Ontario Works and COVID-19
Services and benefits of the Ontario Works program have changed in response to COVID-19. Find out how these changes affect you and what help is available.
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Office hours and service
Ontario Works office hours may have changed in your area. Please contact your Ontario Works office to find out their current business hours. Offices may be closed to the public and others may also have reduced staff. Please be patient as staff do their best to assist you.
To help ensure the continued health and safety of clients and staff, please visit the office only if necessary. Before going to the office, please contact your caseworker.
If you usually pick up payments from your Ontario Works office, you should contact the office for instructions. If you receive payments by cheque, consider switching to direct bank deposit payment or a reloadable payment card. Contact your Ontario Works office to ask how to make the switch.
Reporting your income
Make sure you report your income by the due date each month to avoid any interruption in your payments. You may use the MyBenefits online service, mail, or fax. You can also call the office, and if you don't reach your caseworker you can leave a voice message with your member ID or name and date of birth. Please contact the office if you have any questions about how or when to report your income.
Federal recovery benefits and Employment Insurance
If you lost your source of income because of the COVID‑19, you may be eligible for federal government benefits, including:
- Employment Insurance (EI)
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Visit the federal government website for more information or to apply for federal benefits.
If you are on Ontario Works and eligible for any of these benefits, you are required to apply for them.
When you receive these federal benefits, you must report them to your caseworker. These benefits will be deducted from Ontario Works payments.
Help with transportation costs for vaccinations
If you need money to cover transportation costs for you or your family to get COVID‑19 vaccinations, speak with your caseworker.
Benefits and special allowances
If your Special Diet Allowance, health or other recurring benefit is expiring, it will be extended. You do not need to send a new form.
If you need a new health benefit such as diabetic supplies or glasses for a child, or other assistance, please contact your local office. If you can't get in to see a healthcare practitioner, we will help you complete the relevant form.
If you have exceptional costs related to COVID‑19, ask your caseworker about discretionary benefits.
Apply for ODSP
We continue to process Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) applications. If you think you are eligible for ODSP, please advise your Ontario Works office.
Internal reviews and appeals
If you disagree with a decision you can ask for an internal review. If you disagree with the decision from the internal review you may be able to appeal it through the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).
Find out more about your Ontario Works payment or benefits by visiting Ontario.ca/MyBenefits or by using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Contact your Ontario Works office for help getting set up on these services.
Learn more information about the provincial response to COVID‑19 at Ontario.ca/covid19.