ODSP increase falls short of the poverty line: Disability rights advocate

16 August 2022 / by Daniel Centeno

While the Ontario government fulfilled its promise to increase the monthly benefit for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), a disability rights advocate said it is not nearly enough for residents.

“It really falls short of what the disability community really needs,” said Anthony Frisina of the Ontario Disability Coalition.

Last week, the province announced a five per cent increase on the monthly benefit for ODSP.

Starting this September, the monthly benefit will be $1,227, up from $1,169. This is about $58 more per month.

“We’d love for it [ODSP] to essentially be double to $,2200 for ODSP recipients to at least get to the poverty line—poverty is at about $2,480.”

For years, Frisina, who is also hoping be a voice for the disabled community in Hamilton’s city council in October, has fought for greater accessibility and inclusiveness.

His efforts have become greater this summer amid Canada’s inflation rate hitting 8.1 per cent in July.

He said the financial limitations are exacerbated by inflation and sets “a precedent” for other concerns, including barriers to seeking help for mental health, affordable housing and nourishment.

One particular concern Frisina said the disabled community is currently dealing with is whether they can afford to buy their own groceries or be forced to use the city’s food banks.

Along with increasing the ODSP even further, Frisina said the levels of government need to have more open, honest dialogue with the disabled community moving forward.

CJRU previously spoke with Frisina during a disability rights rally in April outside of Queen’s Park.

Listen to Anthony Frisina’s full interview: