Information on how to Apply for Ontario Works

If you are experiencing trouble meeting your basic needs you may qualify for Ontario Works, which provides three types of assistance:

  • Help with the essential costs of living (food, clothing and shelter costs)
  • Benefits for yourself and your family, including drug coverage
  • Help to find and keep a job (basic education support, job counselling and training) 

You can apply online by clicking HERE or call 1-888-999-1142 or TTY 1-855-952-6238

 Who Can Apply?
To apply, you must:
  • live in Ontario
  • be 18 years of age or older, and
  • be willing to do activities that will help you get a job

If you are under the age of 18, please contact us at 1-888-952-6275 or 613-267-4200 ext. 2140.

Emergency Assistance is also available to people who are in a crisis or an emergency situation (such as a floor or fire, health-related crisis, are leaving an abusive relationship etc.). To find out more about Emergency Assistance or to apply online, or call us at 1-888-952-6275 or 613-267-4200 ext. 2140. 

 What Do I Need to Apply?
Before applying, make sure you have the following information for yourself and each member of your family:
  • Proof of date of birth

  • Citizenship and Immigration information

  • Social Insurance Number

  • Health Card Number

  • Address details (current and past 12 months)

  • Rent or mortgage details

  • Utilities details (e.g. gas and hydro)

  • Landlord's name and address

  • Bank account information

  • Income and asset information

  • Employment status and history

During the initial application you will be asked some questions that will assist in determining your eligibility. Once the initial application if completed you will be scheduled for a Verification Interview with an Ontario Works Caseworker within 4 business days.

 How to Apply:

Apply Online

The online application is available 24 hours a day 7 days per week in English and French. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and only one application for family is needed. If you run into any problems during your application please call the Intake and Benefits Administration Unit at 1-888-999-1142 or TTY: 1-855-955-6238. 

Before you start:

Make sure all adult family members included in your application are with you when you fill out the application so that they can provide their consent and confirm their information.

Have your family’s identification and tax documents ready, such as:

  • Social Insurance Numbers  (SIN)
  • OHIP cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Immigration papers
  • Tax returns
  • Banking information

Technical requirements to complete the application online requires the latest version of one of the following web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Apply by Phone:

Toll free:  1-888-999-1142 or TTY: 1-855-955-6238 between the hours of 8:30-5:00 Monday to Friday.

Apply in Person:

Appointments can be booked ahead of time. Please call 1-888-952-6275 or 613-267-4200 ext. 2140 to speak with our clerical team.

 Who Is Eligible?
Our Ontario Works Caseworkers will determine eligibility for Ontario Works in accordance with the Ontario Works Act, which reviews your assets, household composition, earnings and shelter costs. The amount of assistance that you are entitled to is set by the Province of Ontario. To learn more about the Ontario Works program and directives.

If you do not qualify for Ontario Works, our Ontario Works Caseworkers will assist you in finding resources available to you and your circumstances.

 How to Appeal a Decision?

If you aren't eligible for financial help, you will be informed by your caseworker and you will receive this decision in writing. This letter will tell you why your application wasn't accepted. If you do not agree with a decision made you can ask for the decision to be re-considered. This is called an appeal.

You can appeal if:

  • your application wasn't accepted, or
  • you're already getting financial help, but you feel you need more money to meet your needs

To get more information about appeals, visit the Province of Ontario's How to Appeal a Decision page



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