Equality and Justice
For People With Disabilities

Getting an Internal Review of your ODSP Notice of Decision: Process and Timelines

Published on January 15, 2020

Getting an Internal Review of your ODSP Notice of Decision: Process and Timelines

Justine Wong, uOttawa Law Student, October 2019


The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income support to applicants who qualify as a “person with a disability” under the law, are in the low-income bracket, and living in Ontario. The Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997, SO 1997, c 25, Sched B is the law that governs the ODSP and defines a “person with a disability”. The ODSP’s Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) decides whether an applicant matches this definition under section 4 of the Act. Meanwhile, your local ODSP office decides if you are financially eligible. 

You must apply for both assessments by submitting one part of your application to the DAU and the other to your local ODSP office. Both offices will issue their separate decision and reasons in a written document called a Notice of Decision when they have completed all assessment steps. Your local ODSP office will respond in 15 business days. The DAU usually responds within 10 business days or up to 90 business days for more complex cases. You will therefore receive two Notices of Decision.


What happens if you disagree with either of these decisions?

This article gives an overview of the process and timelines to request an internal review of the Notice of Decision. 

Regulation 222/98 of the ODSP Act governs these aspects under three sections:Section 58 – Request for Internal Review

Section 59 – Time and Manner of Conducting Internal Review

Section 60 – Decision on Internal Review

The same process applies to both decisions regardless if you are asking to review financial eligibility or disability status.


Section 58 points out two timelines you need to know

(1) If you disagree with the Notice of Decision, you have 30 days to ask for an internal review of the decision from the office that assessed your file. This office will conduct the review and respond to your request. 

(2) If it is more than 30 days since you received the Notice of Decision, then a review may still be possible by request so long as you: 

(a) ask for an extension in writing; and

(b) explain why your request is late. The reason must indicate that circumstances beyond your control prevented a timely request. 

Either way, an internal review requires a written request in one of two ways: 

(i) by letter; or

(ii) by completing and submitting the Request for Internal Review Form. 

A letter must state that you are requesting an internal review of the decision. Otherwise, the letter should provide the same information that the form requires.


Request for Internal Review Form

This 1-page form requires you to identify the type of decision you want reviewed, why, and if you are applying late, your reason for doing so. You will also need the 9-digit ID number and date on your Notice of Decision. The form is available on the Forms page of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website.

Whether by letter or by form, the request can be accompanied by additional documents or information that may be useful for review. Requests should be mailed or faxed to the right office.

If you are in the Ottawa region, requests to review financial eligibility should go to the Local Ottawa Office: Ontario Disability Support Program

Income Support and Employment Supports

Ministry of Community and Social Services

351 Preston Street, 2nd Floor

Ottawa ON K1S 2T7

Fax: (613) 783-5958

For disability status review, requests should go to the DAU: 

Ontario Disability Support Program
Disability Adjudication Unit
Ministry of Community and Social Services
P.O. Box B18
Toronto ON M7A 1R3
Fax: (416) 326-3374

Section 59 outlines the internal review process

The internal review takes up to 30 days from the date the office receives your request. Moreover, the person who decided the Notice of Decision will not conduct the review. 

Section 60 explains the decision on internal review

You will receive the decision on the review in-person, by mail, or by an approved email format.

The original decision will either be confirmed, set aside, or varied. Reasons and the effective date of the decision will also be provided. 

What next?

If you are satisfied with the outcome, then your appeal process is complete. 

However, if you still disagree, you have 30 days to make an appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).

Please note that this article should not be taken as legal advice. 

For assistance from a qualified legal professional, Reach may be able to help. Reach us by phone at 613-236-6636 or by email at lawyerreferral@reach.ca.