What happens at my application meeting with OW?

Beware of scams

People have been getting phone calls with a pre-recorded message telling them their Ontario Works account has been deleted.

This is a scam to trick you into sharing your personal information. If you get a call like that, hang up the phone. You can report these calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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 that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We'll update this information as things change.

You can start your application by calling an Ontario Works (OW) office or using the online application.

To complete your application, you have to meet with an OW worker.

At the appointment, the OW worker asks you questions and asks you for information to show that you qualify for .

If you used the online application, the information you entered online was sent to your local OW office.

If the online application says you're not eligible, contact your local office to find out if this is correct.

Personal information

You have to give information about yourself, each member of your family, and anyone else who lives with you.

This includes:

  • how many people are in your family and their ages
  • immigration status
  • what type of housing you live in, for example, whether you live in a place that you rent or own
  • what education you have
  • whether you are working now and information about past jobs

Information about income, assets, and debts

You have to give financial information about:

  • of any kind, including money from a job, support payments, or benefits such as or Employment Insurance (EI)
  • , including money in bank accounts, registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), registered education savings plans (RESPs), Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), insurance policies, and vehicles
  • debts, including money you owe on credit cards, to the bank, and to other people

To qualify financially for OW, your income cannot be more than a certain amount. That amount depends on the size of your family and the cost of your housing.

OW looks at your assets because your assets cannot be worth more than a certain amount. This amount also depends on the size of your family.

Income and assets OW does not count

There are some types of income and assets that OW does not count. For example, they do not count your home, one car, and most household items like furniture and appliances.

But you still have to provide information about all of your income and assets.

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