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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)

Ontario has two social assistance programs to help eligible residents of Ontario who are in financial need.

Ontario Works

Ontario Works helps people who are in temporary financial need.

This program offers both financial and employment assistance.

Learn more about Ontario Works.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

ODSP helps people who have disabilities. It has two parts:

  1. Income Support (financial help)
  2. Employment Supports (help finding a job)

Learn more about ODSP.

We're improving service for social assistance recipients in Ontario.

  • MyBenefits is a new online service that makes it faster, easier and more convenient for people on social assistance to securely access case information anytime, anywhere on any device
  • Making it easier to access ODSP dental benefits

Program news and updates

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


Looking for work? Visit the Jobs and employment page to get connected with resources, and learn about supports and training available to you.


If you received Basic Income payments in 2019, a T5007 slip will automatically be sent to you before the end of February.  This income must be reported when completing your income tax return. 

Contact the Ministry of Finance if you didn’t receive your slip by the end of February. For other Basic Income inquiries, contact the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services.

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