This section is an excerpt from the Ontario Works Act, 1997 prescribed by the Province of Ontario.

Ontario Works Act


2. In this Act,

“applicant” means a person who applies for basic financial assistance or on whose behalf such an application is made;

“benefit unit” means a person and all of his or her dependants on behalf of whom the person applies for or receives basic financial assistance;

OW Regs


1. (1) For the purposes of the Act and the regulations,

“participant”, with respect to employment assistance, means a member of the benefit unit of a recipient of income assistance but does not include,

(a) a dependent child who is pre-school age or attending school, or

(b) a person who receives only temporary care assistance;


An applicant is a person who applies for assistance for the first time, a person who previously received assistance and is now re-applying, or a person on whose behalf such an application is made, i.e. prior to the granting or refusal of the application. The applicant may be a single person or the head of a family/benefit unit comprised of the applicant, spouse, and or dependant(s).

A participant is a recipient, spouse or dependent adult who meets Ontario Works participation requirements and includes a person whose requirements may be deferred.

All applicants and participants must be advised of the requirements used to determine eligibility which include: reviewing current budgetary needs, income, assets, employment activities (full-time or part-time employment), education and training programs, and any current volunteer activities.

Requirements for Ontario Works are designed to support an active delivery system that focuses on participation. The applicant and participant must be advised of the range of activities available under Ontario Works to support his or her employment plan.