"Why are they taking it away from us?" Results of a survey of ODSP recipients on the Work-Related Benefit

Starting in December 2014, the ODSP Action Coalition asked people on ODSP who work and get the $100- Work-Related Benefit to answer an eight-question survey. The intent was to get more information about who gets the Benefit, the kind of work they do, what they use the Benefit for,  and their fears about losing it. That's because the Ontario government is eliminating the Benefit starting in October 2015.

The overwhelming number of responses to the survey and the information gathered indicates that many people on ODSP value and are concerned about losing the Work-Related Benefit.

The survey results tell us that:

  • People on ODSP are trying hard to work and to continue working.
  • They work for various reasons – primarily to earn income, but also to make a contribution to community, build social networks and gain a sense of dignity and self-worth – and the Work-Related Benefit supports them to do this.
  • Working can be difficult. The jobs people report having have are typically those that offer flexible or part-time work, which may reflect the challenges that people with disabilities face with working full-time.
  • People face many barriers to the labour market and deal with a number of costs associated with working.
  • The high cost of transportation and work-related clothing and equipment are common themes, as are barriers posed by living with a mental health disability or mental illness.
  • The problem of being unable to afford healthy food was also raised by many.
  • The Work-Related Benefit plays a number of important roles in the lives of people on ODSP who work, to begin to address those labour market barriers and costs.
  • Without the Benefit, many fear that they will have to quit working or limit the amount that they work. They also fear losing the ability to travel.

Read the results of the survey by downloading the document below.

Take Action to save the Work-Related Benefit: