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Ontario Works wants proof that I qualify for assistance. What if I can't get what they ask for?

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Ontario Works wants proof that I qualify for assistance. What if I can't get what they ask for?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Ontario Works wants proof that I qualify for assistance. What if I can't get what they ask for?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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Reviewed: 
September 30, 2017
Answer

Ontario Works (OW) can ask you for information and documents to prove that you qualify for financial assistance.

OW must be clear and specific about what they want.

And the information and documents that they say you have to get must relate to:

  • whether you qualify for assistance
  • the amount of assistance that you should get

See Step 1 for examples of what OW may ask you for.

If you can't get what OW asks for

You should not have to give OW documents that you:

  • can't get for reasons that are out of your control
  • can't afford to get

For example, you don't have the money to pay bank fees to get your financial records.

Or someone else, like a former spouse, has documents that you need and they won’t give them to you.

If you don't give OW what they ask for

OW might refuse your application for assistance if you don’t give them what they ask for.

If you’re already getting assistance, OW may give you less or cut off your assistance. If this happens, they may send you a letter saying they're "suspending" some or all of your assistance until you give them what they asked for.

Getting help

You may want to get help from a community legal clinic if:

  • you don't understand what OW wants
  • you think OW is being unfair
  • you think OW is asking for information they can't require you to give them

And if OW refuses to give you assistance, or reduces or cuts it off, a community legal clinic may be able to help you.

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