2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Do you urgently need financial help because of COVID-19?  If you are not already receiving support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can apply for emergency assistance online.

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, non-medical transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID‑19.

Social assistance recipients who are not receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are eligible for monthly payments of $100 for a single person and $200 for a family until July. Families with a youth under 18 receiving the CERB or a family member in full-time school attendance receiving the CERB may still be eligible for the benefit. Emergency benefits for COVID‑19 related expenses are the same for both programs.

People who receive the emergency benefit in March/April and who meet eligibility criteria will automatically receive the benefit in May, June and July. For new requests, Ontario Works recipients can access emergency benefits by contacting their local office. ODSP recipients can access emergency benefits by calling 1‑888‑444‑2412 or emailing ODSP.EmergencyBenefit@ontario.ca with their member ID and details of their additional costs.

Social assistance treatment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

We know these are unprecedented and uncertain times, especially for individuals who are receiving social assistance from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Recognizing the temporary and emergency nature of the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Ontario is treating the CERB similar to earnings under both programs. Ontario will partially exempt income received under the CERB for Ontario Works and ODSP clients who were on the program prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This approach enables existing clients to partially stack the CERB and social assistance payments, and to continue to access health and other benefits while receiving CERB.

Learn about temporary program changes during the COVID-19 outbreak for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

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:

  • Stay at home
  • Call your caseworker for information
  • Sign up for MyBenefits
  • Call your caseworker to ask about receiving payments electronically through direct bank deposit

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 a tissue, washing your hands after you do
  • Please delay your visit if you are unwell, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or you have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days

Learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Start the online application for social assistance

Before you start your application

The results you get will be based on the information you provide. That’s why it’s important to be as accurate as you can.

To answer the questions, you will need specific information about you and the family members in your household.

To find out if you might be eligible for any programs, you will need:

  • the first name for all family members
  • dates of birth of all family members
  • immigration status for all family members
  • income for all family members
  • assets for all family members
  • your address
  • your housing costs
  • cost of expenses (such as child care and disability related work expenses)

It would also be helpful if you had the Social Insurance Number cards and the Ontario Health cards for all family members in your household.

To fill out the full online application, you will need information from other documents, for example:

  • birth certificate
  • immigration papers
  • tax returns.

It's a good idea to get these documents together before you start filling out the online application.

List of documents you will need.

The Online Application for Social Assistance allows residents of Ontario to find out if they might be eligible, and to start the application process, for:

  • Ontario Works can help you with the cost of food and housing if you are in temporary financial need. This includes Emergency Assistance for those facing financial crisis due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or other emergency situations (e.g., flood, fire).


  • Temporary Care Assistance can help if you are looking after a child in financial need and you are not the child’s birth or adoptive parent.


  • Ontario Disability Support Program can help you with the cost of food and housing if you have a disability and are in financial need.

    Note: The online application will only tell you if you may qualify financially for this program. There are other steps you will need to take to see if you qualify medically.


  • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities can help with some of the extra costs of caring for a child who has a severe disability.

    Note: The online application will only tell you if you may qualify financially for this program. There are other steps you will need to take to see if you qualify medically.