January 2017

5.2 Assignments

Legislative Authority

Sections 7(1), 7(2), 7(3), 13, 16(1), and 19(2) of the Act.

Sections 13, 15 and 15.1 of Regulation 134/98.

Audit Requirements

Random file reviews are completed to ensure that:

  • documentation is on file to support decisions;
  • required forms are complete, on file and signed by the applicant, spouse or dependent adult;
  • a copy of all completed forms has been provided to the applicant or recipient;
  • the amount recovered through the assignment, direction, or reimbursement is calculated accurately;
  • overpayments are established where required;
  • follow-ups are documented;
  • all assignments and directions are cancelled when a file is terminated; and
  • financial adjustments are made to subsidy claim forms to reflect money paid to the delivery agent or the applicant or recipient where income has been assigned.

Application of Policy

As a condition of eligibility for assistance every member of the benefit unit is required to pursue and report all sources of income that are, or will become, available to them.

In situations where a payment is or may become due and owing, eligibility for assistance is conditional upon a written agreement to reimburse all or part of the financial assistance paid.

An agreement to reimburse or an assignment is irrevocable. If an applicant or participant refuses to complete an agreement to reimburse or an assignment he/she is ineligible for assistance.

The agreement to reimburse may include:

  • a requirement to reimburse assistance paid during the period of time the benefit unit member is awaiting the expected income;
  • an authorization and direction to a person or agency (e.g., lawyer on behalf of the benefit unit member) to deduct and remit money directly to the delivery agent; or
  • an assignment to the delivery agent.

All required forms must be completed and signed by the member of the benefit unit (or person authorized to act for that member) that is expecting the payment.

Where assignments are not honoured or reimbursement is not received, an overpayment is established (see Directive 9.3: Recovery of Overpayments for more information).

If a third party or person acting on behalf of a benefit unit member fails to deduct and remit money to the delivery agent, the benefit unit member remains eligible for assistance. However, if money is received that has been assigned and is not repaid to the delivery agent, an overpayment is established.

Where an agreement to reimburse or an assignment, authorization and direction is in place and the file is being transferred from Ontario Works to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), all assignments and directions are closed in Ontario Works as of the last day of the month prior to the ODSP date of grant. The assignment or direction will be opened in ODSP as of the ODSP date of grant.

Ontario Works applicants and participants who apply to the ODSP and use the one-time asset exemption must as a condition of eligibility agree to reimburse financial assistance if found ineligible for the ODSP (see Directive 2.4: Referrals to ODSP for more information).

An agreement to reimburse should not be completed if the payment is or becomes due and owing, and is exempt as income for the purposes of determining eligibility for assistance (e.g., an award for pain and suffering up to $25,000, the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)).

Applicants and recipients are also not required to complete an assignment or agreement to reimburse in order to receive a Transition Child Benefit (TCB). In situations where a recipient receives a retroactive payment of the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) and/or NCBS for the months in which a TCB has been paid, all or a portion of the TCB paid may be recovered through a reduction of budgetary requirements (see Directive 6.14: Recovery of Transition Child Benefit for more information).

Repayments

If a recipient or dependant receives assigned income, the amount of repayment is equal to the amount received for that month, up to the total amount of financial assistance paid to the recipient or benefit unit in that month.

The amount of assistance that the recipient is required to repay cannot exceed the amount of basic financial assistance issued for that month, including benefits. Retroactive income that is received for a period outside of the period that the recipient receives assistance is not subject to assignment. This income is not considered income in the month received, but is considered an asset in the following month.

Forms

Agreement to Reimburse (#2208 in English or #3048 in French)

In all cases where a payment is expected, an Agreement to Reimburse form is used to ensure that the applicant or recipient will reimburse the delivery agent when the income is received.

Assignment, Authorization and Direction (#2209)

An Assignment, Authorization and Direction form is used when a third person or agency receives and distributes money on behalf of a benefit unit member. This form authorizes a third party to pay the income to someone other than the benefit unit member and the direction authorizes payment to the specifically named delivery agent.

The following additional forms are required in relation to specific circumstances as noted:

Expected Compensation or Settlement Referral (#2749)

A person who suffers a loss as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person may be able to obtain compensation from the party responsible for the loss through court action. To ensure that the delivery agent is a party to the proceedings, an Expected Compensation or Settlement Referral form is to be completed and forwarded to the legal department of the delivery agent (see Directive 5.10: Subrogation for further information).

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Consent to Deduction and Payment (#1613) and Authorization to Communicate Information (#1606)

A CPP Consent to Deduction and Payment form and an Authorization to Communicate Information form are completed when income is expected from the CPP.  Assignments of CPP income are effective the later of the date of eligibility for assistance or the date of eligibility for CPP.

Old Age Security (OAS) Consent to Deduction and Payment (#3010) and Authorization to Communicate Information (#3015)

An OAS Consent to Deduction and Payment form and an Authorization to Communicate Information form are completed when income is expected from OAS. Assignments of OAS income are effective the later of the date of eligibility for assistance or the date of eligibility for CPP.

Employment Insurance Assignment of Benefits (#3113)

Assignment of Benefits form is used when benefits are expected following an application made to Employment Insurance.

Assignment of Workplace Safety and Insurance (#0840)

An Assignment of Workplace Safety and Insurance form is completed and forwarded to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) when income is expected from the WSIB.