Ontario released its 2022 Fall Economic Statement today. Finance minister, Bethlenfalvy announced that despite having a $2.1-billion surplus in 2021-22, Ontario is projecting a $12.9-billion shortfall this fiscal year.
The looming deficit notwithstanding, we were pleased to see some improvements that will significantly impact the lives of people who have disability and other vulnerable people.
Some highlights include:
- The earning exemption for a person with a disability on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) will increase from $200 to $1000. This means people can make up to $1000 a month before their benefits are impacted and funds are clawed back. The government hopes this can keep some ODSP recipients employed as well as encourage others to enter (or re-enter) the workforce. The government, however, added that “For each dollar earned above $1,000, the person with a disability would keep 25 cents of income support.” In other words, the claw back from ODSP will be 75% instead of the current 50%.
- The maximum amounts for the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities and OSDP programs will be indexed to match the annual inflation rate, beginning in July 2023. This would be in addition to the 5% increase, which was previously rolled-out in September 2022.
- The government announced it was investing more than $1.5 billion over three years to expand home care, allowing seniors to stay in their home, longer. With this investment and other developments, such as virtual care options, seniors and their families now have more flexibility to receive care at home.
- The government also earmarked $40 million for the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System program which intends to provide immediate financial support to about 200 000 low‐income seniors adjust to the rising cost of living.
- The government introduced the temporary Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for 2021 and 2022 to help seniors make their homes safer and more accessible. This credit aims to help low‐ to moderate‐income senior families with a broad range of eligible medical expenses, including many expenses that support aging at home.
PooranLaw will continue to monitor legal implications and progress related to investments made to support programs. In the meantime, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.
Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and the article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.