On the Radar from CLEO
CLEO On The Radar
March 2023
Increases to the ODSP income cap and to GAINS 
Now, people who have a disability and are able to work can earn more money before their Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits are reduced. The government has also increased how much ODSP is reduced if someone earns more than the new income cap.  

And Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments have been doubled for all of 2023, starting in January. 

Increase to ODSP income cap
Starting February 1, 2023, people on ODSP who have a disability can earn $1,000 a month before their ODSP payments go down. This is a raise to what’s called the income cap. The income cap used to be $200 a month. 

Now, if they earn more than $1,000, their ODSP is reduced by 75% of the amount they earn over $1,000. The amount that ODSP takes is called a clawback. 

For example, if someone earns $1,500 in a month, their ODSP payment is reduced by 75% of $500. This means that they get $375 less in their ODSP payment.  

ODSP payments used to be reduced by 50% of anything over the old income cap of $200. 

Spouses and children 18 or older
The new rules apply only to people with a disability.  

The old rules still apply to: 

  • a spouse who’s not disabled, and  

  • a child who’s 18 years of age or older and is not in high school or post-secondary school full-time  

These people can only earn $200 before their ODSP payments go down. Their payments are reduced by 50% of anything over the income cap of $200. 

Changes to who is eligible
This change also limits who can get ODSP. People with the $1,000 income cap stop being eligible for ODSP after earning less money than before.  

Now, if a single person makes $2,637.33 between ODSP and income that they earn, they’re no longer eligible for ODSP or most ODSP-related benefits. This is because the clawback reduces their ODSP payment amount to less than zero.  

Some people may still be eligible for Extended Health Benefits from ODSP. 

In the past, a single person making $2,637.33 was still eligible for ODSP. Even though they did not get monthly benefit payments, they were able to get ODSP-related benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and assistive living devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids.  

The new rules do not affect people on ODSP who don’t have an income. And there have been no changes to Ontario Works (OW).  

GAINS increase
Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) is a program run by the Government of Ontario for seniors living on a low income.  

From January 2023 to December 2023, GAINS payments will be doubled. The most that a couple can get is now $332, up from $166. The most a single person can get is $166, up from $83. 

People who get GAINS do not need to apply for the increase. They get it automatically. If someone’s payment has not gone up, they should contact Service Canada or their local community legal clinic. 

Guaranteed income level
How much someone gets from GAINS depends on their income.  

The Government of Ontario has set a guaranteed income level. This is the lowest amount that the government says a senior should make.  

A person will get GAINS if: 

  • they’re getting Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and 

  • their income does not reach the guaranteed annual income 

The amount they get from GAINS will make up the difference between their income and the guaranteed annual income. 

Current guaranteed income levels
Age Single person

Each person who is
part of a couple

65 to 74 years old $1,797.52 a month

$21,570.24 a year
$1,388.71 a month

$16,664.52 a year
75 and older $1,866.28 a month

$22,395.36 a year
$1,457.47 a month

$17,489.64 a year
The government adjusts the guaranteed income level every 3 months to keep up with the cost of living. So, it’s possible that GAINS payments will change in April, July, and October.  
Steps to Justice logo
Other resources

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) 

Ontario Disability Support Program 

Government of Ontario 

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