How do I apply to Ontario Works?

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.

To get started, you can contact your local Ontario Works (OW) office. Or, you may be able to use OW's online application.

If the online application says you're not eligible, contact your local office to find out if this is correct.

After you start your application, the next thing you do is meet with an OW worker.

When you apply, you have to:

  • give personal and financial information about yourself, each member of your family, and anyone else who lives with you
  • give OW documents that relate to yourself and other people in your household
  • sign forms that the OW worker fills out with you

If OW does not want to take your application

The law says that OW must take your application. And they must do this even if they say that you will not qualify for .

If you're talking to an OW worker on the phone and they don't want to give you an appointment to complete your application, ask to speak to a supervisor. Tell the supervisor that you want to complete your application.

If there's still a problem, contact your community legal clinic right away.

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