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Ontario Works thinks I'm living with my partner. Will this affect my assistance?
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 Social Benefits Tribunal that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.
How much you get from OW depends on a number of things.
OW has rules that they use to decide:
- whether 2 adults who live together are spouses
- when 2 people who live together must apply as a couple
If OW thinks you’re living with someone, they’ll look into it. For example, they might:
- give you an appointment to come and answer questions
- ask your landlord if there’s someone else living with you or named on your lease
- check the voters’ list for the names of people at your address
Why OW might think you live with someone
OW might think this if, for example:
- another person tells them that you’re living with someone
- someone gets their mail at your address, so it looks like they’re living with you
What can happen if OW thinks you live with someone
If you’re getting financial assistance, OW could decide that you got money you should not have received. This is called an overpayment and they can take steps to get the money back.
If they think you broke the rules on purpose, they can ask the police to charge you with fraud.
If OW thinks you live with someone, you have to show them that this isn’t true. To find out what to do if this happens to you, get legal help.