February 2017

7.1: Summary of Benefits

Legislative Authority

Sections 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 74(1) and (4) of the Act.
Sections 2, 13, 14, 40, 47.2, 55, 57(5), 57.1, 57.2, 58, 58.1, 58.3 and 59 of Regulation 134/98.

Audit Requirements

Adequate documentation is on file to support the issuance of mandatory and discretionary benefits, and benefits are provided only to benefit unit members who meet the eligibility criteria.

Benefits do not exceed the maximum allowable amount where applicable, and are issued in accordance with any established time periods.

Application of Policy

Basic financial assistance includes mandatory and discretionary benefits.

Mandatory benefits are provided to all eligible Ontario Works recipients and/or members of their benefit unit.

Discretionary benefits are provided on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Administrator to:

  • persons in receipt of assistance under the Ontario Works Act, 1997, including children on whose behalf Temporary Care Assistance (TCA) is being paid;
  • persons in receipt of income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997; or
  • a member of a prescribed class, such as a person in receipt of Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD).

The amount provided for discretionary benefits is determined by the Administrator.

Mandatory Benefits

Ontario Works recipients, spouses and any dependents may be eligible to receive the following mandatory benefits:

  • Health benefits:
  • prescription drug coverage
  • vision care for dependent children and children in temporary care
  • dental care for children aged 17 years and under whose families are residing in a First Nations community (including children in temporary care)*
  • diabetic supplies, surgical supplies and dressings
  • medical transportation costs $15 and over
  • consumer contribution for assistive devices and eligibility assessment under the Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
  • batteries and necessary repairs for mobility devices
  • routine eye examinations once every 24 months (ages 20-64)
  • extended health benefits
  • Guide Dog Benefit
  • Full-time Employment Benefit
  • Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit
  • Advance (up front) child care
  • Transition Child Benefit

*Note: Effective January 1, 2016 dental benefits for dependent children aged 17 and under whose Ontario Works is being delivered by a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager or District Social Services Administration Board will be provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program. Dependent children whose Ontario Works is being provided by a First Nations Ontario Works delivery partner will continue to have access to mandatory dental benefits under Ontario Works until December 31, 2017.

Discretionary Benefits

The following discretionary benefits may be provided to eligible recipients:

  • Health-related:
  • dental care for adults
  • vision care for adults
  • prosthetic appliances
  • funerals and burials
  • heating payments and payments for low-cost heating energy conservation measures
  • Non-health-related:
  • vocational training and retraining
  • travel and transportation that is not for health-related purposes
  • moving expenses
  • any other special service, item or payment authorized by the Director

Benefit Reference Chart

The chart below identifies the directives that contain more detail on specific benefits:

Mandatory Benefits

Health-Related Directive
Drug coverage 7.2: Health Benefits
Dental coverage for dependent children residing in First Nations communities 7.2: Health Benefits
Vision care for children 7.2: Health Benefits
Eye examinations (ages 20-64) 7.2: Health Benefits
Diabetic and surgical supplies 7.2: Health Benefits
Travel and transportation for medical purposes 7.2: Health Benefits
Extended health benefits 7.3: Extended Health Benefits
Assistive devices, batteries and repairs 7.8: Assistive Devices

Mandatory Benefits

Non-Health-Related Directive
Full-Time Employment Benefit 7.4: Employment/Participation Benefits
Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit 7.4: Employment/Participation Benefits
Advance (up front) child care 7.4: Employment/Participation Benefits
Transition Child Benefit 7.6: Transition Child Benefit
Guide Dog Benefit 7.7: Other Benefits

Discretionary Benefits

Health-Related Directive
Dental care for adults 7.2: Health Benefits
Vision care for adults 7.2: Health Benefits
Prosthetic appliances 7.2: Health Benefits
Child care to attend a medical appointment 7.2: Health Benefits
Energy and Water Conservation Measures 7.5: Housing-Related Benefits
Funerals and Burials 7.2: Health Benefits
Non-Health-Related Directive
Vocational training 7.4: Employment/Participation Benefits
Moving expenses 7.5: Housing-Related Benefits
Travel and transportation 7.7: Other Benefits
Special Services, Items and Payments  . Directive
Health-related 7.7: Other Benefits
Non-health related 7.7: Other Benefits
Housing-Related 7.5: Housing-Related Benefits