What Income Do I Have to Declare?

You must declare all income whether it is money, gifts in kind or loans from every source. You must advise your Case Worker of all earnings, tips, vacation pay, taxable benefits, as well as all other money received from all other sources, It is always best to declare everything and let your Case Worker assess whether it is deductible income or not.

What if I am pending employment insurance?

You must reimburse Ontario Works for any money received from your EI benefits once the claim is established. To ensure Ontario Works receives assistance paid, an assignment of benefit must be completed and signed. The purpose of this process, called Assignment of Benefits, is to ensure that benefits are not paid for the same weeks by both Employment Insurance and Ontario Works.

What if I plan on leaving the Province?

Leaving the Province could affect your assistance when receiving Ontario Works financial assistance.  A person who is absent from Ontario for a period of more than seven (7) days is not eligible for assistance unless the absence is approved prior to leaving by the Administrator for reasons of health or exceptional circumstances. You may leave for up to seven days provided you continue to meet your job search efforts.

If you are absent from Ontario for more than seven days, without prior approval, your assistance may be reduced or cancelled. Please speak to your worker before leaving the Province

What are my Rights and Responsibilities?

All participants of the Ontario Works Program have certain rights and responsibilities. Both are explained below:


As an Ontario Works participant, you have the RIGHT to ...

  • An Interview

You may bring someone with you anytime you meet with your Case Worker. This person can be anyone you choose.

  • A Decision

You will be informed (in writing) of any decisions to grant, refuse, suspend or cancel your financial assistance and the reasons for making those decisions.

  • A Chance to Have Decisions Reviewed

If you disagree with a decision made, you may make a written request within 30 days to have the decision reviewed by our local office. This internal review must be completed by our office within 30 days. You will be advised of the result of the review in writing. If you disagree with the internal review decision, you may appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal within 30 days of the date of the internal review decision.


As an Ontario Works participant, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to...

  • Respond Promptly

Contact your Case Worker promptly if you receive a message or notice to do so. Complete and return all forms and documents requested by your Case Worker.

  • Participate

You must actively participate in the approved employment activities decided by you and your Case Worker.

  • Obtain and Report All Available Income

Report all income that you or a member of your benefit unit receives, including any earnings, training allowances or other sources of income. Each month you will receive a Statement of Income that is used to report all income received for the reporting period.

  • Report All Assets

An asset is property of all kinds, including cash or anything which can be converted into cash. You must report all assets that you obtain or dispose of to your Case Worker.

  • Report Your Living Arrangements and Other Changes

You must report all changes such as your address, phone number, rent or housing costs, number of people in your household, etc.

Do you have a disability?

If you are or become disabled, we will refer your case to the Ontario Disability Support Program for you. This is a separate agency that provides ongoing financial assistance to people with disabilities. If you think that you are disabled, please speak to your caseworker about a referral.

Do you require daycare for dependent children?

If you require child care, please speak to your Case Worker. You may be eligible for funding for informal child care or for the licensed child care subsidy program. Subsidies may also be available for children with special needs and socially disadvantaged children when referred by a third party.

Child care requirements should never be a barrier to employment. Please speak to your Case Worker.

What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?

The IVR is a toll-free telephone system that provides general information to participants about Ontario Works and selected information about personal case files including:

  • Most recent cheque amount and date
  • Previous cheque payments (within the last 45 days)
  • Overpayments
  • Case file status

Recipients can also obtain cheque information for the next benefit month, by calling the IVR after the 26th of the current month.

To contact the IVR, phone: 1-800-808-2268