People who collect Ontario Works payments and Ontario Disability Support Payments (ODSP) may be able to keep more of their court-won pain and suffering settlements, with an instrument called a “Henson Trust.”
Ontarians are entitled by legislation to keep just $25,000 of their cash entitlements when they win a lawsuit or arrive at a settlement, under Ontario Works, and up to $100,000 under ODSP. They must hand over any extra net award to the government if they want to continue to receive benefits.
Some in the legal community say such rules are antiquated and need to be updated. Meantime, a Henson Trust could be set in place, to allow low-income recipients of pain and suffering amounts to keep more of their award, and apply it to current and future expenses.
A training webinar from Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) outlines the how, why and when of such trusts.
Also see: the Law Times article on the OW/ODSP issue.