Ontario Works provides some benefits for health and other costs, depending on your circumstances.

If you need to apply for Ontario Works, you can find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

Prescription drug coverage

If you are receiving Ontario Works financial assistance, you and your family will get coverage for prescription drugs listed in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary.

Going to the pharmacy

You can use your benefits by showing your:

  • Ontario health card
  • valid driver’s licence
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • passport
  • monthly Ontario Works statement of assistance

Co-payment fee

Some pharmacists may ask you to pay a fee (co-payment) of up to $2 per prescription if you are 25 or older.

Drugs not listed in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary

Your doctor can ask the Ministry of Health to cover the cost of the prescription drug. The Ministry of Health will review the request and tell your doctor its decision.

To find out how to ask for coverage for prescription drugs not in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary, contact your doctor.

Dental coverage

Children 17 and under will be automatically enrolled in the Healthy Smiles Ontario dental care program. Each child will receive a dental card to be shown as proof of eligibility to get dental services under the program.

Children residing in First Nations communities can receive dental coverage through Ontario Works. If you and your children live in a First Nations community, you can speak with your caseworker to ask about what coverage is available.

Adults may also be eligible for dental care through Ontario Works. Contact your caseworker to find out what coverage may be available to you.

Vision Care

You may be able to get help to pay for vision care expenses for you and your children, such as:

  • prescription eyeglasses
  • eyeglass repairs

Eye examinations

The Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) covers eye examinations for people who are:

  • under 20 years of age
  • 65 years of age or older

OHIP may also cover eye examinations if you have a medical condition that affects your eye health, such as diabetes. If you do not have vision care coverage under OHIP, Ontario Works will cover the costs for routine eye exams once every 24 months.

Eyeglasses coverage

Ontario Works may help cover the cost of eyeglasses and eyeglass repairs for you and your family members.

To use your benefits for eyeglasses, frames or repairs, speak to your Ontario Works caseworker.

Diabetic or surgical supplies and dressings

If you have a prescription for these items, and do not have any other coverage (for example, from Diabetes Canada), then Ontario Works may cover these costs.

Contact your Ontario Works case worker to find out what may be available to you.

Travel and transportation for medical purposes

If you need to attend appointments for medical reasons, Ontario Works may cover these costs. This includes going to medical, rehabilitation, or counselling appointments.

To find out if you are eligible for help with these transportation costs, please contact your Ontario Works caseworker before spending money.

Assistive devices

If you have a long-term physical disability, you can get help paying for equipment and supplies when you qualify for the Assistive Devices Program. If you need an assistive device, you should contact your doctor who can help you apply.

Ontario Works can help with some of the costs that the Assistive Devices Program does not cover. Ontario Works can also help with the cost of batteries and repairs to assistive devices, such as powered wheelchairs.

Here are some categories of assistive devices:

  • mobility devices, such as wheeled walkers and wheelchairs
  • visual aids, such as magnifiers
  • hearing aids
  • orthotic or prosthetic devices
  • speech devices, such as teletypewriters
  • certain medical supplies, such as ostomy supplies
  • respiratory devices

The Assistive Devices Program sets out what assistive devices are covered and the maximum amount of coverage.

The Assistive Devices Program will not reimburse you for devices you buy before getting approval.

The Assistive Devices Program does not cover the assessment fee for assistive devices, but Ontario Works may cover the assessment fee if no other source covers it. Contact your case worker before spending money on the assessment.

Find out more about the Assistive Devices Program.

Guide Dog Benefit

If you own a certified guide dog, you may receive money to help you pay for the dog's care.

How to access this benefit

To qualify for this benefit, you need to give your local Ontario Works office proof that your service or guide dog has been trained at an accredited training facility. An accredited training facility is:

  • a facility listed in the Blind Persons' Rights Act, Regulation 58
  • an organization that is a member of Assistance Dogs International
  • a school that is a member of the International Guide Dog Federation

You do not need to provide receipts for the daily care of your dog.

Extended Health Benefit

If you have high health costs and no longer qualify for Ontario Works financial assistance because of your income, the Extended Health Benefit may be available to help you. Depending on your needs, you may be able to get help to cover the cost of items such as:

  • prescription drugs
  • basic dental care
  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids
  • diabetic supplies
  • surgical supplies and dressings
  • transportation for medical appointments

A child or spouse who is 17 years of age or younger will continue to receive dental coverage through Healthy Smiles Ontario.

You may be eligible for these benefits if:

  • you were eligible for Ontario Works in the month before accessing the Extended Health Benefit
  • you no longer qualify for financial help under Ontario Works because your income from other sources is too high
  • you are no longer eligible for Ontario Works because you received a payment for loss of income under the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement

If you don’t qualify for the Extended Health Benefit, you may be eligible for help with your prescription drug costs through the Trillium Drug Program. This program provides coverage for prescription drugs through the Ontario Drug Benefit.

Other support

Ontario Works may be able to help with other health-related costs you may have, such as:

  • hearing aids
  • child care to attend a medical appointment
  • funerals and burials

For more information and to find out what is available to you, please contact your local Ontario Works office.