Ontario Works office hours may have changed. Please contact your Ontario Works office to find their revised business hours. Offices may also be working with reduced staff. Please be patient as staff do their best to assist you, answer calls and respond to inquiries. For everyone’s health and well-being, please avoid going to an Ontario Works office unless asked to do so.

Key information for clients

You will continue to receive your monthly Ontario Works payment. If you usually pick up payments from your Ontario Works office, contact your office for instructions.

Make sure you report your income by the due date each month to avoid any interruption in your payments. You may use the MyBenefits online service, mail, or fax. You can also call the office, and if you don’t reach your caseworker you can leave a voice message with your member ID or name and date of birth. Please do not bring income reports to the office.

Payments for Special Diet Allowance, or health or other recurring benefits expiring will be extended and a new form is not required.

If you need a new health benefit such as diabetic supplies or glasses for a child, or other assistance, contact your local office. If you can’t get in to see a healthcare practitioner, we will help you complete the relevant form.

If you have exceptional COVID-19-related costs, you may speak with your case worker about discretionary benefits.

Find your Ontario Works office.

Applying for ODSP

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) applications continue to be processed. If you think you are eligible for ODSP, please advise your Ontario Works office. They will do their best to help you have an ODSP application completed by your healthcare practitioner.

Appeals and reviews

If you disagree with a decision you can ask for an internal review. If you disagree with the decision from the internal review you can appeal it to the Social Benefits Tribunal.

For questions about an SBT appeal, contact the SBT at 1-800-753-3895 (toll free), 1-800-855-0511 (TTY), or visit sjto.gov.on.ca/sbt

Treatment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

For Ontario Works recipients, CERB payments will be treated in a similar manner to employment earnings. For existing Ontario Works recipients granted before March 1, 2020, CERB payments will qualify for a partial exemption: the first $200 and 50 per cent of each additional dollar received in a month will be exempt.

Please note that CERB payments can affect your Ontario Works one or two months after you receive the CERB. It is important that you plan carefully so that you have enough money when your Ontario Works is reduced by your final CERB payment.

If you are receiving the CERB, you should report this income. You can do this using phone, fax, mail or email where available.

If you qualify for the CERB partial exemption but become financially ineligible for Ontario Works financial assistance due to the CERB, you will not lose access to health benefits - you will remain on social assistance, at a nominal amount, to ensure continued access to benefits and case management supports.

For new and recent Ontario Works applicants granted assistance on or after March 1, 2020, CERB payments will be deducted dollar-for-dollar when determining eligibility for social assistance and when assessing the first three months of entitlement.

Please do not contact Ontario Works to apply for the CERB. For information on eligibility for CERB or to apply visitCanada Emergency Response Benefit.

Treatment of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

For Ontario Works recipients, CESB payments will be treated in a similar manner to employment earnings.

For existing Ontario Works recipients granted before May 1, 2020, the CESB will be fully exempt for adult students in full-time secondary or postsecondary studies and students under 18 years of age.

If you are an adult part-time postsecondary student or recent postsecondary graduate, the CESB will be partially exempt; the first $200 and 50 per cent of each additional dollar received in a month will be exempt. Please note that CESB payments can affect your Ontario Works one or two months after you receive the CESB. It is important that you plan carefully so that you have enough money when your Ontario Works is reduced by your final CESB payment.

If you are receiving CESB you should report this income. You can do this using phone, fax, mail or email where available.

Existing Ontario Works recipients who become financially ineligible for Ontario Works financial assistance while receiving the CESB will not lose access to health benefits - you will remain on social assistance, at a nominal amount, to ensure continued access to benefits and case management supports.

For new and recent applicants granted assistance on or after May 1, 2020, the CESB will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from social assistance payments when determining eligibility for social assistance and when assessing the first three months of entitlement. After the three-month qualifying period, the CESB will be partially or fully exempt. This dollar-for-dollar deduction will not apply to students who are under 18 or full-time adult secondary students.

Please do not contact Ontario Works to apply for the CESB. For information on eligibility for the CESB and how to apply: visit Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

Additional resources

  • Receiving payments by cheque? Consider switching to direct bank deposit (DBD) payment or a reloadable payment card (RPC). Contact your Ontario Works office to find out what option is available to you.
  • Want to know more about your Ontario Works payment or benefits? Visit Ontario.ca/mybenefits or use the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Contact your Ontario Works office for help getting set up.
  • Want more information about the provincial response to COVID-19? Visit Ontario.ca/covid19