Information for those receiving assistance in the event of a postal strike

JULY 5, 2016

mailIn case of a potential postal disruption at Canada Post, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has advised recipients of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD), that there are contingency plans in place to minimize any disruption in receiving payments and benefits by mail.

In the case of a labour disruption at Canada Post, the Government of Canada and Canada Post have put in place measures to deliver socio-economic cheques, including disability benefits and benefits for veterans. Canadians who rely on these payments will continue to have access to the money they need. Canada Post has agreed to deliver cheques on the 20th of the month, which may be earlier than usual in some cases.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services encourages switching to either direct bank deposit or reloadable payment card (ODSP only) to avoid possible delays. Of the approximately 465,000 individuals on ODSP in Ontario, 14 percent still receive paper cheques.  The remaining 86 percent use the preferred option of direct bank deposit and should not experience any disruptions.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services introduced the reloadable payment card for ODSP clients in May to make it safer and easier for people to receive and use their social assistance benefits. The card, provided by the Royal Bank of Canada, works in the same way as a debit card but does not require a bank account. Each month that a client is eligible for ODSP benefits, funds are loaded onto the card and clients can then use their card to make ATM cash withdrawals, as well as in-store or online purchases or payments.

To ensure client privacy and safety, the cards are not monitored and they do not identify the cardholder as a social assistance client or a recipient of government services. For individuals without bank accounts, reloadable payment cards offer many benefits, including:

Clients can reach their local office for more information on contingency arrangements in case of postal disruption.