Check the status of your Ontario Works online application.

Learn about temporary program changes for Ontario Works and ODSP due to COVID-19.

Overview

If you don’t have enough money for food and housing, or if you have a disability and are in financial need, you can apply for financial and employment assistance through Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

This page tells you:

  • who is eligible to apply for Ontario Works and ODSP
  • how much money you could receive
  • how to apply online for Ontario Works
  • how to check the status of your Ontario Works online application
  • how to apply online for ODSP

You can also apply for Ontario Works and ODSP through your local:

This page is not a complete list of all eligibility criteria, benefits, responsibilities or support available.

Learn more about Ontario Works and ODSP.

Ontario Works

Eligibility

You might be eligible for Ontario Works if you:

  • are in financial need, meaning you and your family do not have enough money to cover your living expenses
  • are 16 or older
  • live in Ontario (and are not a visitor or a tourist)
  • have assets within the allowable asset limits

What you could get

Ontario Works offers:

  • money to help you and your eligible family members with living expenses, including food, and rent
  • health benefits for you and your eligible family members
  • employment supports to help you find and keep a job (such as workshops for resume writing, job counselling, job-specific training and basic education)

If you are eligible for Ontario Works, the amount of money you get will depend on your specific situation. In most cases, you must participate in employment-related activities to receive financial help.

You could receive up to $733 a month for basic needs and shelter if you are single.

You may receive more than this for:

  • benefits (for example, you might get additional money for transportation to medical appointments)
  • other immediate family members (for example, if you have a spouse or child you will receive a larger amount)

How to apply for Ontario Works

Follow the steps below to apply for Ontario Works online. It takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Submit one application for you and your immediate family members who live with you.

Before you start

Make sure all family members included in your application are with you when you fill out the form so they can provide their consent and confirm their information.

Have your family’s identification and tax documents ready, such as:

  • social insurance numbers (SIN)
  • OHIP cards
  • birth certificates
  • immigration papers
  • tax returns
  • banking information

Technical requirements

To complete the application online, you will need the latest version of one of these web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Step 1: fill in your personal information

You will be asked to fill out your family’s:

  • full legal names, dates of birth and status in Canada
  • address
  • email addresses (for all family members 18 and older)
  • total monthly income and assets
  • housing costs
  • other expenses, such as child care
  • bank account information (if you have one) to get your payment quickly through direct bank deposit

Once complete, submit your application.

Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application

A caseworker from your local Ontario Works office will review your application and call you within four business days of submitting your application to schedule an appointment. This does not include weekends and holidays.

Step 3: meet with Ontario Works to sign and verify your application

Meet with an intake caseworker for your verification appointment.

The caseworker might ask you to provide more information, like copies of bills or other documents, so we can verify the information you included in your application.

You will also be asked to sign your application package, including a consent form to allow Ontario Works to access information about you from other government programs or organizations (for example, the Ministry of Transportation, Employment Insurance, Equifax Canada). This information will help to determine if you qualify for assistance.

If Ontario Works determines that you are not financially eligible, you will have 30 days to request that Ontario Works review your information again.

Step 4: get approved and receive your payment

Once the caseworker receives all the information they need, they will tell you within four business days if your application has been approved and how much you may receive.

If your application is approved, your local Ontario Works office will advise when you can expect your first payment.

Step 5: develop a plan

Your caseworker will contact you to schedule an appointment to develop a plan for you to participate in employment-related activities, unless you have specific circumstances that prevent this, such as an illness or caregiving responsibilities.

Check the status of your Ontario Works application

You can check the status of your application after you submit it online. This digital feature is available to most applicants.

To check the status of your online application, you will need your application reference number.

Find your application reference number

Your application reference number is in the email we sent you if you submitted your application online. It is also displayed on the last page of the online application.

If you applied in person, by phone or by mail

You can find out the status of your application by contacting:

Toll-free: 1-888-999-1142
Toll-free TTY: 1-800-387-5559
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET)

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Eligibility

You might be eligible for ODSP if you:

  • meet the definition of a disability under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, or you are a member of a prescribed class that is exempt from the disability adjudication process
  • are in financial need, meaning you and your family do not have enough money to cover your living expenses
  • are 18 or older (if you’re under 18, you can start the application process up to six months before your 18th birthday)
  • live in Ontario (and are not a visitor or a tourist)
  • have assets within the allowable asset limits

To be eligible for ODSP, you must first qualify financially and then your disability must be assessed.

If you qualify financially, you will be given a package of forms to complete with your doctor or health care professional to tell us about your disability. We will use this information to decide if you are medically eligible for ODSP.

Some groups of people do not have to have their disability assessed. If you are part of one of these groups, you will only be required to complete the financial eligibility part.

What you could get

ODSP offers:

  • money to help you and your eligible family members with living expenses, including food, and rent
  • health benefits, including prescription drugs and vision care
  • employment support to help you find and keep a job or advance your career

If you are eligible for ODSP, the amount of money you get will depend on your specific situation.

You could receive up to $1,169 a month for basic needs and shelter if you are single.

You may receive more than this for:

  • benefits (for example, you might get additional money for transportation to medical appointments)
  • other immediate family members (for example, if you have a spouse or child you will receive a larger amount)

The amount you get will depend on your specific situation.

How to apply for ODSP

The application process may take a few months.

If you do not have enough money to support yourself and your family while we review your application, you can apply to Ontario Works first.

If you are eligible, you can receive financial assistance from Ontario Works while we are assessing your eligibility for ODSP.

Returning to ODSP

If you left ODSP but need to come back for financial help, you may be eligible for rapid reinstatement.

Rapid reinstatement makes it faster and easier for you to start receiving ODSP again without having to go through a disability assessment.

To find out if you are eligible for rapid reinstatement please contact your local ODSP office.

Apply for ODSP online

Follow these steps to apply for ODSP online. In most cases, it takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Submit one application for you and your immediate family members who live with you.

Before you start

Make sure that all family members included in your application are with you when you apply online so they can provide their consent and confirm their information.

Have your family’s identification and documents ready, such as:

  • social insurance numbers (SIN)
  • OHIP cards
  • birth certificates
  • immigration papers
  • tax returns
  • banking information

Technical requirements

To complete the application online, you will need the latest version of one of these web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Step 1: fill in your personal information

You will be asked to fill out your family’s:

  • full legal names, dates of birth and status in Canada
  • address
  • email addresses (for all family members 18 and over)
  • total monthly income and available assets
  • housing costs
  • other expenses (such as child care and disability related expenses)
  • your bank account information (if you have one) so you can get your payment quickly

Once complete, submit your application.

Step 2: ODSP reviews your application

A caseworker from your local ODSP office will review your application and will call you within 15 business days to schedule an appointment.

Step 3: meet with the ODSP office to sign and verify your application

Meet with an intake caseworker for your verification appointment.

The caseworker may ask you to provide more information, like copies of bills or other documents, so we can verify the information you included in your application.

You will also be asked to sign your application package, including a consent form to allow ODSP to access information about you from other government programs or organizations (for example, the Ministry of Transportation, Employment Insurance, Equifax Canada). This information will help to determine if you qualify for assistance.

If no additional information is required, the caseworker will let you know if you are financially eligible for ODSP within 15 business days.

If ODSP determines that you are not financially eligible for ODSP, you will have 30 days to request that ODSP review your information again.

Step 4: submit a disability determination package

If you are a member of a prescribed class, you do not have to complete this step.

If you are financially eligible for ODSP, you will receive a disability determination package (DDP).

This package must be completed by an approved health care professional, such as your doctor and mailed to the Disability Adjudication Unit using the addressed envelope included with the package.

The disability determination package includes:

  • instruction sheet on how and who can complete the forms
  • health status report that asks for information about your medical condition (for example, impairments, restrictions, treatments, duration)
  • activities of daily living index that asks for information about how your medical condition affects your daily life, including your ability to work, care for yourself and participate in your community
  • self report that gives you the opportunity to tell us about how your disability affects your daily life
  • consent to the release of medical information for you to complete and sign

You and your health care professional should also submit additional medical and supporting information (for example, clinical notes, hospital reports, psychological or functional assessments). This information will help us make an informed decision.

Step 5: ODSP reviews your disability determination package

Specialized ministry staff (including doctors, nurses or occupational therapists) review your completed disability determination package to determine if you meet the legislative definition of a person with a disability.

You will receive a letter from the Disability Adjudication Unit within 90 business days to let you know if your disability qualified.

Step 6: develop a plan

If you are eligible, your caseworker will contact you to schedule an appointment to develop a plan for how best to help you and let you know when you can expect your first payment.

Employment supports

If you are a person with a disability and interested in working, you can get help finding a job. Many supports are available to help remove disability-related barriers to employment.

You may ask ODSP staff for more information about how to access employment supports in your community.

Learn more about employment supports.

Emergency assistance

If you are in an emergency and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for emergency assistance.

Temporary care assistance

If you are an adult and you are temporarily responsible for the care of a child who is in financial need, you may be eligible for temporary care assistance on their behalf.

You can apply for Temporary Care assistance:

Protecting your privacy

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and your local Ontario Works office will use the information you provide to us to administer the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works.

This information is collected under the legal authority of:

The information you provide is protected by:

You have the right to request access to your personal information and ask us to correct mistakes in your personal information.

If you have questions about how we collect and use your personal information, contact us: