3. Figure out how earning money can affect the amount you get from OW

Can I work and still get financial assistance from Ontario Works?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
1
2
3
4
5

3. Figure out how earning money can affect the amount you get from OW

When earnings exemptions apply, you can have $200 in net earnings in a month before Ontario Works (OW) reduces your monthly financial assistance.

The general rule is that if you make more than $200 in net earnings in a month, OW gives you less assistance. And they take off an amount that equals half of the net earnings you make that are above $200.

For example, if you make $300 in net earnings in a month, OW takes $50 from the amount they usually give you. This is because $300 in net earnings minus $200 equals $100. And $100 divided by 2 equals $50. See below for how this works:

$300 (net monthly earnings)
- $200
= $100
÷ 2
= $50 (amount OW subtracts from the amount they usually give you)

If you have to pay for child care so you can go to work, you might get to keep more of your monthly financial assistance. See Step 4.

If you live in a First Nations community

OW will not reduce your financial assistance because you’re getting money for being in an employment training program that lasts up to 12 months.

This includes the training allowance and money to pay for child care and travel.

Getting money from OW to help pay for costs of working

OW has benefits that can help you:

  • buy tools, equipment, and clothes for work
  • pay travel costs related to preparing for or starting a new job
  • pay fees for a licence or membership in an association

Full-Time Employment Benefit

If you need help to pay for things you need to start a full-time job or training program, you might be able to get the Full-Time Employment Benefit.

To qualify, you need to show OW all of the following:

  1. You’ve been on social assistance for 3 months in a row.
  2. You’re starting to work at least 30 hours a week in one or more jobs.
  3. You need help with the costs of going to work.

If you qualify, you may be able to get up to $500 in any 12-month period. For example, if you start with the month of April, you could get up to $500 between April 1 and March 31.

Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit

If you don’t qualify for the Full-time Employment Benefit, you might still qualify for the Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit.

To qualify, you need to show that you’re:

  • starting a new job
  • starting a new training program where you have to do different things

If you qualify, you may be able to get up to $253 in any 12-month period. For example, if you start in the month of April, you could get up to $253 between April 1 and March 31.

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Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
Reviewed: June 14, 2018

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