This section is an excerpt from the Ontario Works Act, 1997 prescribed by the Province of Ontario.
Agreement to reimburse and assignment
13. (1) An administrator shall in prescribed circumstances, as a condition of eligibility for basic financial assistance, require an applicant, a recipient, a dependant or a prescribed person to agree to reimburse the administrator for the assistance provided or to be provided.
(2) An agreement under subsection (1) may require an assignment, as prescribed.
(3) This section does not apply to,
(a) a payment that would be exempt as income or assets under this Act or the regulations; or
(b) that portion of employment earnings, pension income or other prescribed income that is paid with respect to a period after the period during which the person receives assistance.
Obligation to pursue resources
13. (1) If the administrator is not satisfied that a member of a benefit unit is making reasonable efforts to obtain compensation or realize a financial resource or income that the person may be entitled to or eligible for, the administrator may determine that the person is not eligible for basic financial assistance or reduce the amount of basic financial assistance granted by the amount of compensation, financial resource or income that in his or her opinion is available or would have been available had reasonable efforts been made to obtain or realize it.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1),
(a) any compensation or contribution to the support or maintenance of a member of the benefit unit that may result from an undertaking given with respect to that member under the Immigration Act (Canada) or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) is compensation or a financial resource to which the person is entitled;
(b) the proceeds of a loan guaranteed under section 8 of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act or of a loan under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act is a financial resource to which a member of a benefit unit is entitled if the member is in full-time attendance at a post-secondary institution;
(c) a retirement pension under the Canada Pension Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan that is available to a person before the month in which the person attains 65 years of age is not a financial resource to which that person is entitled; and
(d) income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 that may be available to a person is not a financial resource to which that person is entitled.
Agreements to reimburse and assignments
15. (1) If money is due and owing or may become due and owing to a member of a benefit unit that, if received, would be or would have been included as income for the purpose of calculating the income assistance payable for the benefit unit, the administrator may require, as a condition of eligibility for basic financial assistance, that the member of the benefit unit or the person authorized to act for that member agree in writing to reimburse all or any part of the assistance paid when the money becomes payable.
(2) An agreement under subsection (1) may include,
(a) a requirement to reimburse assistance paid from the date of the event giving rise to the money being due and owing or becoming due and owing;
(b) an authorization and direction to the person or agency by whom the money is payable to deduct and pay the money directly to the delivery agent; and
(c) an assignment to the delivery agent of the right to be paid the money.
(3) An authorization and direction and assignment made under this section is irrevocable.
(4) If a person who has made an agreement under subsection (1) receives money to which the agreement applies, the person shall reimburse the delivery agent in accordance with the agreement for basic financial assistance paid since the date of the event giving rise to the money being or becoming due or owing.
(5) If the amount reimbursed is attributable to a number of months, the amount reimbursed for each month shall be the lesser of,
(a) that portion of the amount received that is attributable to that month; and
(b) the amount of basic financial assistance for that month.
(6) The agreement to reimburse, the authorization and direction and the assignment may be retrospective, prospective or both.
(7) Subsection (1) applies with respect to income or capital but does not apply to money that would be exempt as income or assets for the purpose of determining eligibility for basic financial assistance.
(8) A member of a benefit unit is not ineligible for basic financial assistance solely because a person or agency failed to deduct and remit money under an authorization and direction or an assignment made under this section, unless,
(a) the failure to deduct and remit is caused by the member of the benefit unit; or
(b) the member of the benefit unit received the money from the person or agency and failed to remit it to the administrator in accordance with the agreement.
(9) For the purpose of subsection 19 (2) of the Act, the prescribed overpayment amount is the amount that would have been payable to the administrator under an agreement made under subsection (1).
15.1 (1) If an applicant or recipient or a spouse included in the benefit unit has applied for income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997, the administrator may require, as a condition of eligibility for basic financial assistance, that the member of the benefit unit or the person authorized to act for that member agree in writing to reimburse all or any part of the assistance, if, upon final disposition of the application under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997, the applicant or recipient or spouse is determined to be not eligible for income support under that Act.
(2) The amount of reimbursement required by an agreement referred in subsection (1) shall be the lesser of,
(a) the financial assistance provided to the benefit unit during the months in which the asset limit set out in subsection 38 (2) was applied to the benefit unit by virtue of the application under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997; and
(b) the value of the assets for the benefit unit that was in excess of the asset limit set out in subsection 38 (1) on the day of the final disposition of the application.)
(c) (For the purpose of subsection 19 (2) of the Act, the prescribed overpayment is the amount that would have been payable to the administrator under an agreement made under subsection (1).
As a condition of eligibility, all persons, including dependants, are expected to make reasonable efforts to realize any financial resources which they may be entitled to receive.
Assignments must be completed where there is an expectation that income is due or owing for the period of time that assistance was or will be issued.
Applicants and participants cannot choose to receive social assistance as an alternative to making reasonable efforts to pursue other financial resources. Social assistance may be refused/terminated or reduced by the amount determined to be otherwise available, (“deemed income”).
Applicants and participants who refuse to assign income are ineligible for social assistance.
The amount of assignment cannot exceed the amount of assistance granted for the same period of time.
A completed agreement to reimburse or an assignment is irrevocable.
The caseworker is to advise applicants and participants:
- to pursue all other available financial resources;
- of the requirement to assign, direct or reimburse expected income; and
- to report all income that is received or to be received.