While receiving social assistance, you can get help with certain dental and denture services:
Children – Toronto Public Health covers the cost of dental treatments for children of parents who are receiving Ontario Works. Treatments include services such as cleanings and fillings.
Adults receiving Ontario Works – Adults (18 years and older) are eligible for specific emergency dental treatments only. If you have a serious dental problem, visit a dentist and identify that you are receiving Ontario Works assistance.
NOTE: You must let your dentist know that you or your family are receiving Ontario Works, so that you are not charged for covered services. Employment and Social Services does not reimburse dental costs.
Adults and children receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) - Families receiving ODSP are eligible for specific dental services. Speak to your ODSP caseworker for details.
You may get help from Employment and Social Services with specific services such as:
lab fees and exams
replacements, repairs and relines
NOTE: You must let your dentist/denturist know that you are receiving Ontario Works or ODSP, as the denturist must get pre-approval for the denture services you need. Employment and Social Services does not reimburse dental/denture costs.
211Toronto.ca – features community and government resources, including health services. Search for low cost or emergency dental clinics.
Eyeglasses and eye
While receiving social assistance, you can get help with vision care. This includes coverage for eye exams and help with buying glasses.
OHIP covers eye exams for people under 20 and people 65 and over. OHIP also covers eye exams for people between 20 and 65 who are receiving Ontario Works or ODSP. You can get an eye exam once every 24 months if you are receiving social assistance. When you visit your optometrist, take your health card and your social assistance drug benefit card for the current month.
If you need glasses and are receiving Ontario Works benefits, provide your caseworker with a photocopy of your prescription. Your caseworker will send you a voucher for a pair of glasses and a list of locations where you can use it. The voucher is valid for 30 days.
Health benefits for people leaving Ontario Works
Are you leaving Ontario Works because you are starting work or getting other income? If so, you may be eligible to get help with health costs after you stop receiving social assistance. This help can include:
*Please note: If you still need help with medication costs after your first six months of working, the Trillium Drug Program can help you. Trillium Drug Program application kits are available at your local pharmacy. You can also call the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care at 1-800-268-1154.
Medical supplies and special devices
Employment and Social Services may be able to help if you need to pay for special health-related items.
Examples of the items you can get help with include:
Medical supplies - Diabetic supplies, surgical supplies, enteral feeding equipment and supplies, incontinence supplies, ostomy supplies, hospital beds, ventilators, wigs required due to medical conditions, respiratory equipment and supplies;
Mobility supplies - Prosthetics, orthotics, pressure modification devices, wheelchairs, positioning and ambulation aids; and
Sensory aids - Communication aids, visual aids (includes optical aids, reading and writing devices and orientation aids such as laser canes) and hearing aids.
If you are receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), talk to your caseworker to request help with supplies and devices.
If you are not receiving social assistance you can call 416-397-0330 to apply for help.
You will need to have a prescription and a cost-estimate for item(s) you need. In many cases, you must first apply for help from the Assistive Devices Program.
The Assistive Devices Program
This is a Ministry of Health and Long-term Care program that helps people with long-term physical disabilities. To find out more, call 416-327-8804 or (toll-free) 1-800-268-6021 (TTY: 1-800-387-5559).
To apply, you will need to provide certain documents. These can include a copy of your prescription from a health professional and a cost estimate for the item you need. The Ministry of Health website has the appropriate forms and applications.
The Assistive Devices Program often covers at least some of the costs of the health-related item(s) that you need. You can talk to your caseworker about help with paying for the rest of the costs.
Medical transportation While receiving social assistance you can get help with medical transportation costs if:
you have regular appointments with a doctor, dentist or other health professional, or
you are attending a drug or alcohol recovery program, and
your transportation costs are more than $15.00 per month.
You will receive transportation money based on the number of appointments you have each month. Give your caseworker a note from your doctor that shows how many appointments you have.
If you cannot take public transit because of medical reasons, your caseworker can arrange for taxi service instead. Ask your doctor to write in the note that, due to medical reasons, you need to take a taxi to your appointments. It may be appropriate for you to apply to Wheel Trans.
Medication While receiving social assistance, you will receive a monthly drug benefit card. This drug card helps pay for prescribed medication. The card comes in the mail each month with your social assistance statement.
Example of a drug benefit card:
Take your prescription and drug card when you go to the pharmacy. The drug card covers most medications. However, if you have a prescription for medication that the card does not cover, you can ask your doctor:
to prescribe a different medication that is covered, or
If a doctor refers you to physiotherapy while receiving social assistance, you can get help at government-funded clinics. When you visit the physiotherapy clinic, show your health card and your social assistance drug benefit card for the current month.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care covers the payments. For more information, call
1-800-268-1154 (TTY: 1-800-387-5559) or visit the Ministry website.
Special diet While receiving social assistance, you may be eligible for extra money if you have certain medical conditions. A Special Diet Allowance is available for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and more. Also, pregnant women and mothers who are breast-feeding can get a nutritional allowance.
To receive this help, a health professional must fill out a form for you. Ask your caseworker for the Special Diet form. These health professionals can fill it out:
Registered nurses in the Extended Class
Registered dieticians, and
Registered midwives or Traditional Aboriginal Midwives. (Midwives can only confirm special diet needs related to pregnancy or breast-feeding.)
Your caseworker will review your eligibility for Special Diet Allowance at least once every 12 months.
For more information including the Special Diet Allowance amounts, please click here.