Ontario not doing enough to verify disability payment eligibility: auditor

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wheelchair disability

TORONTO — Ontario’s auditor general says the Progressive Conservative government isn’t doing enough to verify that people receiving disability benefits are actually eligible.

In her annual report, Bonnie Lysyk says that over the past four years, the government conducted fewer than two per cent of the eligibility reviews that its own directives say it should.

Lysyk says that in the past 10 years, the number of disability payment recipients has increased by 50 per cent, while the province’s population has grown by only 12 per cent.

The auditor found that 80 per cent of approved applications are set as “disabled for life,” after no date was set for a future medical review.

Ontario’s social services minister says the province is working on better ways to confirm eligibility for disability support payments.

Todd Smith says his ministry is also acting on the auditor’s recommendations by developing smarter ways to identify and prioritize cases for review.

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