If you have trouble
using the Online Application for Social Assistance, please call Service
help, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00pm (Eastern Standard Time).
Q: What information will I have to give when I
apply for assistance?
A: You will have to provide
family size and ages of family members,
income—including pensions and allowances,
assets—including money in bank accounts, registered retirement
plans (RRSPs), registered education savings plans (RESPs), and
debts—including money you owe on credit cards, to the bank, and to
expenses for basic needs, and
education, employment status, and
Q: What if Ontario Works (OW) will not accept
A: OW cannot legally refuse to take
your application. If this happens, ask to speak to a supervisor and insist
that they take your application. If there is still a problem, contact your
community legal clinic. It is important to complete your application so that
you can get OW’s decision in writing.
Q: Can I bring someone with me when I
am dealing with Ontario Works (OW)?
You have the right to bring a person of your choice with you. If you need
more time or help to understand the documents, ask for copies to take away
and read before you sign. If you need an interpreter, ask the OW office.
Your spouse who lives with you should
come to the interview.
Q: What is a Participation Agreement?
A: The Participation Agreement lists
activities that you have to do to get financial assistance, for example, a
job search or workfare placement. You and an OW worker are expected to agree
on activities that will help you prepare for and get a job as soon as
possible. Participation Agreements mustbe completed by you and your
Q: What can I do if Ontario Works (OW)
refuses to give me financial assistance?
can appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT). But first you must writeto the OW office and ask for an "internal review".
Q: How do I challenge a decision?
may be able to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal if assistance from
Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is:
Q: What is an internal review?
A: You must write to the office that
made the decision and request an "internal review". An internal review means
that a different person in the office that made the decision will review
that decision and decide whether or not to change it. You must ask for an
internal review within 30 daysfrom the date you received the
decision. If the decision is mailed to you, you may have less than 30 days.
Q: What if I disagree with internal
A: You can appeal to the Social
Benefits Tribunal (SBT). There are time limits for filing your appeal with
Q: How do I appeal to the Social
must use the official Appeal Form. You can get one from our office. You must
file your appeal with the SBT within 30 daysof the date of the
internal review decision.
Q: How do I get assistance until my
appeal is decided?
A: You can apply for "interim
assistance" while you wait for the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) to decide
your case. If the SBT orders it, the local office will have to pay you
assistance while you wait for the appeal.
This site provides general information
only, specific to Ontario, Canada. It is NOT legal advice.
Please call us or a lawyer in your area for advice on your particular
situation. Visit the
Legal Aid Ontario site to find a clinic in your area.