May 2021 – We are concerned that the plans to “modernize” social assistance through Bill 276 may leave some significant gaps. The plan for life stabilization is inadequate and does not address the need for increased social assistance rates, the plan for delivery partners is unclear, and the digitization of services may create access barriers that leave some folks behind.
January 2021 – Defend Disability urges Premier Doug Ford to stop the erosion of the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT). The SBT provides an avenue for some of Ontario’s most vulnerable to access justice. It handles a range of social assistance issues including eligibility for ODSP. Despite the need for timely resolution, current wait times for SBT hearings are 12-18 months. Still the government has not increased support. There are now only 19 members from the 34 members in 2018, with 10 less full time workers. Defend Disability demands that experienced adjudicators are reappointed to reduce wait times and that the government undertakes consultations with ODSP recipients and legal clinics that have already outlined ways to fix this broken system.
Open Letter: The Erosion of the Ontario Social Benefits Tribunal: https://defenddisability.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/dd-socialbenefitstribunal-openletter-jan2021.pdf