New Implementation Date for Employment-Related Benefit

New Social Assistance benefit to be implemented on October 1, 2015

February 10, 2015

Ontario will delay the implementation of the new, flexible Employment-Related benefit to October 1, 2015.

The benefit, originally planned for April 1, 2015 implementation, will replace seven existing Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) employment benefits with a new, flexible Employment-Related Benefit in each program.

The government’s aim is to encourage more social assistance clients to participate in the labour market and simplify the client experience with a benefit tailored to their unique needs and employment goals.

The government is postponing this new benefit because some of its details still need to be finalized. Replacing seven different employment benefits is a complex process and represents a major change for social assistance clients – particularly for those receiving support from ODSP – for staff and for our municipal and First Nations partners.

The government also recognizes that front-line staff are continuing to make significant efforts to support our transition to SAMS. The government has listened to the feedback that we have received from front-line staff and our municipal delivery partners regarding the difficulty in implementing this change for April 1.

The current suite of employment-related benefits, including the ODSP Work-Related Benefit, will continue to be available until the Employment-Related Benefit is implemented. Clients will continue to have access to other employment benefits that are not being replaced.

Modernizing Ontario’s social assistance system is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.


  • Creating the Employment-Related Benefit was a commitment under Ontario’s 2014 Budget.
  • Upon implementation, there will be a six month transition period for people with disabilities receiving the Work-Related Benefit. As part of this implementation, Ontario Works and ODSP will take an active approach to engaging clients to develop employment plans and increase earnings.
  • More than 240,000 clients participate in Ontario Works employment assistance activities each month.
  • Approximately 36,000 ODSP clients receive the Work-Related Benefit.


Media Inquiries
Meaghan Coker, Minister’s Office, 416-325-5572
Kristen Tedesco, Communications Branch, 416-325-5178