How do I prepare for an OW hearing at the Social Benefits Tribunal?

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.

It's best to get help to prepare for your hearing at the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).

A community legal clinic may be able to:

  • explain what you can expect at your hearing
  • tell you what documents or other evidence you should try to get for your hearing
  • tell you about the rules that you have to follow

They may also represent you at the SBT.

“Early Resolution”

The SBT might send you what's called a “Notice of Early Resolution Opportunity Session”.

The Notice will give the time, date, and purpose of the Session.

The Session is a meeting that could be in person or by telephone. An Appeal Resolution Officer from the SBT meets with you and someone from Ontario Works (OW).

The Appeal Resolution Officer tries to help you and OW agree on things. For example, you and OW could:

  • make an agreement so you don't need to have a hearing
  • make an agreement about some things so that at the hearing, the SBT only has to decide about things you did not agree about

Things that you or OW say or share at an Early Resolution Opportunity Session can't be used at the hearing.

You don't have to go to a Session. If you get a Notice and don't want to go to the Session, you should tell the SBT within 10 days of getting the Notice.

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