2. Learn the OW rules that say you must try to get spousal support

What are the rules about getting spousal support and financial assistance from Ontario Works?
This question has an answer and 5 steps

2. Learn the OW rules that say you must try to get spousal support

Ontario Works (OW) can refuse to give you assistance or can reduce or cut off your assistance, if you:

  • might be able to get spousal support, and
  • don’t make “reasonable efforts” to get it.

“Reasonable efforts” could include:

  • applying to family court for a support order
  • making sure you give OW all the information you have about trying to get support

OW will ask for the name of your spouse. They could also ask where that person is and for other information, like:

  • their Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • their employer’s name and address
  • how long you lived together and when you separated

If you know this information but don’t give it to OW, they can refuse to give you assistance, or reduce or cut off your assistance.

If this happens, you might be able to appeal OW’s decision.

What OW may ask you to do

OW may ask you to:

  • make a support agreement with your spouse that follows the guidelines that the courts use to decide on spousal support
  • apply to get a court order for spousal support
  • go back to court and ask the court to order your spouse to pay more support
  • enforce a spousal support agreement or court order that you already have

But there are times when you may not have to try to get spousal support. See Step 3.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Reviewed: November 30, 2017

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