TORONTO – In the first few days of implementation of Ontario’s new caseload management system for recipients of provincial disability assistance and municipal financial assistance, workers have already reported systems failures and problems with ensuring clients get proper payments.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union who represents caseworkers at both the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW), says the new computer system which implemented Nov. 12, 2014, has been fraught with problems since Day 1.
“The government has spent four years and $250 million dollars on this system, and already it’s proven unreliable and has numerous data errors that is affecting the ability of our members to serve their clients,” Thomas said. “All of this should have been worked out prior to implementation.”
Thomas went on to say that caseworkers and support staff, who have not been adequately trained on the new system, are having to set up “workarounds” to ensure clients are getting the money they desperately need.
“We expressed our concerns to the Minister of Community and Social Services on numerous occasions, warning that this was the likely outcome unless they worked out all the problems beforehand,” Thomas said. “Our members are now scrambling to deal with the clients first, then trying to deal with glitches in the computer system, a system that is making their jobs harder, not easier. The Minister need to take immediate action to ensure this system is working properly before those whose lives depend on financial aid and disability support fall through the cracks.”
For more information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 1-800-268-7376
Roxanne Barnes (416) 809-2791
Tara Langford (613) 812-1970