Ontario Works

Ontario works provides eligible people living in Ontario with financial assistance (to pay for basic needs, such as food and housing costs), employment assistance (to find a job or upgrade your skills) as well as health benefits (prescription drugs, vision care, certain medical and assistive devices, and basic dental coverage for children), employment benefits (transportation, childcare, uniform and equipment costs) and other benefits (Transition Child Benefit and Guide Dog Benefit).

To be eligible for Ontario Works, you must:


  • live in Ontario;
  • need money right away to help pay for food and shelter; and
  • be willing to take part in activities that will help you find a job.


To determine your eligibility, the government will assess your financial situation and your willingness to take part in activities to find a job. The government will ask for information about your family size, income, assets and housing costs.

If you are financially eligible, Ontario Works staff help you come up with a plan to find work and/or improve your skills. These activities are written up in your Participation Agreement, which must be signed by you to receive Ontario Works benefits. If you are receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works, you are responsible to tell need to tell Ontario Works about any changes to your situation, such as changes to family size, income, assets, or housing costs.


If Ontario Works determines you are not eligible for financial assistance, or you disagree with the amount of financial assistance you receive, you have the right to appeal the decision by first asking, in writing, for an Internal Review. You can also include an explanation about why you disagree with the decision and include any additional information or documents that might help the Internal Review.


If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Internal Review or your request for Internal Review was not completed within 10 days, then you can appeal the decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal. At PooranLaw, we can assist you with your appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.