2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Do you need to apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance? Please use the online application for social assistance. If you are not currently on social assistance and do not want to apply for social assistance, you can still apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance.

COVID-19 support for current social assistance clients

Ontario has made additional resources available to enable Ontario Works administrators and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) staff to provide additional assistance for those currently receiving social assistance, who are facing additional costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs, for example: cleaning supplies, transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID-19.

Ontario Works and ODSP recipients can access emergency benefits by calling their caseworker.
Emergency benefits for COVID-19 related expenses are the same for both programs: up to $100 for single individuals and up to $200 for families.

Health and Safety Notice

To help ensure the health and safety of clients and staff, we are asking that clients do not visit Ontario Works or ODSP local offices at this time.

Please:

If you are told you must visit us, remember the following to help ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Do your best to keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue, washing your hands after you do.
  • Please delay your visit if you are unwell, you have been diagnosed with COVID-10 (Coronavirus), or you have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days.

Learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Overview

This link will take you to the video : Devon's story

Video transcript

Ontario Works helps people who are in financial need. It offers two types of assistance:

  • Financial assistance, including:
      • income support to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter
      • health benefits for clients and their families
  • Employment assistance to help clients find, prepare for and keep a job. This assistance may include:
      • workshops on resume writing and interviewing
      • job counselling
      • job-specific training
      • access to basic education, so clients can finish high school or improve their language skills

In most cases, a client must agree to participate in employment assistance activities in order to receive financial assistance.

Emergency assistance is also available to people who are in a crisis or an emergency situation (e.g. people who have lost their homes, are leaving an abusive relationship and/or are worried about their safety).

Eligibility

To be eligible for Ontario Works you must:

  • live in Ontario
  • be in financial need (your household doesn’t have sufficient financial resources to meet basic living expenses)
  • be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for and keep a job (unless you have specific circumstances that temporarily prevent you from doing so, such as an illness or caregiving responsibilities)

Other adult members of your household must also agree to participate in employment assistance activities.

Applying

You can start the application process either online, by phone or in person.

Once you’ve started the process, an Ontario Works caseworker will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting.

You will be asked to bring specific documents to the meeting, so that the caseworker can verify:

  • your personal information
  • information about members of your household
  • your household’s financial needs
  • your household’s income and assets

During your meeting, you will be asked to sign several forms, including a consent form that gives the Ontario Works office permission to access information about you from other government programs or organizations (e.g., Ministry of Transportation, Employment Insurance, Equifax Canada).

The Ontario Works office will use the information you provide, along with the information from other organizations, to determine if you qualify for assistance.

A decision will be made within four business days from when you first contacted the office, as long as you have provided all of the required information and completed the application.

Resources

This link will take you to policy directives that are used by Ontario Works offices to help ensure fair and consistent service across the province.

Source law

Ontario Works is governed by the Ontario Works Act and