Government of Ontario Funding for Students with Disabilities

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Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that can help you pay for college or university.

OSAP offers funding through:

  • grants: money you don’t have to pay back
  • a student loan: money you need to repay once you’re done school

When you apply for OSAP, you are automatically considered for both grants and loans. If you don’t want to take a loan, you can decline it after your application is approved.

There are also programs to help you repay your student loan once you’re done school.

For more general information about OSAP, click HERE

OSAP for students with disabilities

If you have a permanent disability, you could be eligible for full-time OSAP funding if you’re studying at 40% or more of a full course load. To be considered for this benefit, you must self-identify as having a permanent disability when applying for OSAP.

For OSAP, a permanent disability is legally defined as a functional limitation:

  • caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts your ability to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level or in the labour force and
  • that is expected to remain with you for your expected life

You can get additional aid to help pay for disability-related educational services and equipment. Through one application, you can be considered for the:

You can also get specialized help if you are having trouble repaying a student loan.

Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE)

The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) helps full and part-time post-secondary students with the costs of their disability-related educational services and equipment.

By submitting a BSWD/CSG-PDSE application, you may receive assistance for the disability-related accommodations you need, such as note-takers, tutors, interpreters or technical aids while you’re in post-secondary studies.

The amount of aid provided depends on the costs of your required disability-related educational services and equipment and well as whether you have a permanent or temporary disability:

  • If you have a permanent disability, you may be considered for funding from the BSWD and the CSG-PDSE.
  • If you have a temporary disability, you may be considered for funding from the BSWD only.

The maximum funding for each academic year is:

  • BSWD: $2,000
  • CSG-PDSE: $8,000

Who is eligible

For the BSWD:

  • You’ve self-identified as having a permanent or temporary disability.
  • You’ve applied for and are eligible for funding from one of the following sources:
    • OSAP for Full-Time Students and have at least $1 in calculated provincial need; or
    • OSAP for Part-Time Students and are receiving an Ontario Part-Time Grant; or
    • The Institution-Funded Special Bursary (IFSB).

For the CSG-PDSE

  • You’ve self-identified as having a permanent disability.
  • You’ve applied for and are eligible for funding from one of the following sources:
    • OSAP for Full-Time Students and have at least $1 in calculated federal need; or
    • OSAP for Part-Time Students.

How to apply

If you’re going to school in 2019-20:

Use the 2019-20 Ontario Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) application. It will be available in the spring of 2019.

Deadlines

  • Application Deadline – Your application must be received by your financial aid office no later than 60 days before the end of your study period.
  • Documentation Deadline – All required documents must be received by your financial aid office no later than 40 days before the end of your study period.
  • Receipt Deadline – Receipts corresponding to the funding provided must be received no later than 30 days after the end of your study period.
For more information, click HERE.

Severe Permanent Disability Benefit

Previous postsecondary students with a severe permanent disability and outstanding student loans may be eligible for the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit.

If approved from this benefit, your outstanding student loan balances could be cancelled.

Who is eligible

This bursary is for those with a severe permanent disability only.

A severe permanent disability:

  • prevents you from performing the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a postsecondary school level and in the labour force; and
  • is expected to remain with you for your expected life.

You may be eligible to apply if your severe permanent disability is preventing you from working and/or taking post-secondary studies on a full-or part-time basis.

You must also meet the following requirements:

  • You reside in Canada
  • You have one or more of the following loans in repayment status:
    • Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loans (federal and/or provincial portions)
    • Canada Student Loans
    • Part-Time Canada Student Loans
    • Ontario Student Loans
How to apply

Applications are available from the National Student Loans Service Centre. See the Employment and Social Development Canada website for details on the application process.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

ODSP offers:

  • financial assistance to help you and your family with essential living expenses
  • benefits, for you and your family, including prescription drugs and vision care
  • help finding and keeping a job, and advancing your career

You can continue to get ODSP funding to help with living costs while receiving OSAP.

ODSP provides a 100% exemption on any income earned while you are enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies. (source)

This page was last updated: 2019-06-17