2. Learn about your options

I'm an adult and live with my parents. Can I get assistance from Ontario Works?
This question has an answer and 3 steps
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2. Learn about your options

If Ontario Works (OW) says that you’re financially independent, you may be able to choose between:

  • applying for assistance from OW on your own, or
  • being included in your parents’ household.

When you don’t have a choice

There are times when adult children do not have a choice, even if OW says that they’re financially independent. They have to apply for assistance on their own.

OW will not let you be included in your parents’ household if:

  • you own or rent the home where you live and your parents do not,
  • your parents get Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) money from Old Age Security (OAS),
  • your parents get money from the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS),
  • you have to pay housing costs to your parents to live with them, or
  • you’re legally required to pay some of the costs of living with your parents, such as rent, heating, or hydro. For example, your name might be on the rental agreement your parents have with the landlord or on a utility bill.

If your parents don’t get social assistance

You can’t get assistance from Ontario Works (OW) if:

  • you live with your parents,
  • they don’t get social assistance, and
  • OW says you’re a dependent adult.

OW will say you’re a dependent adult if you:

  • do not qualify for income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and
  • are not “financially independent”.

So you can apply only if you become financially independent. See Step 1.

If your parents get social assistance

If OW decides that you’re financially independent, you can apply for assistance on your own.

How this affects assistance for you and for your parents is complicated and depends on your situation. A community legal clinic may be able to explain more fully how this will affect you.

Making the choice

You may want to know whether getting OW assistance on your own or being part of your parent’s household will lead to the most money.

A community legal clinic may be able to explain more fully how this will affect you.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Reviewed: June 22, 2018

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