Accidents do happen. Kenneth Pope discusses the process people with disabilities can take when faced with personal injuries. The purpose of the Ontario Disability Support Program is to provide a basic level of income, prescription drugs, and dental care to adults with disabilities. The eligibility of this program surrounds issues of the assets, the income of the person with the disability, and their medical condition.
Accidents happen, and when they do, people are injured, and when they're injured, they retain personal injury lawyers to assist them with their claim. Years go by, and then shortly before a settlement or a judgment - I get a call because then they realize that if in the mean time they've been receiving provincial disability benefits or ODSP along with drug and dental and other supports, they realize that the settlement will disqualify them - because it exceeds the asset test.
We're fortunately able to help families with this problem and their personal injury lawyers from dealing with ODSP. And as of August 1st, 2017 the full amount of any tort settlement is exempt but the income earned by it is not. The statutory accident benefits from a motor vehicle accident are not exempt but can be exempted. We assist with that.
And there is a problem of course, with employment income replacement and non-earner benefits. But if I am consulted early enough these can often be either rolled into some other head of damages, or minimized such that we only have to deal with the retroactive effect and not the future effect.
We're always happy to help families with these problems and we'd be happy to receive a call to discuss it. Generally, there should be a sharing of support for the disabled person between the community, their family, themselves and the defendant. And this is what we help to expedite.