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Kenneth Pope Law - FAQ for Planning Your Future with a Disabled Child

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a person with disabilities be their own trustee for a Henson Trust?

Yes, a person can be their own trustee for a Henson Trust, if this is a wise choice.

I am an ODSP recipient and my grandmother just passed away and left me some money in her will. Will I be able to keep this inheritance or will I lose my benefits?

We would need further information, but under the right circumstances, the answer would be yes.

I am on ODSP and my parents intend to leave me the family home and some money. What do my parents have to do to make sure that I am able to not lose my benefits but to still keep whatever they will want to leave me?

Under certain circumstances you can inherit property or money and still keep your ODSP benefits.  Your parents should contact our office to discuss having Wills prepared that contain a Henson Trust for you.

I live in Quebec and want a Henson Trust in my will. Are Henson Trusts valid in Quebec as well as in Ontario? Does Quebec Social Assistance have the same rules and guidelines as ODSP?

Henson Trusts are valid in Quebec. Each Province has their own form of Social Services and each has their own rules and regulations and benefit amounts and other benefits that a particular Province offers for disabled people.

I used to work and have accumulated some investments. I understand that I can only have $5,000 in all my bank accounts. Can I create my own Henson Trust to protect what I have saved? , but still be able to collect ODSP and have Drug and Dental coverage?

A person cannot create their own Henson Trust, but there are options that you would have to protect the assets that you have accumulated, following ODSP rules and regulations.

I work part-time but my health does not allow me to hold a full time job. Can I apply for ODSP?

We would need a formal assessment to gather more information about your particular case, but yes, generally you can work part-time and still be on ODSP.  The test is if you are able to function in a competitive work place.

What is a Principal Residence Trust?

A principal residence trust (or an Inter Vivos Trust) is an effective creditor protection strategy as the title to a home would vest within the PR Trust’s distinct protective status and consequently remove it from the claims of creditors and also from matrimonial claims. It can also help with reducing Probate fees and or Capital Gains Taxes.

What is a Specified RDSP? (SDSP)

A SDSP is a new measure to provide beneficiaries who have shortened life expectancy with greater flexibility to access their savings from an RDSP. Withdrawals from an SDSP will not trigger a repayment of the assistance holdback amount as long as the sum of the taxable parts of all withdrawals made in the year does not exceed $10,000. However, once the election is made, no more contributions can be made to the plan and the plan will not be entitled to any new grants or bonds. Furthermore, you will not be entitled to carry forward any grant or bond for those years under this plan.

What is an Inter Vivos Trust?

An Inter Vivos trust (i.e. set up during the settlor’s lifetime) is a trust created to hold assets, such as a principal residence for the ODSP recipient,  or disabled person.

Why do some people on ODSP receive $1128 a month and others far less than this amount?

Benefits can typically be increased from $863.00 per month to $1128.00 per month in one of two ways.

If an ODSP recipient lives at home with parents or a blood relative, there can be a different amount paid. If the person is able to shop for their own food and prepare basic simple meals, then the recipient could qualify for the rental amount of $1,280.00 a month. In a situation where the person living with a parent or relative, have all of the groceries bought for them, and all of the meals prepared for them, they would then only qualify for the lower room and board amount, which is currently $863.00.

The higher benefit amount is for renters. The lower amount is for Room and Board.

There are other options as well for recipients who do not shop for their own food or prepare their own meals. By contacting Mr. Pope you can find out what the qualifications are to receive the higher amount, for someone in these circumstances.

Read more about ODSP.

What Disability Benefits Do You Qualify For?