Ontario Works Information

As an Ontario Works participant, you're eligible for some health, employment and other benefits in addition to the monthly cash benefit you receive.

Your Ontario Works casemanager can discuss your eligibility for benefits with you.


  • Health

    You and your family may be eligible for certain health-related benefits including:

    Prescription drug coverage

    • For most drugs prescribed by an approved healthcare professional
    • To fill a prescription, take your current month's drug card to the pharmacy

    Dental coverage for adults

    • Basic dental coverage for relief of pain and suffering only
    • For dental service, take your current month's dental card to the dentist

    Dental coverage for children

    Children and youth currently receiving benefits from Ontario Works will be automatically moved into the new Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

    Vision care

    • Prescription eyeglasses and eyeglass repairs
    • Eye exams for participants not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Program (includes those between the ages of 20 and 64)

    Diabetic or surgical supplies and dressings

    • Prescribed supplies that are not covered under other coverage

    Medical travel

    • To appointments including medical, rehabilitation or counselling

    Assistive devices

    The balance of the cost of the device not covered by the Assistive Devices Program of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care including:

    • Mobility devices
    • Visual aids
    • Hearing aids
    • Orthotics / prosthetics
    • Speech devices
    • Medical supplies
    • Respiratory devices
    • The cost of an assessment for an assistive device
  • Extended health benefits

    If you have high health costs and no longer qualify for financial help from Ontario Works, Extended Health Benefits may be available to help to cover the cost of items such as:

    • Prescription drugs
    • Dental care for dependent children
    • Vision care for dependent children
    • Hearing aids
    • Batteries and necessary repairs for mobility devices
    • Diabetic supplies
    • Surgical supplies and dressings
    • Transportation for medical appointments should they cost exceed more than $15 per month
  • Employment benefits

    Benefits may be available to help you with the costs of taking part in an employment activity, getting a job or leaving Ontario Works for employment such as:

    Employment related expenses

    • Help to cover costs when you are taking part in employment assistance activities such as transportation or program fees

    Child care costs

    • Help to cover the costs of child care if you get a job, or are involved in an employment activity

    Full-time employment benefit

    • If you are starting a full-time job, you may get help to cover the cost of items such as:
      • Clothing or uniforms
      • Safety shoes or work boots
      • Tools and special equipment
      • Transportation
      • Licensing or professional fees

    Extended employment health benefit

    The Extended Employment Health Benefit may be available to you if:

    • You no longer qualify for financial help under Ontario Works because you got a job
    • You do not have a health benefits plan with your employer
  • Other benefits

    If you are receiving Ontario Works, you may be able to receive other benefits.

    Transition child benefit

    If you have children under the age of 18, you may be eligible to receive the Transition Child Benefit if:

    • You are not receiving the Ontario Child Benefit
    • You are receiving less than the maximum amount of the Ontario Child Benefit for any of your children
    • You are waiting for your monthly Ontario Child Benefit payment to start.

    The amount of Transition Child Benefit you receive depends on how much you receive from the Ontario Child Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement. The benefit is temporary and repayable.

    Guide dog benefit

    If you own a certified guide dog, you may receive money to help you pay for the dog's care.

    Other employment and employment assistance activities benefit

    It is provided to help with the costs associated with beginning or changing employment or an employment assistance activity. Some examples may include appropriate work wear, grooming costs, tools, and equipment and transportation costs.

Information about your social assistance cheque

  • Statement of assistance

    The Statement of Assistance will show the breakdown of your payment - your gross assistance amount and any deductions.

    The statement can be used to access community benefits, such as food banks or subsidies for housing, transit and recreation.

    Your statement can also be used by individuals in receipt of social assistance to access health related services and benefits, if they don't have an Ontario Health card or other government identification.

  • Setting up direct deposit of payments

    Have your monthly Ontario Works payments put directly into your bank account on the payment date, instead of receiving a cheque in the mail that you have to cash..

    To set up direct deposit, you must have a bank account. If you don't have a bank account, your cheque will be mailed to you. Your cheque may be cashed at the financial institute of your choice.

    To sign up for direct deposit, send in or drop off the direct deposit authorization form at a Community Services office.

    Before sending your form, remember:

    • Do not use someone else's cheque
    • Sign the cheque
    • Attach a cheque specifically marked "void"

    What to expect

    • Your bank account must have withdrawal privileges
    • A monthly Statement of Direct Deposit will be mailed to you
    • Funds are deposited in your account at 12:01 a.m. on the payment due date (Automatic Teller Machines are on day behind)
    • You will get a monthly Statement of Direct Deposit
    • Creditors may attempt to recover outstanding debts from funds in your bank account. If you have concerns about this, contact your casemanager.
    • If your account number changes or if you change banks, tell your casemanager immediately. Do not close your account until your Direct Deposit arrives in your new account.
  • Statement of income and income reporting

    As an Ontario Works participant, you may need to complete and submit a statement of income each month.

    Speak with your casemanager about your particular situation and income reporting requirements.

    Income may include:

    • Gifts of money
    • Employment Insurance benefits
    • Child or spousal support
    • Lottery wins
    • Business or farm income
    • Employment income and tips
    • Old Age Security
    • Canada / Quebec Pension and other pensions
    • Inheritance or money in trust
    • Sponsorship payments
    • Veterans Allowance
    • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
    • Training allowances
    • Loan repayment
    • Interest and dividends
    • Legal settlements
    • Insurance or accident claims
    • Boarder income
    • Compensation for victims of crime

    Careful completion of your income report will help to ensure that you get your monthly cash benefit. Be sure to:

    • Fill in each box (if you have no income to report, write "nil" in each box
    • Report and give proof of all income
    • Return the statement on the date indicated on the schedule of dates
    • Read the declaration before you sign it
  • Overpayments

    As an Ontario Works participant, you're responsible for repaying any money you received that you were not entitled to. All overpayments are subject to recovery - on active and inactive cases. Only under exceptional circumstances is an overpayment considered uncollectible.

    Overpayments can occur if:

    • An amount has been provided to you that exceeds the amount of entitlement, the excess is an overpayment
    • You, your spouse or dependent fails to honour an Assignment or Agreement to Reimburse
    • Your assets exceed the asset limit for the benefit unit, you're ineligible for assistance and an overpayment is calculated for the period during which your assets were in excess of the limit
    • Assets are not disclosed at the time of application and your assets place you above the asset limit
    • Assets are received after the time of application and are not disclosed
    • Through an administrative error, such as miscalculation or failure to act on information
    • Your dependent spouse incurred an overpayment when they were a recipient or dependent spouse in a different benefit unit, an overpayment applies to his or her current benefit unit
    • You and dependent spouse move between programs (Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Family Benefits etc.) or between delivery agents throughout Ontario

Status of your cheque

The interactive voice response system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-808-2268.

Use the interactive voice response tool to find out the status of your cheque (payment). It's a toll-free telephone system that lets you access your personal case file and general information about Ontario Works.

After you receive your first assistance cheque, you'll get your own nine-digit identification number and a four-digit personal identification number that will allow you to use the system. You can use the system to:

  • Get a breakdown of issued payments and new overpayment information
  • Review outstanding verification items
  • Get additional benefit eligibility request decisions
  • Report earnings
  • Get local office contact details
  • Connect to your local office
Page Feedback Did you find what you were looking for today?