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Can I quit a job or refuse a job offer and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?

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Can I quit a job or refuse a job offer and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Can I quit a job or refuse a job offer and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
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Reviewed: 
April 25, 2017
Answer

Maybe. There are rules about what you have to do when you’re getting financial assistance from Ontario Works (OW).

And there are rules about when OW can reduce your assistance, or cut it off because you quit a job or refused a job offer.

OW expects you to do what you can to get a job and to keep any job that you have.

If you work part-time or have casual work, OW expects you to look for more work.

Signing a Participation Agreement

To get financial assistance from OW, you have to sign a Participation Agreement.

The Agreement usually says that you have to be looking for a job, or doing things that will help you find work. And it lists activities that you have to do. These are called your “employment assistance activities”.

And there are rules about when you should not have to do the activities.  

If you quit or refuse a job

OW can reduce your financial assistance or cut it off if:

  • they think you’re not trying to find and keep work, and
  • looking for work is in your Participation Agreement.

So, for example, this could happen if you quit a job or refuse to take a job while you’re on OW.

If you don’t make what OW thinks are “reasonable efforts” to do an employment assistance activity, OW can cut off or reduce your financial assistance for:

  • one month, if it’s the first time
  • 3 months, if it’s not the first time

But this should not happen if OW thinks you have a good reason. OW sometimes calls this “reasonable cause” or “cause”. See Step 2.

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