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Can I work and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?

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Can I work and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
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Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

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Can I work and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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Reviewed: 
June 14, 2018
Answer

Ontario Works (OW) rules say that you can work and still get financial assistance 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 net earnings 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:

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

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 earnings exemptions 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.

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