As of December 1, 2014, three new conditions have been added to the ODSP/OW Special Diet Allowance (SDA):
1. Unintended weight loss due to interferon treatment for people with hepatitis C who have a body mass index of less than 25:
- $191 SDA if weight loss is between 5 and 10% of usual body weight, or
- $242 if the weight loss is more than 10% of usual body weight.
- (The SDA of $88 for chronic hepatitis C with a body mass index of less than 25 was added in January 2013.)
2. Congenital heart defect in patients who have had a Ross Procedure or an arterial switch procedure or coexisting coarctation of the aorta.
3. Rett Syndrome with body mass index of less than 18.5.
The ODSP/OW policy directives have been revised to include the new conditions and are on the Ontario government website:
- ODSP Income Support Directive 6.4, “Special Diet Allowance” (November 2014): www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/directives/odsp/income_Support/6_4.pdf.
- OW Directive 6.6, “Special Diet Allowance” (November 2014): www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/directives/ow/0606.pdf.
There is a maximum of $250 in SDA per month per ODSP/OW recipient. Also, the three diets above are grouped with other diets that may limit the total SDA for any one person. The list of all the current Special Diet Allowance conditions is on the Ontario government website: www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/sda_medical_conditions.aspx.
People living with HIV in Ontario can contact us for free legal advice. Others can contact their local community legal clinic: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/.