December 2016

Legislative authority

Sections 19, 20, 21 and 22, 28(6) and 32 of the Act.
Section 62 of Regulation 134/98.
Section 10 of Regulation 135/98.

Audit requirements

Documentation is on file to support decisions made.

Overpayments are documented properly to support both the decision and the calculation, and are being recovered.

Systems are updated, maintained, and accounting principles are adhered to.

Delivery agent employees and contracted agencies adhere to all legislation, regulations, and directives governing the methods and processes for the collection of debts.

Random file reviews are completed to ensure that all requirements are met.

Application of policy

Any overpayment incurred under the Ontario Works Act 1997, Ontario Disability Support Act, 1997, General Welfare Assistance Act or the Family Benefits Act, is recoverable if the recipient and dependent spouse move between programs or between delivery agents throughout Ontario.

The Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) permits the electronic transfer of overpayment information between:

  • Ontario Works delivery agents and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) offices
  • Ontario Works delivery agents throughout Ontario

The site at which the overpayment is activated should request required documentation from the site where the overpayment originated if the recipient requests an internal review due to overpayment recovery.

Recovery will be through automatic deduction of basic financial assistance/income support where the case is ongoing. For terminated cases, responsibility for collecting an overpayment lies with the last-issuing delivery agent.

All documentation transferred must meet current Ontario Works and ODSP file transfer standards.

Files should only be transferred between Ontario Works delivery agents or between Ontario Works and ODSP if there is sufficient documentation to substantiate the overpayment.

When transferring sufficiently substantiated files from Ontario Works to ODSP, the file transfer standard is five business days, regardless of whether the file is under verification review, appeal or investigation. Essential documents that are not readily available should be transferred within seven business days upon request from the receiving site.

The case file where the overpayment was established and any related documentation must be retained indefinitely where there has been an overpayment of assistance to a recipient.