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A roof over her head

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

Date: 2010

A woman suffering from brain damage and memory loss complained to the Ombudsman that she was about to be cut off ODSP and would be evicted if she could not pay her rent. She was also struggling because her mother was hospitalized and expected to die.

Her case worker had told her that ODSP was ending her funding for rent because she had not provided proof of residence. Ombudsman staff determined that the woman had recently moved because of a bedbug infestation, but had provided ODSP with documents to prove her residence – however, she was not at home when the caseworker contacted her there because she was spending so much time with her mother in hospital, and sometimes stayed with a friend who could drive her there and back.

Our Office spoke to the case worker and a regional manager for ODSP, who arranged to transfer the ODSP rent payments directly to the woman’s landlord. The manager also arranged for bus tickets to allow the woman to visit her mother in hospital and to pick up her basic needs cheques from ODSP offices.