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Applying for Ontario Works Assistance



To be eligible for assistance, applicants must meet the following legislative criteria:

  • Resident in Ontario

  • Income not in excess of prescribed limits

  • Assets not in excess of prescribed limits

  • Living with parents and not financially dependent on them

  • Not a single person incarcerated full time

  • Not a single person less than 16 years of age without dependents

  • Not a single person who has been deemed none-compliant for 3 or 6 months

  • Not a single person subject to a period of ineligibility due to welfare fraud conviction

  • Not a single person without dependents who is receiving a loan under the Ministry of Colleges and University Act or the Canada Student Loan Act.

An application for Social Assistance involves two steps.



Step 1:  Intake

The first step in applying for financial assistance is to contact the Intake Screening Office.

Residents of both County of Lennox & Addington and County of Prince Edward will call 613-354-7991 (local) or 1-866-716-7991 (toll free)

You must have the following information, pertaining to yourself and your family members to complete the application.  You will also be required to bring the following verifying documents to your Verification Interview (Step 2): 

  • Date of Birth

  • Social Insurance number

  • Health Card number

  • Immigration number and Date of Landing (if applicable)

  • Current address and address history for the last 12 months

  • All accommodation costs, including Landlord’s name & address or mortgage company info.

  • Bank account numbers and balance history

  • Information concerning any owned assets

  • Current & past employment details

  • Information on income, or potential income, from any source (such as Child Tax Credit, Support, Employment Insurance, etc.)

A staff member will:

  • Request the applicants’ approval to continue for Third Party checks

  • Provide general program information and requirements

  • Complete a high level review of eligibility

  • Schedule an appointment for the applicant at the local Ontario Works office

Applicants who are in crisis or meet other criteria which indicate that telephone screening is inappropriate may be transferred or referred directly to the local Ontario Works office. A staff member will inform applicants of their potential eligibility. If found ineligible for Social Assistance, you will be advised of your right to appeal the decision and the process involved to do so. You may also choose to discontinue your application for benefits.

Find out more about appealing a determination of ineligibility.


Step 2: Confirmation of Eligibility & employment Planning


An Ontario Works staff will then meet with the Applicant (as well as Spouse and dependent children over the age of 18 if applicable) at the time set during Intake, to review and verify the information that was first provided .  Any required documentation will be copied, and any special circumstances will be reviewed.  Participation Agreements will be contracted with each family member over the age of 18.  Each individual's personal goals and available programs and resources will be taken into consideration.  All necessary forms will be reviewed and signed. 


Eligible applicants will be informed how they will receive their financial assistance, and the requirements to maintain ongoing entitlement.


An Ontario Works staff member will review a presentation outlining legislation requirements including: Ontario Works requirements; available Employment Supports and Financial incentives; and, a review of the most common forms used, such as the Income Reporting Statement. The applicant will also receive an Information Kit to keep for personal reference. Further information or specific details will be provided by Ontario Works staff. 

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