Ontario Works provides financial and employment assistance to people who are in temporary financial need. Financial assistance includes income support to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter, and health benefits for clients and their families. Employment assistance includes assistance to help clients find, prepare for and keep a job, such as workshops on resume writing and interviewing, job counselling, job-specific training and access to basic education, so clients can finish high school or improve their language skills.

Temporary Care Assistance provides support for children in financial need while in the temporary care of an adult who does not have a legal obligation to support the child. In April 2021, there were 7,018 TCA cases receiving social assistance on behalf of 10,261 children.

Ontario Works Caseload and Beneficiaries
Month Singles - Cases1 Singles - Beneficiaries2 Couples - Cases1 Couples - Beneficiaries2 Sole Support Parents - Cases1 Sole Support Parents - Beneficiaries2 All Family Structures - Cases1 All Family Structures - Beneficiaries2
Apr-2021 117,451 117,451 16,227 67,340 58,764 171,446 192,442 356,236
Mar-2021 119,770 119,770 16,654 69,142 59,590 173,834 196,013 362,746
Feb-2021 120,064 120,064 16,706 69,475 59,685 174,165 196,455 363,704
Jan-2021 121,689 121,689 17,408 72,342 61,134 178,257 200,231 372,288
Dec-2020 121,716 121,716 17,636 73,349 61,482 179,259 200,834 374,324
Nov-2020 124,312 124,312 18,291 75,947 62,617 182,362 205,220 382,620
Oct-2020 127,178 127,178 19,054 78,750 63,842 185,658 210,074 391,586
Sep-2020 129,377 129,377 19,349 79,859 64,110 186,474 212,836 395,710
Aug-2020 136,181 136,181 20,636 84,667 66,219 192,177 223,036 413,025
Jul-2020 141,095 141,095 21,257 86,817 67,125 194,554 229,478 422,466
Jun-2020 145,979 145,979 21,595 87,777 67,633 195,780 235,208 429,536
May-2020 152,198 152,198 22,744 91,931 69,233 199,969 244,175 444,098
Apr-2020 158,464 158,464 23,954 96,140 70,830 204,079 253,247 458,683
Mar-2020 152,674 152,674 22,720 91,595 69,477 200,292 244,871 444,561
Feb-2020 149,055 149,055 22,381 90,634 69,409 200,392 240,845 440,082
Jan-2020 148,376 148,376 22,407 90,955 69,810 201,636 240,593 440,966
Dec-2019 144,902 144,902 21,835 88,564 68,763 198,559 235,501 432,025
Nov-2019 144,758 144,758 22,377 90,953 69,680 201,000 236,815 436,711
Oct-2019 144,463 144,463 22,359 90,618 69,753 201,361 236,574 436,441
Sep-2019 145,491 145,491 22,608 91,726 70,742 204,061 238,841 441,278
Aug-2019 147,262 147,262 22,952 92,955 71,605 206,416 241,820 446,633
Jul-19 146,884 146,884 22,604 91,613 70,791 204,074 240,279 442,571
Jun-19 148,660 148,660 23,061 93,389 71,398 205,356 243,119 447,405
May-19 149,709 149,709 23,360 94,301 71,353 205,143 244,421 449,153
Apr-19 149,381 149,381 23,197 93,500 70,279 202,030 242,857 444,912
Change since Mar 2021 -2,319 -2,319 -427 -1,802 -826 -2,389 -3,572 -6,510
Change since Mar 2021 (%) -1.9% -1.9% -2.6% -2.6% -1.4% -1.4% -1.8% -1.8%

OW Caseload

OW Beneficiaries


1 - A case refers to a single individual or a family unit on social assistance.

2 - The number of beneficiaries refers to the total number of single individuals and heads of family units on social assistance plus all their dependents (i.e., spouses, dependent children and dependent adults).

Numbers may not add up due to rounding.