Ontario Works says I have an overpayment. What can I do?

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) will say you have an if they think that you got more social assistance than you should have.

This could be money from OW or from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

This means that when you're getting from OW, they can collect an overpayment that happened because:

  • you used to get from ODSP, and
  • ODSP paid you more than they should have.

Paying the money back

OW will want the money back.

If you're getting financial assistance from OW, they'll try to get the money back by reducing the amount they give you.

If you're no longer getting assistance, OW will send you a letter and ask you to pay back the money. If you don't pay it, there may be things they can do to collect the overpayment. See Step 2.

Getting help

Overpayments happen for many reasons. See Step 1. What you can do depends on your situation.

For example, you may be able to appeal a decision about an overpayment to the Social Benefits Tribunal.

But it's important to get legal advice to help you decide what to do.

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