Case Analysis Of The Ontario Disability Support Program

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Ontario (Disability Support Program) v. Tranchemontagne, 2010 ONCA 593: Case analysis

In a unanimous and significant ruling on a human rights issue, in 2010 the Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that denying disability benefits to those who are severely disabled by alcoholism or drug addiction is discriminatory and violated the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Court of Appeal affirmed a Divisional Court ruling that the prohibition of benefits to those disabled due to addiction according to the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, is a case of discriminatory legislation1.
According to the Court of Appeal the respondent or Director of Disability Support Program was needed to show that the distinction between the disabled did
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Both men satisfied the section 4 criteria of the ODSPA for being disabled, however the claimants were denied benefits based on section 5(2) of the Act, which disqualified individuals who are disabled solely because of substance abuse.
Section 4 of ODSPA requires that individuals must have a substantial physical, intellectual or mental impairment to be considered disabled that prevents them from being completely functional in society, and to claim disability benefits, and the disability or impairment would be expected to last at least one year. In addition, the impairment must result in a substantial restriction in any one of these areas: (i) personal care and hygiene; (ii) functioning in the society or community; and/or (iii) ability to work and earn a
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However they were denied benefits on the basis of section 5(2) of the ODSPA. According to the judgment, they were discriminated solely because of their dependence on alcohol and drugs. This denial meant a difference of $423 per month. The Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) found that section. 5(2) of the ODSPA violates the disabled rights to "equal treatment with respect to services without discrimination because of . . . disability" under s. 1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (the "Code"). According to SBT, a case for discrimination was
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