ODSP Earnings Exemption Increase Praised as a “Game-Changer” for Both Businesses and Job Seekers by Employment Services Sector 

ODSP Earnings Exemption Increase Praised as a “Game-Changer” for Both Businesses and Job Seekers by Employment Services Sector

WHITBY, ON, November 15, 2022 — The Ontario Government’s move yesterday to increase the earnings exemption for recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Income Support should be viewed by businesses as a significant opportunity to solve their labour shortages and stay competitive through a disability-inclusive talent recruitment strategy. 

“This move is a win-win for everyone that will help to significantly address the labour shortage in Ontario while breaking the cycle of poverty for people on ODSP,” affirms Jeannette Campbell, CEO of the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN).  

With the changes to ODSP, the earnings exemption for ODSP recipients is being increased to $1,000 from $200 per month.  

According to the Ontario Ministry of Finance, this will enable about 25,000 working Ontarians receiving ODSP to keep more of their employment earnings, and could encourage another 25,000 people to join the workforce. 

“It means many people who have felt trapped for many years will be able to join the labour force again or for the first time,” Campbell says. “In turn, this means there’s much more talent available for businesses’ labour needs.”  

The announcement Monday afternoon by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy came during the opening day of ODEN’s Rethinking Disability Conference (RDC) 2022 attended by over 215 employment services professionals who specialize in services for job seekers who have a disability.  

Immediate reaction was positive, with the announcement receiving cheers and a round of applause when a message specially recorded for the employment services sector conference attendees was aired on closed circuit. 

“This is going to make a huge difference,” says Paul Wright, a Community Care Specialist with GoEasyCare attending RDC 2022.  

“I have a brother who’s been on ODSP for many years because of a disability resulting from a car accident, and he just never tried to find work because of the $200 cap. He’s already on the limited income of ODSP, and it was just never worth trying to find a job when your ODSP benefits are reduced after earning only $200. I think this is something really positive that will encourage a lot of people, like my brother, who have felt trapped, to look for work.” 

“The earnings cap has been a disincentive that benefits neither job seekers nor businesses, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty,” adds Campbell.  

“This is encouraging news for all our members because so many people, including the employment and social services sector, have been advocating for this for many years,” says Campbell. “It’s going to be a game-changer for both businesses and job seekers.” 

ABOUT ODEN: The Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN), created in 2008, is a professional body of more than 130 employment service providers united to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability. Members are from every corner of the province and support people of all disability types. Beyond Ontario, ODEN (odenetwork.com) has connections with organizations in other provinces and territories of Canada. Light It Up! For NDEAMTM is a trademark of the Ontario Disability Employment Network. 

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