How much could you receive? Learn the basics below and view the Ontario Works Rate Chart for additional benefits.

The amount of assistance someone can receive from Ontario Works depends on family size, housing costs and income. The Ontario Works Act and regulations set the social assistance rates.

The tables below show the maximum monthly amounts for basic needs, shelter, board and lodging.

  • Basic Needs – items such as food, clothing and personal needs
  • Shelter – housing costs such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities like gas and hydro, etc.
  • Board and Lodging – if your rent money also includes your meals

Read more about the Ontario Works program

The maximum monthly basic needs amounts are based on family size. This amount is issued whether or not you have an address.

Basic Needs Amounts

Number of children/Dependent Adults* Amount
Single Person No children $343
1 child 17 years or under $360
1 dependent adult 18 or older $623
2 children 17 years or under $360
1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or older $623
2 dependent adults 18 or older $781
Couple No children $494
1 child 17 years or under $494
1 dependent adult 18 or older $652
2 children 17 years or under $494
1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or older $652
2 dependent adults 18 or older $826

For each additional child/dependent adult:

  • add $175 if the dependent adult is 18 or older

*Dependent adults are children 18 and older.

Please Note:

Low-income families with children under 18 years of age must ensure that they have filed their income taxes to be assessed for the monthly Ontario Child Benefit

If you are receiving Ontario Works while waiting for the Ontario Child Benefit, you may be temporarily eligible for the Transition Child Benefit from Ontario Works.

Shelter allowance is based on:

  • your family size, and
  • your housing costs, up to the legislated maximum in the table below.

Housing costs can include:

  • rent
  • mortgage payments (principal and interest)
  • taxes
  • premiums for house and content insurance
  • maintenance fees for a condominium or co-operative housing unit
  • utilities (hydro)
  • heating costs

Examples:

  • A single person paying $300 in rent will receive a $300 shelter allowance.
  • A couple with one child paying $700 in rent will receive $697, the maximum shelter allowance for a family of three.

Monthly Maximum Shelter Allowance Amounts

Family Size Monthly Maximum Shelter Allowance
1 $390
2 $642
3 $697
4 $756
5 $815
6 or more $844

Some people get the Board and lodging allowance instead of the Basic needs and Shelter allowances based on their living situation. You will receive the Board and lodging allowance if your rent money also includes your meals. This is also known as paying for room and board.

The amount you receive is based on your board and lodging cost, up to the maximum rate given in the table below. In addition to this amount, you will also receive a Special allowance of $71.

Examples:

  • A single person paying $533 for room and board will receive a $533 board and lodging allowance, plus the $71 special allowance, for a total of $604.
  • A couple with one child 17 or under, paying $752 for room and board will receive the $752 board and lodging allowance, plus the $71 special allowance for a total of $823.

Board and Lodging Amounts

Number of children / dependent adults*

Maximum
Amount

Special Allowance

Total

Single Person

0

$533

$71

$604

1 child 17 years or under

$664

$735

1 dependent adult 18 or over

$752

$823

2 children 17 or under

$737

$808

1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or over

$825

$896

2 dependent adults 18 or over

$873

$944

3 children 17 years or under

$806

$877

2 children 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or over

$894

$965

2 dependent adults 18 or over, and 1 child 17 years or under

$942

$1013

3 dependent adults 18 or over

$980

$1051

Number of children / dependent adults*

Maximum
Amount

Special Allowance

Total

Couple

0

$688

$71

$759

1 child 17 years or under

$752

$823

1 dependent adult 18 or over

$790

$861

2 children 17 or under

$813

$884

1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or over

$851

$922

2 dependent adults 18 or over

$887

$958

3 children 17 years or under

$874

$945

2 children 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or over

$912

$983

2 dependent adults 18 or over, and 1 child 17 years or under

$948

$1019

3 dependent adults 18 or over

$984

$1055

For each additional child / dependent adult of a sole support parent:

  • add $69 to the maximum amount if the child is 17 years or under
  • add $120 to the maximum amount if the dependent adult is 18 or over

For each additional child / dependent adult of a two parent family:

  • add $61 to the maximum amount if the child is 17 years or under
  • add $100 to the maximum amount if the dependent adult is 18 or over

*Dependent adults are children 18 and older.