February 2021

2.2 Reapplications and Reinstatements

Legislative Authority

Section 14(2) of the Act
Section 37 of Regulation 134/98

Audit Requirements

Periods of ineligibility due to non-compliance are reviewed before a decision of eligibility is made in situations of re-application.

Documentation is on file to support decisions made.

Application of Policy


An applicant is considered to be "re-applying" for assistance if there is a break in receiving assistance for up to six complete calendar months. This applies to applicants who are reapplying within the same geographic area, or if the applicant has transferred from one delivery agent to another.

Where an individual is re-applying for assistance, the Administrator may use the previous application and supporting documentation. In order to determine current eligibility, additional information may be required to make the application complete and up to date.

If a prior Ontario Works recipient returns to the program after the six-month time frame, the individual is not considered a re-applicant.

Where an applicant has previously applied for assistance within one year, the Administrator has the discretion to make a determination to apply the reapplication requirements (i.e. to use the previous application and supporting documentation). In order to determine current eligibility, additional information may be required to make the application complete and up to date.

In situations where it has been more than one year since the individual has applied for assistance, they are not considered to be a re-applicant and must proceed through the entire application process, including completing an application for assistance, verifying information, and signing all forms.

Transfers from One Delivery Agent to Another

A new Application for Assistance - Part 1 may not be required in cases where a recipient moves from one delivery agent to another.

An Ontario Works recipient who changes their place of residence and seeks assistance with another delivery agent is considered a “transfer-applicant”. In these cases, the Administrator may use the previous application and supporting documentation. In order to determine current eligibility, additional information may be required to make the application complete and up to date.

General Guidance on Reapplications and Geographic Transfers

All re-applications for assistance are reviewed for eligibility based on current eligibility criteria.

Circumstances related to the receipt of assistance in the previous delivery agent’s geographic area (in the case of geographic transfers) and/or in any previous receipt of assistance (for reapplications) should be assessed, including:

  • date of last Application for Assistance - Part 1;
  • Participation Agreement(s)
  • required documents (verification standards)
  • assignments for any type of income
  • eligibility for earnings exemptions
  • existing overpayments
  • notice of non-compliance; and
  • Eligibility Review Officer reports.

The existing Application - Part 1, and related consents, provide authority for delivery agents to share information and documentation needed to determine eligibility for social assistance. However, the Administrator retains discretion to complete a new Application for Assistance - Part 1 as they see fit.

Where the Administrator is satisfied that the information in the Part 1, and any additional information requested, is sufficient to determine eligibility, they can choose to use the previous application in order to finalize the transfer or re-application. Delivery agents have up to 90 days to obtain (as appropriate) any documentation needed to satisfy standard audit requirements.

Administrators retain full discretion to require a new application for geographic transfers or reapplications, where they determine it is appropriate.

Re-applicants and transfer-applicants who are serving a period of ineligibility for non-compliance with program requirements may not re-apply for assistance until the period of ineligibility (e.g. three months, six months, etc.) expires. If the individual relocates to another Ontario Works site, the period of ineligibility remains applicable.

Where there is an existing overpayment, the overpayment is only transferred when assistance is granted by the new delivery agent. If assistance is not granted, the responsibility for overpayment collection remains with the delivery agent where assistance was last issued.

The literacy screening questionnaire is not required to be completed if the questionnaire was completed as part of a previous application. However, the Administrator may require participants to attend an Employment Information Session.

Where all required information and documents are present, a determination of eligibility must be made within four working days (or within a reasonable time period as determined by the Administrator).

If found ineligible, the transfer-applicant or re-applicant is provided with a notice of decision and advised of his/her right to request an internal review and the right to appeal the decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).

ODSP re-applicants that have previously used the one-time ODSP asset limit exemption and are, as a result, determined to be financially ineligible for Ontario Works due to assets in excess should be referred to the local ODSP office (see Directive 2.4: Referrals to the ODSP for more information).


In some situations, participants may have had their assistance reduced due to non-compliance with participation requirements or other conditions of eligibility. In these cases, assistance may not be reinstated until the period of ineligibility has expired and the recipient or dependent with respect to whom the reduction was made makes a request for reinstatement to the Administrator.