Author: Alan

The government reverses its decision to refuse disability benefits to disabled people

The government reverses its decision to refuse disability benefits to disabled people

Ontario Ministry of Health reverses course on guardianship requirement for disabled woman who takes drugs when in care

by Susan Fagan

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reversed its decision to remove the legal requirement on a woman living with disabilities to be responsible for the actions of her spouse and/or caregiver(s) when taking certain drugs.

The decision, taken on January 9, 2013, on the grounds that the withdrawal was contrary to “the public interest” and “evidence related to the effectiveness of drugs” is now being reconsidered.

The reversal follows a court case in the Court of Appeal, which heard arguments last month. The decision is based in part on the fact that two young women in Toronto who have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs by their doctors have been refused benefits on the basis that they are not responsible for the decisions of their spouse or companion.

In both cases, the couples concerned have been in their care since June 2012. One couple is living with severe disabilities, the other severely suffers from schizophrenia. Both have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. They both take the drugs, prescribed by their doctors, for their symptoms. They are both subject to the disability and drug benefit programs and have not been refused benefits, despite the fact that they rely on their spouse’s and companion’s decisions on what they should take.

The government’s own guidelines suggest that if a disabled person is responsible for their spouse or companion’s decisions on where to take their medications, no benefits should be denied because the caregiver is not acting on the disabled person’s request. However, the government decision was based on its own policy, which stated that if a caregiver cannot be sure that a spouse or companion is taking their drugs as directed, no benefits should be denied because the caregiver cannot be sure of the disabled person’s wishes.

Under the policy, the decision is made by the family doctor. It is based on the fact that if a family doctor is relying on a spouse’s or companion’s decision on whether to take their drugs, and there is a possibility that the spouse might not know that they are taking the drugs as prescribed, it may make no sense to say that that will not create a problem for anyone receiving benefits.

The court decision, which overturned the government’s decision, stated, “The fact that there is some degree of uncertainty as to a person’s wishes does not necessarily

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