The Battle is Over!

Good news has finally come to me as of yesterday. I was finally approved for ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) after waiting 2 years and going through mountains of paperwork. I am so happy that I don’t have to worry about my financial situation now. It’s always nice to get a lump sum of money that is deserved too and be able to take care of the bills I have had piling up.

However, there was an issue that was brought up while I was filling out the paperwork with my caseworker. ODSP offers an amount to help with the care of service dogs. The amount is something like $75/month to help and would be helpful with caring for a Service Dog. I was pretty happy about this until I found out that it is only available to “certified” service dogs. That means only dogs that have come from a school or organization are eligible for the credit. However, to have a service dog in Ontario there is no “certification” required. Service Dogs in Ontario can be owner trained and all that is needed as proof is a doctors note/prescription. So the whole situation is really messed up and I think ODSP needs to look into the actual laws as to what a “Service Dog” is listed as. I would appeal the decision but at this point I am so tired of dealing with lawyers and paperwork. The $75 is not worth me getting upset over but the principle of the matter is. I have heard many other owners having to go through this battle and it is quite sad. I thought I would mention this though so other SD owners can read into the issue.

Going forward, I am quite excited to see what the future has in store for me now that all this is over with and I can breathe a little easier. Toki has made my life so much better and I hope she knows that.

Here is a little photo from the other day. We now have an instagram you can follow us on!

https://www.instagram.com/toki.servicedogdiary/

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3 thoughts on “The Battle is Over!

  1. Natasha Rydzynski February 23, 2016 / 7:38 am

    Congrats! That’s awesome news! I get the ODSP benefit because my dogs have always been program dogs but I think it’s highly unfair (if not down right illegal) that ODSP thinks it gets to make its own rules when it comes to service dogs. They think they are above provincial laws and the government backs them up! I fought this back when I got my first SD in 2010 even though I had a program dog because I knew it wasn’t right.

    I tried to pave the way for teams that were owner trained but in the end lost the fight and ended up having CSDF provide me with an annual letter to give to ODSP so I can get the benefit. I’m sorry I didn’t win the fight because people like you deserve the benefit just as much (if not more considering how much work it is to train your own dog) as people like me. I wish there was something I could do to help!

    Like

  2. Natasha Rydzynski February 23, 2016 / 7:40 am

    PS: I can’t believe it took two years and involvement of lawyers to get on ODSP. I applied in August 2007 and was approved January 2008 with most of my paperwork done by my psychiatrist and no lawyer was needed. I cannot imagine how hard this wait has been on you!

    Like

    • Samantha and Toki March 20, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Thank you so much for all your kind words (I just saw this comment now) It was a long and tough battle and I am happy it is over with. Maybe one day ODSP will wake up and see all SDs as equals.

      Like

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