Ottawa Law Firms Discuss Disability Benefits

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The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) exists to help those in need. It is intended as a “final resort” for those who have an impairment that does not allow them to work, so that they may have financial support. However, even when it is the only option available to a person, sometimes they still have their ODSP applications denied, leaving them in the lurch. Ottawa law firms see many people each year who require assistance with appealing the decision, an overwhelming undertaking for many to take on alone.

To apply for ODSP, a person must meet four primary criteria. They must have an impairment, such as a physical or mental health issue with a professional diagnosis; the impairment must be grievous enough as to interfere with their ability to work or to take care of themselves; it must be continuous (constant) or recurrent (occurring with great frequency); and the impairment must last for a minimum of one year.

However, receiving support is not a simple matter of meeting these four criteria, but of making a case for yourself. Unfortunately, without the aid of Ottawa law firms, this can sometimes become challenging. But with the help of a qualified legal professional, you can prepare an appeal much more successful than your original application.

To begin, you must request an internal review within one month of receiving the original decision (unless you can justify the delay). When you submit this request, you must do so based on the same impairment as the original application. While the internal review is unlikely to alter the decision (though if it does, this will save you a lot of work), it must be done before you can submit an appeal to the province’s Social Benefits Tribunal. They will arrange to have a hearing.

As you prepare for your hearing, you should collect every piece of evidence and documentation that you used in your original application, as well as any other information or documents which may support your case. This is a step where the assistance of professional legal counsel can come in handy, as they have experience making cases that are convincing and factual. They can help you prepare your documents and obtain new evidence from doctors and other experts that help to substantiate your claim. The tribunal may overturn the initial decision before your hearing, but in the event that this does not come to pass, you will be able to make your case at the hearing.

Negative ODSP decisions are not the only area where Ottawa law firms can help-a qualified disability lawyer can also assist you if you have wrongfully or mistakenly had an insurance benefit claim, particularly for disability insurance, denied, by providing legal counsel, helping you build your case, and representing you.