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Apply for Ontario Works / Social Assistance

Ontario Works has two key components to support you: income programs and employment programs

Apply Online  or call 905-641-9230 or 1-866-627-1110 (from West Niagara)


To be eligible for Ontario Works, you must be:

  • A resident of Ontario
  • In immediate financial need
  • Willing to participate in activities that will help you find a job

Financial and disability eligibility

Children and Youth in Need of Income Support

If you are a 16 or 17-year-old youth, you may apply for social assistance under special circumstances.

Temporary Care Assistance for Children

If you are looking after a child in need of financial help and you are not the child's birth or adoptive parent, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance.

What to Expect when you Call

Your call could take up to 40 minutes to complete. You must have the following information (for each family member who will be included in the application) available when you call:

  • Date of birth
  • Social insurance number
  • Health card number
  • Full address including postal code

You will be asked a series of questions over the telephone to determine your potential eligibility.

If it appears that you are eligible, you will be scheduled to attend a verification interview with a casemanager.

What to Expect at the Verification Interview

All adults in your family (including any of your children over the age of 18 who reside with you) must attend the verification interview with you.

Your personal information will be collected and verified by the documents you bring with you. The application for assistance could take 1 to 2 hours to complete.

Checklist for documents you need

If you are Found to be Eligible for Social Assistance

In most cases, eligibility can be determined the same day as your application. We will mail your first assistance cheque, which should arrive a few days after your appointment.

As an Ontario Works Participant

Read full details about being an Ontario Works Participant.

How much Money will I Receive?

The amount of money you may receive on a monthly basis will depend on your:

  • Family size
  • Income
  • Assets (what you own)
  • Shelter costs

If you are Found Not Eligible for Social Assistance

You may request an internal review of the decision. A review of a decision is to ensure that it is consistent with the legislation, regulations and policy directives of the Ontario Works program.

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