Apply for emergency assistance
Learn how to get short term financial support if you are in a crisis or an emergency and don’t have enough money for things like food and housing.
If you live in a First Nations community, are under the age of 18, or you do not have a Social Insurance Number (SIN), contact your local Ontario Works office to apply.
If you are in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, you can apply for temporary financial support through emergency assistance.
If you are not in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel and need support for longer than 48 days, you should apply for Ontario Works.
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About emergency assistance
If you are in an emergency and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for emergency assistance, which will provide you with temporary financial support.
If you are eligible for emergency assistance, the amount you get will depend on your specific situation. In most cases you will not get more than what you would get on Ontario Works.
For example, you may get:
- approximately $733 for a month if you are a single person and need help paying for food and shelter
- more if you have children
- up to 48 days of support depending on your specific situation
- additional periods of support, depending on your circumstance
You may qualify if you live in Ontario (not a visitor or tourist), are in a crisis or emergency, and do not have enough money for things like food and housing. For example, a crisis or emergency includes situations where you:
- have been affected by COVID-19
- are being evicted from your home
- are in or are leaving an abusive relationship
- are worried about your safety
- have emergency authorization to be in Canada for humanitarian reasons
- this includes Ukrainian migrants arriving or remaining in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel pathway (CUAET).
You are not eligible if you are getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program
Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel
Ontario is responding to the invasion of Ukraine by ensuring individuals and families seeking safety in Ontario from the conflict have the services and supports they need to integrate and succeed in our province.
If you have arrived or are remaining in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), you can apply for temporary financial support through emergency assistance.
If you are eligible, emergency assistance will give quick support to you and your family.
You may receive approximately $733 a month if you are a single person and need help paying for food and shelter. You may receive more if you have children.
You and your family may receive financial support for up to six months if you do not have enough money or assets to meet your basic needs.
Prescription drug benefits
If you are eligible for emergency assistance, you will be issued a drug card to pay for part of your prescription drug costs.
Applying for emergency assistance
If you have a Canadian social insurance number (SIN), email address and phone number, you can apply online.
If you do not have a social insurance number, email address and phone number, contact your local Ontario Works office.
Submit only one application for you and your immediate family.
If you choose to apply online, your application will follow these steps. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to apply.
If you have arrived or are remaining in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency travel (CUAET) and are applying online, select “Emergency Authorization (e.g., CUAET)” for “What best describes your situation?”
To complete your application online, you will need the latest version of one of these browsers:
Step 1: gather the necessary information and submit your application
You will need:
- personal information for you and your family
- your housing costs
- your family’s total income and available assets
- your bank account information (if you have one) so you can get your payment quickly
- documentation confirming your status in Canada, including your passport, visa, permits, etc.
- this applies to persons in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)
Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application
A worker at your local Ontario Works office will review your application.
Step 3: Your local Ontario Works office will contact you
A worker from your local Ontario Works office will contact you within four business days of submitting your application. This does not include weekends and holidays.
They may ask you to provide more information to verify your application, like copies of bills or other documents.
If no additional information is required, they may tell you if your application has been approved and how much you can expect to receive.
Step 4: if you are eligible you will get a payment by direct deposit or cheque
If your application is approved your local Ontario Works office will issue you a payment right away. If you provided your bank information, you will get a payment in your bank account within two business days. If you did not provide your bank information, you can expect a cheque to arrive in the mail in seven business days.
How we use, collect and protect the privacy of your information
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and/or your local Ontario Works office will use the information you provide to administer and evaluate the delivery of emergency assistance and Ontario Works, if you apply for Ontario Works. This information is collected under the legal authority of the Ontario Works Act, 1997, sections 7, 8, 15, 7 and 58.
The information you provide is protected by:
- the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- supporting directives and guidelines covering the collection and disclosure of personal information
If you have questions about how Ontario Works collects and uses your personal information, contact us:
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET)