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Queen's University
 

OSAP Appeals

Adjust Contribution From Other Assets

The following review may be considered to adjust the expected contribution from other assets.

The amount listed on the OSAP application for other assets should include other assets which can be directed toward educational costs for the current study period described below.

OSAP funds from the previous study period (i.e., academic year) are not to be included in the value of financial assets available for the current study period. Students who are in receipt of OSAP during the four months prior to the start of the current study period can request an adjustment if they have included OSAP funds relating to this study period. 

 

Items Incorrectly Included as Other Assets

If a student has incorrectly included the value of personal items such as primary residence, clothing, household items, and computers as other assets on their OSAP application or incorrectly reported RRSPs or RESPs as other assets, or reported commercial (non-residential) property that is owned by the student or the student’s spouse for the purpose of operating a business (e.g., self-employment tradesperson) the FAA may request clarification from the student. Note: commercial property does not include situations where a student or spouse owns real estate that is not their primarily residence and is operating it as an income property.

Once the Student Awards Office is satisfied with the student's clarification, the Student Awards Office may adjust the student's asset value.

DocumentationRequired:

  • Letter from student identifying the items that were incorrectly included as other assets on the application and the value of each item; and
  • Additional supporting documentation showing the value of the item may be requested, such as, proof of value of personal item, primary residence, RRSPs, or RESPs.

 

Pain and Suffering Awards

Pain and suffering awards, including the general damages component of personal injury awards and WSIB Non-economic loss (NEL) awards, in amounts less than $100,000 are exempt from assets. Any amount over $100,000 is considered an asset. If payments are made for different incidents, the payments related to each incident are exempt up to $100,000.

Documentation required:

  • a copy of a letter from WSIB, legal court document, or payment stubs specifying a pain and suffering or NEL award, the amount(s) paid and the date(s) received.

 

Life Insurance Beneficiary

The beneficiary of a life insurance policy with a payout value that is less than $100,000 will have that amount exempt from assets.  Any amount over $100,000 is considered an asset.

The exemption only applies to one-time lump-sum payouts of a life insurance policy and does not apply towards any income-generating trust funds or insurance policies.

This exemption does not apply to the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy and is only to be used in the case of a policy payout to a beneficiary in the event of the policy holder’s death.

Documentation required:

  • Verification of the amount of the life insurance payout and the date received, provided by the insurance company or applicant’s lawyer. 

 

Funding from an In-Trust Account

An in-trust account is an "informal trust" set up with a financial institution to invest funds for a minor (the “beneficiary”). A donor contributes to the plan for the beneficiary. The trustee (who can be different from the donor) manages the investments in the account and acts on behalf of the beneficiary until the beneficiary reaches the age of majority. The assets belong beneficially to the child and must generally be held for the child until the age of majority.

As outlined below, money held in or withdrawn from a student’s In-Trust Account may or may not be considered an asset or income when assessing the financial need.

i) In-Trust Accounts as Income

Withdrawals from an In-Trust Account in the current study period that are made by the student or by the account’s trustee and transferred to the student must be reported as either pre-study or study period income on the OSAP application, depending on when the amount was withdrawn.

ii) In-Trust Accounts as Assets

An In-Trust Account is considered an asset only if the student has access to the funds during the current study period but has chosen not to withdraw the money to help fund their postsecondary studies. 

The value of the asset must reflect the amount of funding available to the student in the current year that has not been withdrawn. For example, if a Trust is valued at $5,000 but as per the conditions of the account the student can only access $1,000 per year, then only $1,000 can be considered an asset. As described above, any amount the student withdraws is considered income.

iii) In-Trust Accounts that are Exempt from the Need Assessment

If ANY of the following is true, then an In-Trust Account is exempt from the student’s need assessment:

  • The trustee of the account or the student cannot access the account for any reason until the student reaches a specified age (i.e., student/trustee cannot withdraw funds during current study period); or
  • The student will not come of age during the current study period, and the trustee has refused to exercise discretion to remove funds from the account for the student’s use; or 
  • The conditions attached to the account explicitly state that the funds are not to be used for postsecondary studies.

Documentation required:

  • A copy of the documentation used to determine the conditions under which the student and/or the trustee have access to the funds;
  • A letter signed and dated by the student indicating that he/she contacted the trustee to disburse the funding; and
  • A letter signed and dated by the trustee indicating refusal to disburse any funds to the student during his/her current study period, if applicable, or indicating the total amount that was or will be disbursed to the student during the current study period.  

 

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)  Held by Student or Spouse

These savings are not considered assets.

Documentation required:

  • Documentation showing the value of an RDSP held by the student and/or spouse.  

 

Savings Held by New Immigrants

Independent, married or sole support parents who are new immigrants may be required to use their savings that they brought with them to Canada to cover living costs during the pre-study period, if they are unable to find employment or if they are legally unable to work in Canada. Assets for these students may be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of OSAP living allowance for the pre-study period.

Documentation required:

  • Proof that the individual immigrated to Canada within six months of the start of the pre-study period;
  • Proof that they were seeking employment (e.g., a copy of their job search with the list of employers they have contacted) or proof that they do not have a permanent SIN; and
  • Proof that they are incurring living costs for the pre-study period (e.g., copy of a lease)
  • If a student is living with relatives and paying part of the living expenses or room and board, the student must provide a letter from the relatives confirming that the student resided with them during the pre-study period and the amount of room and board expenses they paid. In addition, the student would be required to provide cancelled cheques or bank statements showing the transactions occurred.

 

Other Assets for Students with Disabilities 

An adjustment to the expected contribution from Other Assets can be considered if:

  • The applicant has self-identified as a student with a permanent disability; or
  • A student has a dependent child with a permanent disability; or
  • A student’s spouse has a permanent disability.

The expected contribution from Other Assets of the student is adjusted as follows:

  • A single student is expected to contribute 100% of Other Assets in excess of $3,000.
  • A sole-support parent is expected to contribute 100% of Other Assets in excess of $5,000. This exemption level is increased by $500 for each dependent child. 
  • A married student is expected to contribute 100% of Other Assets in excess of $5,500. This exemption level is increased by $500 for every dependent child.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000