My spouse and I separated. Will this affect 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.

1. Learn how OW decides if you’re still a couple

To consider you separated, Ontario Works (OW) has to believe that you and your spouse:

  • don't live together, and
  • don't plan to get back together.

But they might say that the two of you are still a couple because of the reason that you're not living together. For example:

  • Your spouse is away at school or looking for work somewhere else.
  • Your spouse is in another country waiting for a visa to come to Canada.
  • There are problems with your relationship, but there's still a chance you might get back together.

Proving that you’re separated

You may have to prove to OW that you’ve separated. For example, you might have:

  • a separation agreement
  • a court order or papers showing that you're going to court
  • bank or other financial records showing that you keep your money separate

Living at the same address

If you're still living at the same address as your former partner, you'll need to explain to OW why this is. For example, you might share housing because you're not able to afford the cost of living on your own.

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