ODSP and Arts Grants Questionnaire & Info Session

ODSP Action Coali­tion, Media Arts Net­work Of Ontario, Work­man Arts,ACTRA Toronto, and Tan­gled Art + Disability

ODSP and Arts Grants Questionnaire
Are you an artist and a recip­i­ent of ODSP? We need your help!
The ODSP Action Coali­tion, Media Arts Net­work Of Ontario, Work­man Arts, ACTRAToronto, and Tan­gled Art + Dis­abil­ity are work­ing together to gather sto­ries and expe­ri­ences of being both an artist and a recip­i­ent of ODSP.

The Ontario Dis­abil­ity Sup­port Pro­gram (ODSP) is a social assis­tance pro­gram run by the Ontario Min­istry of Com­mu­nity and Social Ser­vices. It pro­vides income sup­port and employ­ment sup­port to peo­ple who receive it.
In order to qual­ify for ODSP your income and assets can­not be above cer­tain amounts. All pay­ments to a per­son receiv­ing ODSP are con­sid­ered income, unless they are specif­i­cally exempted by the rules gov­ern­ing ODSP.
Dif­fer­ent kinds of income for ODSP recip­i­ents are treated dif­fer­ently. For exam­ple, employ­ment or self-employment income is par­tially exempt, mean­ing you can keep some of it but part of it is deducted from ODSP. But you can keep 100% of gifts or money that peo­ple give you vol­un­tar­ily, up to $6000 per year. And you can keep all income that is intended for disability-related expenses, but must get approval from the ODSP office for this. Because there are so many dif­fer­ent rules, it is not clear how arts grants will be treated.
Some artists who receive ODSP sup­port are con­cerned that if they are awarded arts coun­cil grants their ODSP pay­ments will be reduced, or cut off com­pletely. They may also be con­cerned that they will no longer qual­ify for the health ben­e­fits they cur­rently receive. Since ODSP sup­port is not enough to cover liv­ing expenses and the costs of mak­ing art they face bar­ri­ers to advanc­ing as artists.
The ODSP Pol­icy on Canada Coun­cil of the Arts Grants and Ontario Arts Coun­cil Grants states: These grants are not specif­i­cally exempt under ODSP…The details of the spe­cific grant should be reviewed to deter­mine the nature of the grant, how it is paid and the cir­cum­stances under which the grant is pro­vided.(Direc­tive 5.1)
These reviews are con­ducted by ODSP case work­ers and indi­vid­ual recip­i­ents have had a range of experiences.
This is where you come in.
If you’re an artist and are or have been recip­i­ent of ODSP, please fill out the ques­tion­naire. The ques­tion­naire is vol­un­tary and confidential.
The infor­ma­tion we gather will help us to seek changes that would allow artists who receive ODSP to develop and thrive as professionals.
That means we could see more plays, films, books, songs, etc. cre­ated by and about peo­ple with disabilities.
Information Session:
May 5th, 4:30-7:30pm
Tangled Art Gallery, Studio 122
401 Richmond Street West
If you have any ques­tions about this ques­tion­naire, please contact:
Eliza Chan­dler, Tan­gled Art + Dis­abil­ity
[email protected]