February 2017

6.12 Persons Detained in Custody

Legislative Authority

Section 2 and 7 of the Act.
Sections 46 of Regulation 134/98.

Audit Requirements

Documentation to support a decision about the maintenance or reduction of assistance for persons detained in custody is on file.

Application of Policy

Persons who are incarcerated are not eligible for assistance until such time as they are released from custody.

An applicant or recipient serving a conditional sentence (e.g. "house arrest") is not considered to be incarcerated, and therefore may be eligible for assistance.

For incarcerated persons who are soon to be released from custody and are applying to Ontario Works, the application process (by telephone) can be initiated from the correctional facility provided they will be released within 10 days and can provide information that reasonably points to meeting eligibility conditions within that time period.

If eligible, the basic needs amount is prorated in the month of release for the length of time that the person is in the community. The Administrator may pay the full shelter amount in the month of release to enable the person to secure or maintain accommodation.

In board and lodging situations, if a shelter amount can be determined, a portion of the assistance may be provided at the discretion of the Administrator to cover the shelter amount in the month of release. If this cannot be determined, the monthly assistance is prorated based on the period of time the person is in the community.

An applicant or recipient who is on temporary absence, parole or probation, or serving a conditional sentence and who is residing in a community residence funded in whole or in part by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is eligible for assistance in the amount of $143 per month for personal needs.

If the delivery agent has knowledge that an applicant or recipient is incarcerated before financial assistance has been issued, the payment should be stopped if the participant is single, or recalculated to exclude that participant from the benefit unit.

If an applicant or recipient is incarcerated after financial assistance is issued, an overpayment for both basic needs and shelter based should be established for the time the individual was incarcerated.

If the applicant or recipient is a member of a benefit unit, the individual is removed from the budget for the benefit unit for the entire period of incarceration. Upon release, the individual would be reinstated into the benefit unit for the purposes of calculating assistance.

The days of entering and leaving are not considered full days of incarceration. The "day-in" and "day-out" should not be included in the calculation of reduction to the person's basic needs allowance.

Part-time Incarceration

Where persons are incarcerated on a part-time basis (e.g., on weekends), it should be assumed that the person has budgetary needs for each full and part day they are living in the community.

The reduction to the basic needs allowance should be calculated using only the number of whole days per month in which the person remains incarcerated. The Administrator may also provide the full shelter amount for a person who is incarcerated part-time, where it is necessary for that person secure or maintain accommodation in the community.

In board and lodging situations, if a shelter amount can be determined, an amount for the shelter costs may be provided in order to maintain community accommodation. If a shelter amount cannot be determined, the monthly assistance is prorated based on the number of full and part days the person is in the community.