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Food for Thought

Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ontario Disability Support Program)

Date: 2007

A mother of three who has multiple sclerosis complained to the Ombudsman that her special ODSP diet allowance, which had allowed her to beon a high-protein diet, had been cut from $250 per month to $20 per month in April 2006, following changes to the Ministry’s eligibility requirements.  She could no longer afford the daily protein products she needed and had lost 12 pounds in six months – a particular problem for her because she was on medication that had to be injected daily into an area of body fat.  Her weight loss meant she was unable rotate injection sites and was forced to take all her injections in her stomach, which had become sore and tender.  She also reported feeling light-headed and weak and told the Ombudsman: “I worry because of my children … I’m all they have.” 

Contacted by the Ombudsman’s Office, ODSP staff agreed to review the file and determined the woman was entitled to benefits for a high-protein diet but her doctor had not checked off the appropriate section of the form.  The local ODSP manager met with her and her doctor to complete a new application, and her $250 special diet allowance was restored.