifts and to increase the asset limit from $40,000 to $100,000 for people receiving income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program.

To prevent cuts to front-line services and the job losses and longer wait lists that would result, Community Living Ontario also called for the government to ensure stable funding for agencies within the developmental services sector so that high-quality supports and services remain in place.

Click here to read Community Living Ontario’s submission in its entirety.

Pre-budget consultations are taking place across the province until February 8th.