Posts Tagged ‘Disabilities’

When there’s a will, there is a way!
Supreme Court declares Henson Trusts not to be considered assets… for now

January 28th, 2019 by Celia Chandler

On Friday, January 25, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released a very important decision for:

  1. people with disabilities who have or will inherit money;
  2. people who are leaving money to people with disabilities; and
  3. housing providers which calculate rent subsidies.

In a decision referred to as S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing, the Supreme Court decided that the money left for SA in a Henson Trust is not considered an asset for the purposes of determining eligibility for Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC) rental subsidy.

Continue reading “When there’s a will, there <em><u>is</u></em> a way! <br/> Supreme Court declares Henson Trusts not to be considered assets… for now”

Can a housing provider require disclosure of Henson trusts when considering rental assistance?

December 1st, 2017 by Elliot Fonarev

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has just released a decision about asset verification for rental subsidy applicants who are beneficiaries of trusts. Though this decision is not binding in Ontario, it will be of interest to affordable housing providers here, as some of the same principles may apply.

The decision in S.A. v Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC), helps shed light on the circumstances in which BC housing providers are allowed to request information about the contents or value of discretionary trusts (often called Henson trusts) when determining whether to grant or continue rental assistance. Henson trusts benefit disabled persons without affecting their ability to receive government benefits. Though the B.C. government does not consider Henson trusts as assets for the purpose of eligibility for disability assistance, the court said that MVHC was entitled to require the applicant provide information regarding a Henson trust when determining eligibility for a rental subsidy. In Ontario, Henson trusts are also not considered assets for determining eligibility for disability assistance under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Act, 1997. But if the Ontario courts are swayed by this case, housing providers could seek information about Henson trusts for their internal discretionary rental assistance programs. This could be an important source of data for housing providers to help make decisions about how to allocate discretionary funds and determine eligibility for internal and external rental assistance or Rent Geared to Income (RGI) programs.

Continue reading “Can a housing provider require disclosure of Henson trusts when considering rental assistance?”

Proposed class action challenges wait times for support services for adults with developmental disabilities

April 27th, 2017 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Many Ontarians with developmental disabilities face a significant problem when they reach their 18th birthday. Specifically, while they have received services and support from the government during their childhood, upon turning 18 they are treated as adults under the law in Ontario and those services and support are typically discontinued immediately, even though their disabilities still exist, and even though that support is often necessary to meet their most basic human needs.

Continue reading “Proposed class action challenges wait times for support services for adults with developmental disabilities”

What medical documentation should you accept when asked to accommodate a disability?

February 2nd, 2017 by Celia Chandler

Our housing provider and employer clients often get asked to accommodate mental and physical disabilities under the Human Rights Code. While we’ve known for a long time that it’s OK to ask for medical documentation to support the requests, it’s been a bit unclear what should be included in doctors’ notes. Sometimes clients got notes that were too skimpy and other times clients got lengthy ones that revealed much more information than was necessary to meet the request.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Commission released some guidance for doctors, for people requesting accommodation, and for housing providers and employers who have been asked for accommodation. The Commission tells us that a doctor’s note should include:

  • that the person has a disability
  • the limitations or needs associated with the disability
  • whether the person can perform the essential duties or requirements of the job, of being a tenant, or of being a service user, with or without accommodation
  • the type of accommodation(s) that may be needed to allow the person to fulfill the essential duties or requirements of the job, of being a tenant, or of being a service user,
  • in employment, regular updates about when the person expects to come back to work, if they are on leave

To see what the Commission released yesterday, click here.

To see the Commission’s Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability, click here.

Save the Date: IC Education, our workshop series, will turn its attention to human rights in housing on March 4, 2017, at Otter Creek Co‑operative in Whitby. More details to follow soon!

 

Service animals for mental health: An emerging issue in disability law

January 28th, 2016 by Katie Douglas

What to do with Peaches? In 2014, a woman moved in with her common‑law partner in Barrie, Ontario and, while aware that the condominium’s bylaws restricted owners from having dogs over 25 pounds, proceeded to move in with her 40‑pound retriever cross, Peaches. The property manager demanded that she remove the dog and the owner responded with a request for accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, claiming that Peaches was a service dog who supported her with “stress and past abuse issues.” Ultimately, the court evicted Peaches, ruling that the owner had not provided sufficient information about her disability to establish that Peaches was a necessary accommodation.

This case highlights an emerging issue in disability law. Continue reading “Service animals for mental health: An emerging issue in disability law”

Buried Alive: The Human Rights Implications of Compulsive Hoarding in the Landlord-Tenant Context

January 27th, 2014 by Iler Campbell

Lauren Blumas, our articling student, has an article in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law. Read her article here (pdf).