Sunday, April 23, 2017

An Open Letter Full of Questions for the Ontario Disability Support Program. Louis Shalako.

Louis Shalako

Dear Angela Adam, ODSP;

Thank you for the recent decision on income support.

I have some questions. It’s important that I have this information in order to make proper business and employment decisions in the future. Depending on what the answers are, the information will be used to decide whether or not to ask for an internal review or, ultimately, to appeal the decision on income. I need this information quickly, as you guys always set a real short deadline for asking for an internal review or an appeal. It’s part of the ODSP shell-game, isn’t it?

It’s a bit troubling, the way ODSP staff simply ignore my questions. There’s no doubt I have a right to this information. To withhold that information is highly-suspect.

I use the Nikon camera for the publishing business. I use it for running the Go Wit Ventures blog, for which I get paid, and I also use it for self-promotion. I have asked the question before, and got no answer. Is the camera an allowable deduction?

The publishing business requires the internet and a phone. It is an absolute requirement. The same is true for publishing a blog and website for my clients. I need a phone just to get calls regarding part-time work making pizza dough. What portion of the phone and internet is an allowable deduction against income? And if the answer is ‘none’, why not?

My part-time job and both businesses require the internet and the phone. How did you apportion these costs against income from these endeavors? If I wasn’t working, if I wasn’t publishing, I don’t need the internet at all, and the phone would be for emergencies and two or three personal calls a week.

I bought an alarm clock so that I could go to work on time. I didn’t have one before—was that an allowable deduction from income? If I wasn’t working, I wouldn’t need one at all.

When I purchase a professional marketing image from Canstock to make a book cover, is that an allowable deduction from income?

When I buy paper, or stamps, for the business, is that an allowable deduction from income?

Was there any question or dispute regarding business/employment mileage? If so, you really need to tell me.

I asked, in writing, why did the previous social worker, Shanno Bolton, make me split off the businesses and go to two sets of books? Was this intended to help the client maximize their allowable deductions, or was it to help the ODSP maximize their claw-backs?

Another question that was ignored.

If I received a donation from someone who wanted to encourage my writing, would that be considered as 'income' by ODSP?

No one has questioned my right to work or to operate a business under the guidelines of the ODSP. Imagine the sheer frustration of being at the mercy of the ODSP bean-counters, and having absolutely no information at all, and yet I’m being told I have the right to appeal. This is all too typical of how ODSP treats clients. And it’s not just me—it’s all of us.

That, Angela, is simply unacceptable.


This letter will be hand-delivered to the ODSP in Sarnia on Monday, April 24, 2017.  The names of ODSP staffers are real. While the client has the right to privacy, public institutions such as the ODSP do not. They are 'accountable' to the people.

Louis has some books and stories on iTunes. Please take a moment and check them out.

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