My adult child lives with me. Can this affect my OW?

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.

An adult child is someone who is 18 or older. If an adult child lives with you, how this affects from Ontario Works (OW) is complicated and depends on your situation.

This answer and next steps give basic information. A community legal clinic may be able to explain more fully how this will affect you. For example, they may be able to tell you whether OW will expect you to require your child to pay housing costs to live with you.

You have to tell OW about other people in your household. OW calls this your “benefit unit”. They look at who is in your household when they decide if you qualify for financial assistance and how much you get.

When your adult child is included in your household

OW includes your adult child who lives with you as part of your household if:

  • they don't qualify for from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and
  • they're not “financially independent”. See Step 1.

If OW includes them in your household because the rules above apply, they're called a dependent adult.

Choices “financially independent” children can make

If OW says that your adult child who lives with you is financially independent, they may be able to choose between:

  • applying for assistance from OW on their own, or
  • being included in your household. To find out how this can affect your financial assistance, talk to a community legal clinic.

But there are times when adult children do not have this choice. See Step 2.

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