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Ontario Works thinks I'm living with my partner. Will this affect my assistance?

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Ontario Works thinks I'm living with my partner. Will this affect my assistance?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Ontario Works thinks I'm living with my partner. Will this affect my assistance?
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Reviewed: 
October 31, 2016
Answer

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.

If Ontario Works (OW) thinks you live with someone who is your spouse, neither one of you can get financial assistance as a single person or as a sole-support parent.

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.

Getting help

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.

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