1. Carefully review your participation agreement

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.

To get from Ontario Works (OW) you must sign a Participation Agreement.

When you sign the Agreement, you agree to do what OW calls “employment assistance activities”. It's important to make sure that your Agreement does not include activities that you can't do or should not have to do. This also makes it less likely you'll have to quit a job or not accept a job offer.

Activities you should not have to do

Activities you should not have to do include ones that:

  • are dangerous to your health or safety or could make a medical condition worse
  • go against your personal or religious beliefs
  • go against the membership rules of a union or professional association that you belong to
  • you're not able to do because you have a learning disorder
  • stop you from looking after a family member if you're their caregiver

And if you and your spouse have children who live with you, you may not have to do activities at the same time. But this does not apply when:

  • your children are at school
  • you have child care for them

Giving proof to OW

OW will ask you to prove why you should not have to do an activity. For example, you might need:

  • a letter from a doctor
  • a letter from your religious leader
  • proof that you belong to a union or professional association, along with a document that shows the rules members must follow
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