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What can Ontario Works say that I have to do to find a job?
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.
Ontario Works (OW) has rules about who can get financial assistance and what you must do to keep getting it.
You usually have to do things that are supposed to help you:
- get ready for a job
- get a job as soon as possible
You and an OW worker are supposed to agree on what activities will help you.
The Participation Agreement
The activities you have to do are listed in a Participation Agreement.
The Participation Agreement is part of your application for financial assistance. See Step 1.
Who does not have to sign a Participation Agreement
You don’t have to sign a Participation Agreement if:
- you’re applying only for Temporary Care Assistance for a child
- you’re on interim assistance because you appealed a decision about whether you qualify for assistance from OW
- you’re getting Extended Health Benefits or Extended Employment Health Benefits but not basic financial assistance from OW
What happens if you have a disability
OW expects you to make “reasonable efforts” to do the activities in your Participation Agreement.
If you have a disability, you should only have to do activities that you’re able to do.
If your disability is not going to last very long, OW might excuse you from all of the activities in your Agreement for a short time. For example, if you have a broken leg, this might be for a few weeks.
You need to get proof from a doctor or other health professional if you need to be excused from:
- of the activities for a longer time
- some of the activities that OW says you have to do
You can give OW a letter from the doctor or other health professional or have them fill out the OW form called Limitations to Participation. You can get this from the OW office.
Other health professionals who can write a letter or fill out the Limitations to Participation form include:
- nurse practitioners
- social workers