The RDSP is a savings program for people with developmental and mental disabilities aimed at providing for future support. While parents can enrol their children in the RDSP, adults face long and expensive competency tests before they can sign up for it.
The law commission project will investigate how adults can use the program without the expensive competency assessments. “We are extremely pleased to be asked by the Ontario government to undertake this project,” said Bruce Elman, chairman of the law commission’s board of governors.
“It reflects recognition of the high quality of the LCO’s work and its contribution to law reform in the province.”
The Government of Ontario has asked the Law Commission of Ontario to undertake a project to consider how federal Registered Disability Savings Plans might be more accessible to adults with intellectual disabilities. The RDSP is a vehicle created by the federal government to provide future support for persons with disabilities. The competence of adults with intellectual disabilities might be questioned if they seek to open or withdraw funds from an RDSP. The federal government has put in place a process for addressing this issue, but it is only temporary. Otherwise, in Ontario, the only way this can be addressed is through an expensive and lengthy competency proceeding. Accordingly, the Ontario Government wishes to create an alternative process. The project will benefit from the work being carried out in the capacity, decision-making and guardianship project, but will be separate from that project and will be operating on a different timeline.
The LCO has begun this project and will soon create an advisory group to assist Sarah Mason-Case, the LCO’s Research Lawyer, who will be responsible for the research and writing in this project.