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Someone is moving in with me. Will this affect my Ontario Works assistance?

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Someone is moving in with me. Will this affect my Ontario Works 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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Someone is moving in with me. Will this affect my Ontario Works 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.

It might. You must let Ontario Works (OW) know as soon as someone moves in with you.

If you don’t tell OW and they find out about it later, they 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.

After 3 months

If you’re getting OW as a single person or a sole-support parent, OW may contact you 3 months after someone has moved in with you to set up a meeting. 

Make sure you respond to them right away and go to the meeting. If you don’t, OW can cut off your assistance.

If OW decides you’re spouses

If OW thinks you live with someone who is your spouse, neither one of you will be able to get assistance as a single person or as a sole-support parent.

Instead, OW will look at the income and assets that both of you have to decide if you can get assistance as a couple.

The amount of assistance you get as a couple is less than what you would get as two single people.

How much you get from OW depends on a number of things.

If OW decides that the person you’re living with is your spouse, and you disagree, you may be able to appeal the decision.

If you have to apply for assistance as a couple, both of you have to sign all of the forms that are part of the application.

Getting help

If you need help to find out more about whether OW will see you as a couple, contact a community legal clinic.

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