Anybody who has read my writings for any length of time has probably gathered by now that both my wife and I suffer from debilitating illnesses that prevent us from working. Our only income comes in the form of a check that we receive at the end of each month through a program known as The Ontario Disability Support Program (O.D.S.P.)
This check provides us with minimal amounts for shelter and living costs. We are also eligible to receive certain medications for the nominal charge of $2.00 a prescription, one eye check up every two years, minimal dental care, and zero premium health insurance.
At first glance this doesn't appear too bad, and in fact we are probably slightly better off than most working poor due to the benefits. Obviously a thing like our deduction free drug plan saves us a fortune; between the two of us we use about $1,000 worth of medication in a month.
After having spent five months in the limbo of being on welfare while I waited for them to decide if I was sick enough to be entitled to disability benefits, I was intensely grateful when they were finally approved. I still am grateful for the assistance provided, I'd hate to think what our situation would be like if this program didn't exist.
However, (you saw the but coming long ago didn't you), I have recently had reason to experience some of the serious deficiencies within the program. A couple of weeks ago my wife came into the bedroom after I had gone to bed and woke me up. She had had a tooth snap off at the gum line.
While it was a nasty experience she thankfully wasn't in any pain, which was a good thing as this was Friday night and we wouldn't be able to see our dentist until Monday. The other piece of good news was that the tooth that had broken was right next to her one false tooth, so it would only require a repair to her partial denture to put a new false tooth in alongside the existing one.