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ODSP and OW exemptions: Major Changes to interplay with car accident and personal injury awards

Recently released legislation appears to have made major changes to the law regarding ODSP and OW exemption limits for car accident and personal injury cases.  These changes appear to have been made very quietly without any significant announcements.

ODSP appears to have completely eliminated the exemption cap on pain and suffering awards in injury cases (the cap had been $100,000).  See the excerpt below and link:

The ODSP general regulation also establishes full income and asset exemptions for the following:

  • awards for pain and suffering as a result of an injury to or the death of a member of the benefit unit;
  • expenses actually or reasonably incurred or to be incurred as a result of injury to or death of a member of the benefit unit;
  • loss of care, guidance and companionship due to an injury to or the death of a family member under the Family Law Act;
  • non-economic loss under section 46 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 or section 42 of theWorkers’ Compensation Act.

Income and assets exempted under this policy are payments made as an award or in settlement of a claim by a recipient, and are therefore not voluntary payments. As a result, the gifts and voluntary payments limit does not apply.

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/directives/odsp/is/4_6_ODSP_ISDirectives.aspx

The ODSP legislation itself can be accessed here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/980222

OW appears to have raised the exemption limit to $50,000 (the exemption had previously been $25,000).

The OW changes can be found at section 39, subparagraph 3 of the regulation.  There are also changes to categorization of accident benefits etc.  The regulation can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/980134#BK44