Can I work and get OW at the same time?

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.

Ontario Works (OW) rules say that you can work and still get as long as you:

  • tell OW about any money you make
  • don't make too much money

OW looks at how much money you or someone else in your household makes from:

  • a job
  • a training allowance
  • being self-employed

OW rules about how money you earn affects your assistance

Earnings exemptions are the rules that let you earn some money without OW reducing your assistance by the full amount that you earn.

The general rule is that you can make $200 in in a month before it affects the amount OW gives you.

If you make more than $200 in net earnings in a month, OW gives you less assistance. They reduce your assistance by an amount that equals half of the net earnings you make that are more than $200.

For example, if you make $300 in net earnings in a month, OW takes $50 from the amount they usually give you. This is because $300 in net earnings minus $200 equals $100. And $100 divided by 2 equals $50. See below for how this works:

If you have to pay for child care so you can go to work, you might get to keep more of your assistance. Step 3 has more about how affect the amount you get from OW. Step 4 has more about claiming child‑care expenses.

If you live in a First Nations community

OW will not reduce your financial assistance because you're getting money for being in an employment training program that lasts up to 12 months. This includes the training allowance and money to pay for child care and travel.

300$ (net monthly earnings)
–  $200
= $100
÷ 2
= $50 (amount OW subtracts from the amount they usually give you)
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