Am I eligible for Ontario Works (OW)?

When you apply for Ontario Works (OW), you have to talk with an OW worker who decides if you are eligible.

To be eligible for financial assistance from Ontario Works (OW), you must:

  • Live in Ontario
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a refugee claimant or convention refugee
  • Need money right away to pay for basic needs such as food and housing

OW considers:

  • Your financial situation
  • If you are willing to do activities to try to find a job

The OW worker may also ask you questions such as:

  • Do you have any income? How much?
  • How much are your housing costs?
  • What is your family size?
  • Were you fired or did you quit your job?
  • Have you ever been convicted of welfare fraud?
  • Are you living with your parents?
  • Are you under 16 years old?
  • Do you have a student loan?

For More Information

  • About Ontario Works - Official information about the Ontario Works program and links to related documents. From the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
  • Who Can Receive Ontario Works - Official information about who is eligible for Ontario Works. From the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
  • Ontario Works Offices - Find contact information for Ontario Works offices in Ontario.
  • Social Assistance Law - Clear language information about your legal rights to social assistance. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario).
Last updated: November 9, 2015 4001165