Ontario is taking steps to improve the lives of people who rely on Ontario Works. Here’s what’s new.

Increasing rates

  • Ontario Works rates increased by two per cent starting in October 2017.

Helping people in remote and northern communities

  • The Remote Communities Allowance increased by $50 for the first recipient and $25 for each additional family member starting in October 2017. This allowance provides extra support for people living in remote and northern communities to help address the unique challenges they face.

Increasing income and asset exemptions

  • Starting in October 2017, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disabled Contributor's Child Benefit and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) Pension for a Disabled Person's Child are fully exempt from Ontario Works. These benefits provide monthly financial support for the eligible child of a person receiving CPP/QPP disability benefits.
  • As of September 1, 2017, the government raised asset limits for cash and other assets:
    • from $2,500 to $10,000 for single individuals
    • from $5,000 to $15,000 for couples
  • As of September 1, 2017, the income exemption for cash gifts increased from $6,000 to $10,000.
  • As of August 1, 2017, the exemption limit for individuals receiving Ontario Works increased to $50,000 from the previous $25,000 limit.
  • Effective February 1, 2017, the government ended the “clawback” of child support from Ontario Works payments, and is exempting the full amount of the new Canada Child Benefit for families receiving Ontario Works.

Making it easier to return to Ontario Works

  • As of July 1, 2017, a person can leave Ontario Works for up to six months instead of one month and come back onto the program without needing to re-apply. This makes it easier for people to return to Ontario Works for help without needing to complete an entirely new application or visit a local office.

Increasing medical and business travel kilometre rates

  • Medical and business travel kilometre rates in Ontario Works were increased in January 2017 to 41¢/km in Northern Ontario and 40¢/km in the south. The new rates apply to recipients who drive to medical appointments using personal vehicles or who use transportation agencies that do not set their own travel rates. For business travel, the new rates apply to recipients who are self-employed and use a personal vehicle for business travel.