Ontario is taking an important step to make it easier for people to apply for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
Starting January 15, 2018, registered nurses can complete all sections of forms used to determine if someone is eligible for the program, as well as medical review forms.
Currently, registered nurses can only complete one section of these forms while other health care professionals complete the rest. For people who have challenges accessing a health care professional, this change will make it easier for them to apply for ODSP.
In remote northern communities, such as First Nations communities, nursing stations are often the first point of contact for primary health services. This change will help reduce the time applicants have to wait to see another health care professional and therefore, apply for ODSP.
Making improvements to ODSP is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“Enabling registered nurses to complete all sections of ODSP application forms will make it easier for people throughout Ontario to apply for the program. As a physician, I know first-hand the valuable role that registered nurses play each and every day in delivering health care across the province, especially in remote northern communities. This change will make it faster and easier for people applying for ODSP in those communities.”
— Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services
“The changes announced today to allow registered nurses (RN) to complete ODSP applications and medical review forms will provide people eligible for support with faster access to benefits they need and deserve. In particular, this will help marginalized persons, including those living in rural and northern parts where RNs often serve as the primary health provider.”
— Doris Grinspun, Chief Executive Officer of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
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