24-Nov-2015 06:57

Constitutional and administrative law updating supplement

(b) The Reality This program must of course describe the law of social assistance.

Recipients, case workers and advocates relate stories of seemingly random computer 'acts' of cut-off or overpayment allegations which on investigation or appeal turn out to be computer errors. Other problems include the chronic failure of Notices of Decision (of cancellation, suspension, refusal and overpayment) to provide the detailed reasons for the decision that is required by law (and by common sense).Further chapters on "Income Support", "Benefits" and "Assistance for Children with Severe Handicaps" cover the allowance end of things, and essential concepts grounding the administration of ODSP are found in the chapter "Claimants".Procedural aspects are covered in the chapters on "Applications and Procedures", "Director Decisions", and "Appeals and Other Remedies" - which includes the workhorse appeal system of the Social Benefits Tribunal as well as further court appeals and other legal remedies.The chapter "Fraud and Prosecutions" takes us into the hard end of life on ODSP.A final chapter, "Advocacy", provides practical tips, tactical information and ethical insights which I hope will be useful to lawyers, lay advocates, and claimants alike./ about / conditions of use / how online law works / case law summaries by topic / full list of guides and resources / links tenant / small claims / welfare / odsp / human rights / employment / consumer / collection agencies / criminal injuries compensation / sppa / animals / dogs & cats / line fences / war Ontario social assistance law consists of two main pieces of legislation: the Ontario Works Act, 1997 and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997.

The two programs are very similar in structure, with the main difference being the obvious ODSP requirement of medical disability ("person with a disability").

They also differ by which level of government administers them, the amount of financial aid provided and the levels of income and assets allowed before ineligibility occurs.

This program is about the disability program, more commonly known simply as "ODSP" (Ontario Disability Support Program). CA Welfare (Ontario Works) sister program is linked here: The main substance of ODSP law is contained in the chapters dealing with the several primary issues of "Income Rules", "Asset Rules" and "Information Eligibility".

Many disputes which could be resolved by claimants or their advocates early on - avoiding the necessity and expenses (to both parties) of legal proceedings - if this problem were rectified.

Of course, as is made obvious in Ch.6 "Information Eligibility", I am highly critical of what I view as the illegal approach taken by ODSP as to the "information" duties of recipients.

The legal entitlement of the ODSP Director (who administers the program) to such information is much more restricted than the administrative culture of ODSP believes, with the consequence that the privacy loss to recipients - and their more serious loss of constitutional privacy and self-incrimination protections - is near complete.

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