Ontario Works Discretionary Health Benefits

If you are an Ontario Works or Ontario Disability client in Niagara, you may be eligible for additional benefits to support necessary health and safety needs. Requests to pay costs for items or services already purchased will not be approved.

Health related services and items covered include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Appliances (fridge and stove only)
  • Beds and cribs
  • Breast pumps
  • Cleaning costs to prevent eviction due to hoarding
  • Electric hospital beds for persons confined to a bed to prevent bedsores
  • Furniture delivery fees due to a move
  • Replacement of household items in emergency situations such as fire or flood
  • Orthotics
  • Utility disconnections (must access Niagara Emergency Energy Fund first)
  • Dental and dentures

Eligibility

In addition to being a recipient of Ontario Works or Ontario Disability, note:

  • Requests for benefits must be approved prior to purchasing an item or service
  • One estimate is required outlining the cost for each item or service requested
  • A medical verification letter must be provided to support requests for medical necessities
  • The Assistive Devices Program must be accessed first for all eligible items (clients may qualify for the outstanding balance)

For more information, contact the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Assistive Devices Program at 1-800-268-6021.

How to Apply

  1. Contact your caseworker to receive a Discretionary Health Benefits application form
  2. Fill out and sign the form
  3. Fax the completed form to 905-984-8760

    - or -

    Mail / drop-off in person at your local Community Service office

Housing Stability Benefits

Individuals or couples are eligible for a maximum of $900 per calendar year and families with children are eligible for a maximum of $1600 per calendar year.

Eligibility

In addition to being a recipient of Ontario Works or Ontario Disability, you must also be:

  • A victim of family violence
  • Homeless or in an emergency shelter
  • Moving due to:
    • Incapacity or death of a supporting care giver or family member
    • Overcrowding
    • Employment or training opportunities
    • A move to more affordable accommodations
    • Eviction
    • Uninhabitable premises where there is risk to health and safety
    • Significant personal health issues
    • Discharge from institutions such as correctional facilities, hospitals, long-term care homes, interval and transition homes

Requests must be received within 30 days of the date of moving and must be approved in advance of payments to secure or maintain housing.

How to Apply

  1. Contact your caseworker to receive a Housing Stability application form
  2. Fill out and sign the form
  3. Fax the completed form to 905-984-8760

    - or -

    Mail / drop-off in person at your local Community Service office

If you have questions regarding your Discretionary Health Benefits request, call 905-980-6000 ext. 6072.

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