Ontario Improving ODSP Medical Reviews
Province Making Reviews More Client-Friendly, Fair and Accountable
Ontario is making improvements to medical reviews for people receiving benefits through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to ensure that assistance is going to people who need it.
Starting March 2016, the province will begin working with stakeholders to design a new, simpler medical review process to reduce the administrative burden on clients, health care professionals, advocates and staff. As part of the new process, the province will also seek advice on the design of a new form.
The province has already implemented new practices to help ensure the medical review process is more fair, responsible and efficient. These include:
- Improving education and training for adjudicators to ensure they have the most current medical knowledge to assist them in determining when a review is necessary. This has helped to decrease the number of new medical reviews assigned, from 50 per cent in 2014-15 to 36 per cent so far in 2015-16.
- Having adjudicators re-examine files that already have a medical review date to ensure there is a clear need for the medical review to take place.
- Improving caseworker follow-up with ODSP clients who are receiving a medical review package to ensure contact has been made and any necessary assistance has been provided to complete the package.
- Making communications to clients simpler and easier to understand.
These improvements will help the province move forward on the auditor general's recommendation to address the backlog of medical reviews.
Improving the medical review process is part of a wider effort to improve ODSP disability adjudication and ensure that ODSP will be available for all those who are eligible. This work aligns with Ontario's efforts to continue to reform social assistance, guided by the principles of fairness and simplicity.
- There are approximately 333,000 ODSP cases currently active.
- 600 medical reviews are sent out by the Ministry of Community and Social Services Disability Adjudication Unit per month.
“As part of our ongoing work to reform social assistance, we are working with all parties involved in the medical review process to remove barriers for clients, and ensure that ODSP will be available for all those who need it.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek