Ontario Ministry of Health reverses course on guardianship requirement for disabled woman
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has reversed its decision to remove a disability-related requirement from a woman’s application to be appointed her family’s guardian.
An application originally filed in 2016 had suggested that without access to someone to act as her representative, a disabled woman could not provide for herself and her child. In 2014, the ministry refused to appoint a guardian unless a woman who is intellectually and physically impaired by her disabilities was provided with a family representative and the application was signed by both the woman and her family representative.
In a January 31 statement, the ministry said it was reversing its decision and would appoint a guardian by July 1, 2018, if both the applications are signed by both the applicant and her family representative.
In a statement to Inclusive Living on Jan. 31, the ministry said the revised application was filed on behalf of a woman over the age of 18 with intellectual disabilities who recently lost legal custody of her child. The woman said she had been living in an apartment for more than a year with her daughter, and had recently moved in with her mother to be with her mother’s family.
“When the (mother’s) health deteriorated, her mother was asked to take her in,” the statement reads. “The (mother) had provided food, clothing, and other necessities, but had been prevented from signing over guardianship of her own living space, and the family’s support of her.”
The mother lives in an apartment with her mother, and their daughter attends an independent school.
The ministry said the woman’s guardian must be of at least age 18, live at the location of the application for at least two years and can make reasonable exceptions. The guardian must also be able to manage the home, with or without services.
In August 2017, the ministry’s decision stated that a woman with disabilities applying for a guardianship must demonstrate that she was incapable of caring for herself and her child, and that having someone acting as her representative would be detrimental to the child. The minister also said that the woman is incapable of managing her own personal funds and must