Housing and Homelessness

Directive # 2005 - 02

Date: February 10, 2005

The policies, procedures and service manager requirements in this Directive are to be implemented by all housing providers in the Region of Durham included under the provisions of the Social Housing Reform Act and its associated Regulations.

Please note: If your housing corporation is not covered by the Social Housing Reform Act, this Directive is for information purposes only.

Subject

Ontario Works and ODSP Benefit Units

Background

Benefit units are defined in the Ontario Works Act or the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, and refer to a person and all their dependants on behalf of whom they receive or apply for basic financial assistance or income support.

A family unit may be a benefit unit in whole or in part. However, a benefit unit cannot consist of more than one family unit. A family unit is defined as:

RGI assistance for benefit units is determined in accordance with the appropriate social assistance scales listed in Ontario Regulation 298/01, and is based on the number of people in the benefit unit. Housing providers will normally rely on the local Ontario Works or ODSP office to verify the members of the benefit unit.

In some circumstances, however, the number of members in the benefit unit may be unclear, or the Ontario Works or ODSP office may define the benefit inconsistently. This directive seeks to clarify these circumstances.

Action Required

If a family unit or part of a family unit declares that they are receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or ODSP, the housing provider will verify the income source and the number of beneficiaries in the benefit unit. Ontario Works and ODSP basic needs amounts are based on the number of beneficiaries as follows:

Ontario Works Basic Needs

Number of Children

Children 13 Years and Over

Children 0-12 Years

Single

Couple

 0

0

0

$195

$390

1

0

1

$446

$476

1

1

0

$486

$512

2

1

1

$572

$612

2

2

0

$608

$648

For each additional dependant, add $136 if the dependant is 13 years of age or over or $100 if the dependant is less than 13 years of age.


ODSP Basic Needs

Number of Children

Children 13 Years and Over

Children 0-12 Years

Single

Couple

Couple
-both disabled-

0

0

0

$516

$765

$1,032

1

0

1

$772

$875

$1,142

1

1

0

$823

$921

$1,188

2

0

2

$882

$1,002

$1,269

2

1

1

$933

$1,048

$1,315

2

2

0

$979

$1,095

$1,362

For each additional child, add $174 if the child is 13 years of age or over and $127 if the child is less than 13 years of age.


Where there is any doubt regarding the number of beneficiaries in the benefit unit, housing providers may request further confirmation from the local Ontario Works or ODSP office. Housing providers may use the Request for Ontario Works or ODSP Information form (PDF) in Appendix A for this purpose or may request a letter from the local Ontario Works or ODSP office . Housing providers that are having difficulty getting information from the Ontario Works or ODSP office should contact the Housing Services Division for assistance.

If the Request for Ontario Works or ODSP Information form is used, the household will normally take this form to the local Ontario Works or ODSP office to request that it be completed. If the housing provider requests the information directly from the social assistance office, the Regional Consent to Disclose Information form must be attached (see Directive 2002-13 Consent Form).

Temporary Care Assistance

Temporary care assistance is an Ontario Works benefit that is paid to an adult who is providing temporary care for a child who is not their dependant, and for whom they have no legal obligation to provide support. Temporary care assistance is for the sole benefit of the child and does not consider the income or assets of the adult providing temporary care – as is the case with regular Ontario Works benefits. Additionally, it does not include a shelter allowance.

Temporary care assistance is not included as income in RGI calculations, and the adult providing temporary care and the child in temporary care are not considered a benefit unit.

Where an adult providing temporary care also receives Ontario Works in their own right, the Temporary Care Assistance will be issued as a separate payment. The temporary care child is not included as part of the adult’s Ontario Works or ODSP benefit unit.

Financially Dependent Parents

Dependants that live with their parent(s) do not normally qualify for Ontario Works in their own right and are generally included in their parent(s)’ benefit unit. However, a dependant may receive an Ontario Works payment if:

Financially dependent parents are not entitled to a shelter allowance as part of this special benefit. Ontario Works payments for financially dependent parents are not included as income in RGI calculations, and the financially dependent parent and their child are not considered a benefit unit.

If the financially dependent parent’s parent(s) are receiving Ontario Works or ODSP, the financially dependent parent may be included as part of this benefit unit. However, the child of the financially dependent parent is not.

For example:

Mavis Smith receives Ontario Works for herself and her 18 year old daughter, Jenny Smith. Jenny has a 6 month old son, Jason Smith. Jenny receives Ontario Works as a financially dependent parent for her son only. The amount of her payment is $201, and there is no shelter allowance included.

Mavis receives Ontario Works as a sole support benefit unit consisting of 2 people (Mavis and Jenny only). Ontario Works Table 3 (Ontario Regulation 298/01) should be used to calculate RGI at $191. Jenny’s Ontario Works payment is not included in the RGI calculation, nor is Jason included in the benefit unit of his grandmother, Mavis.

Member Status

Ontario Works and ODSP assign a member status to members of benefit units. Member status may be active, removed or non-contributing. Active members receive full benefits. Removed members were once active but are no longer entitled to benefits as part of the benefit unit. Often, removed members no longer live in the household. Non-contributing members continue to live in the household, but are serving a period of ineligibility for fraud or non-compliance with employment participation requirements.

Only Active members of the benefit unit are to be included in the benefit unit count when determining RGI assistance.

If you have any questions please contact your Housing Co-ordinator.

 

Shirley Van Steen
Director of Housing Services

Mary Simpson
Director of Financial Planning

 

Cross Reference
Directive 2002-13 Consent Form
Directive 2005-01 Treatment of Dependant Income