Ontario Works

Complex application

Tax filing not required

This benefit leads to others

Getting this benefit makes you able to get other related benefits, including

    Ontario Works (OW) helps people who have pressing, short-term financial need. This program offers income support to help with the costs of basic needs and health benefits, as well as assistance to help you find, prepare for, and keep a job.

    Emergency assistance is also available if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation, like losing your home, leaving an abusive relationship, and/or worrying about your safety.

    The amount of money you may receive from OW will depend on your family size, income, assets, and housing costs.

    You might be eligible for Ontario Works if you:

    • Need help with your living expenses, meaning you do not have enough money to cover your immediate family’s living expenses.
    • Are 16 or older.
    • Live in Ontario (and are not a visitor or a tourist).

    Health card

    For example:

    • valid health card with no photo, name and address
    • valid health card with photo, name and address
    • MCP (Medical Care Plan) number
    • Valid ambulance/dental services card
    • Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour identification number
    • Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour file number (Income Support Card).

    Proof of birth

    A document with first name, last name, and date of birth. For example:

    • Birth certificate or birth registration
    • Hospital record of birth or record of the physician/nurse/midwife who attended the birth
    • Passport
    • Record of landing or confirmation of permanent residence issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
    • Citizenship certificate
    • Note of decision or temporary resident’s permit issued under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
    • Certificate of Indian status card
    • Provincial identity card

    Social Insurance Number

    For example:

    • confirmation of SIN letter
    • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

    Your application process:

    • Step 1: Fill in your personal information.
    • Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application.
    • Step 3: Meet with Ontario Works.
    • Step 4: Get approved and receive your payment.
    • Step 5: Meet with your caseworker.

    Before you begin your application, please visit the How to apply for Ontario Works page to learn more about the steps in the application process and the documentation you will need to complete it.

    To apply for this program, visit the Apply for Ontario Works page.

    You can also apply for this program in person at your local Ontario Works office.

    Last updated: August 17, 2021