Can I be on OW if I’m not a permanent resident or citizen?
Beware of scams
People have been getting phone calls with a pre-recorded message telling them their Ontario Works account has been deleted.
This is a scam to trick you into sharing your personal information. If you get a call like that, hang up the phone. You can report these calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Long delays for appeal hearings
If you're appealing a decision made by OW or ODSP in 2020, your appeal hearing may not happen for a long time. People report that they're getting hearing dates from the that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.
If your income is low and you live in Ontario, you may be able to get from Ontario Works (OW).
The law does not say what kind of immigration status you must have to qualify for assistance from OW.
The law only says who does not qualify because of immigration reasons.
Who may qualify for assistance
For example, you may be able to get financial assistance from OW if you:
- made a refugee claim that hasn't been decided yet
- made a refugee claim that was refused
- are applying for Pre-Removal Risk Assessment or waiting for a decision
- are waiting for an admissibility hearing
- had temporary status as a student, worker or visitor but your status has expired
- are waiting for the Canada Border Services Agency to remove you from Canada
If OW is not giving you financial assistance because of your immigration status, contact a community legal clinic for help.
Step 2 explains who might not qualify for OW because of immigration reasons.