Ontario Works - FAQs
Ontario Works is the program that replaced General Welfare in Ontario. It is a program that provides financial and employment assistance to eligible people who are in need in order to assist them to become self-sufficient.
If you reside in the County of Simcoe please see How to Apply.
The amount of money you will receive each month depends on your family composition ie single person, couple or sole support parent, the number of and ages of your dependents, the amount of your accommodation expenses and the amount of your income from all sources. For more information please see Ontario Works Rates and Asset Levels.
The Interactive Voice Response telephone system lets you get specific information about your personal case file and general information about social assistance over the telephone.
For example, to find out if your most recent cheque or direct deposit has been issued you may call the Interactive Voice Response at 1-800-808-2268. You will be asked to enter your nine digit Member ID and your four digit Personal Identification Number. Using these personal numbers you can find out when your last cheque or direct deposit was sent and the amount, as well as other important information about your file.
Within 2 - 3 weeks of receiving your first cheque or direct bank deposit you will receive two separate mail outs containing these personal numbers. Do not share these numbers with anyone.
If you lose your Member ID or your Personal Identification Number the Interactive Voice Response Help Desk attendant may assist you.
The Interactive Voice Response system is available during and outside of regular business hours.
When determining eligibility for Ontario Works assistance we must consider the amount of assets available to all members of the family including such things as bonds, GICs etc. If the amount of your assets is below the maximum limit you may be eligible for assistance if you meet all other eligibility requirements. The maximum asset limit varies depending on your family composition ie single person, couple or sole support parent and the number of dependents. For more information please see Ontario Works Rates and Asset Levels.
If at any time a person disagrees with a decision that has been made they may request an internal review of that decision. The request for an internal review must be submitted to the County of Simcoe Ontario Works department within 30 days of the decision. For more information please see Appealing Decisions.
People who own their own home may qualify for assistance as long as they meet all the other conditions of eligibility.
If you are pending income from another source such as Employment Insurance or Canada Pension etc you may be eligible for Ontario Works assistance while you are waiting for this income. However, you must agree in writing to pay back the County of Simcoe Ontario Works department for some or all of the Ontario Works assistance that was issued to you once you start receiving the other income.
You may be eligible to receive assistance if you are working and your income from all sources does not exceed the amount of assistance you are entitled to.
For the first 3 months you are on assistance the only allowable deduction from your net earnings is your actual child care expenses to a maximum of $600.00 per child per month. After 3 months, in addition to the deduction for child care expenses only 50% of your net earnings will be deducted.
As one of the principles of Ontario Works is to assist people to become self sufficient, it is important that you make every effort to access all income that may be available to you, including increased earnings.
16 and 17 year olds who do not reside with their parents may qualify for Ontario Works under special circumstances only. Verification as to why a 16 or 17 year old cannot live at home will be required. This may include contact with the person’s parent(s). If special circumstances exist, the 16 or 17 year old must be attending school full time. All financial assistance for a 16 or 17 year old is issued to a trustee. The trustee must attend the verification interview with the 16 or 17 year old and they are required sign all of the necessary documents.
The trustee can be anyone of your choosing as long as they are 18 years of age or older and are willing to assume the responsibilities associated with being your trustee.
14. If I become ineligible to receive Ontario Works assistance due to my income from employment can I still get a drug card?
If you have been in receipt of Ontario Works assistance and your income from employment has made you ineligible you may still be eligible to receive assistance with a drug card and other health benefits for a period of 6 months after you exit from social assistance or until benefits become available from your employer whichever comes first.
If you are in this situation there are 2 options for you to consider. The first option is to request that your physician prescribe another drug that is covered by the drug card and that does the same thing or the second option is to request that your physician request special authorization from the Ministry of Health to have the drug covered.
If you or a member of your benefit unit requires a special diet due to a medical condition you will be given a special diet form to take to your doctor to be completed. Once the completed form is returned it will be reviewed to determine if the particular diet you require is covered under the Special Diet Schedule. Please be advised that not all special diets are covered.
17. I want to apply for the Ontario Disability Support Program. Do I have to apply for Ontario Works first?
People who wish to apply for the Ontario Disability Support Program do not have to apply for Ontario Works assistance first. They may apply directly to the Ontario Disability Support Program.