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Can I quit a job or refuse a job offer and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
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 Social Benefits Tribunal that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.
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.