Ontario Works (OW) Rate Chart

Legislation

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

Ontario Works Regulations

Benefits

55. (1) The following benefits shall be paid with respect to each of the members of a recipient’s benefit unit if the administrator is satisfied that he or she meets the criteria for them and income assistance is being paid on his or her behalf:

Health Benefits

1. An amount for health benefits equal to the sum of,

i. the cost for drugs prescribed for members of the benefit unit by an approved health professional, not including the co-payment that a member of the benefit unit is charged under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, if those drugs have been approved by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and purchased from a dispensary during any month in which the person requiring the drugs is a member of the benefit unit,

ii. the cost of vision items and services, other than a periodic oculo-visual assessment as referred to in paragraph 1.1, for members of the benefit unit who are younger than 18 years of age and for children on whose behalf temporary care assistance is provided pursuant to section 57, if those items and services and that cost have been approved by the Minister,

ii. 1 the cost of dental services for,

A. in the case of a recipient who is resident in a territory that is designated as a geographic area under section 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 or 2.6 of Ontario Regulation 136/98 (Designation of Geographic Areas and Delivery Agents) made under the Act, members of the recipient’s benefit unit who are younger than 18 years of age, if those services and that cost have been approved by the Minister, and

B. children who are resident in a territory referred to in subsubparagraph A and on whose behalf temporary care assistance is provided pursuant to section 57, if those services and that cost have been approved by the Minister,

iii. the cost of diabetic supplies and surgical supplies and dressings for members of the benefit unit, if the cost of the item is not otherwise reimbursed or subject to reimbursement,

iii. the cost of transportation that is reasonably required in any month for medical treatment for members of the benefit unit and that is not otherwise reimbursed or subject to reimbursement, if the cost of that transportation in the month is $15 or more,

iv. the amount a member of the benefit unit is required to pay for the consumer contribution for an assistive device under the Assistive Devices Program administered by the Ministry of Health, up to the amount approved under that program,

v. if an assessment is required to determine eligibility for an assistive device under that program and there is no other source of funding for the assessment, the amount determined by the administrator, and

vi. the cost of batteries and necessary repairs for mobility devices used by a member of the benefit unit if the cost of batteries and repairs is not otherwise reimbursed or subject to reimbursement.

1.1 Subject to subsection (1.0.0.1), an amount equal to $39.15 for a periodic oculo-visual assessment for every member of the benefit unit once every 24 months.

Click for more information regarding health benefits (Client Special Services Guidelines) and transportation for medical purposes.

 

Note: Effective January 1, 2016 dental benefits for dependent children aged 17 and under will be provided through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. Dependent children whose Ontario Works is being provided by a First Nations Ontario Works delivery partner will continue to have access to mandatory dental benefits under Ontario Works until December 31, 2016.

 

2. Revoked.

3. Revoked.

Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit

This legislation has been revoked effective January 1, 2013. Please see the Housing Stabilization Fund.

Guide Dog

55. (1) The following benefits shall be paid with respect to each of the members of a recipient’s benefit unit if the administrator is satisfied that he or she meets the criteria for them and income assistance is being paid on his or her behalf

5. If a member of the benefit unit has a guide dog, an amount not exceeding $80 for the care of the guide dog.

Click for more information regarding Guide Dog Benefit.

 

Full-Time Employment Benefit

5.1 Subject to subsection (1.0.3), if a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit or a dependent adult begins full-time employment, an amount determined by the administrator for expenses approved by the administrator and reasonably necessary for the person to begin the full-time employment, up to a maximum in any 12-month period with respect to any one person of $500.

Read a summary of the Full-Time Employment Benefit and how to apply

Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit

6. Subject to subsection (1.0.4), if a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit, a dependent adult who is not attending secondary school full time or a dependent child who has received an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or its equivalent begins or changes employment or begins an employment assistance activity, an amount determined by the administrator for expenses approved by the administrator and reasonably necessary for the person to begin the new employment or activity, up to a maximum in any 12-month period with respect to any one person of $253.

Read a summary of the Employment Assistance Activities Benefit and how to apply

Up Front Child Care

7. If a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit or a dependent adult who is not attending school full time begins or changes employment or begins an employment assistance activity and, in the opinion of the administrator, the person is required to pay in advance for child care that is reasonably necessary to permit the person to begin the new employment or activity, an amount determined by the administrator, up to a maximum in any 12-month period of the amount that the person would be entitled to as a deduction for child care under section 49.

i. a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit, a dependent adult or a dependent child,

A. begins, changes or maintains employment, or

B. begins, changes or maintains an employment assistance activity under the Act, and

ii. in the opinion of the administrator, the person is required to pay in advance for child care that is reasonably necessary to permit the person to begin, change or maintain his or her employment or activity.

(1.0.0.1) An amount under paragraph 1.1 of subsection (1) is only payable if,

(a) the member of the benefit unit has not had a periodic oculo-visual assessment or a major eye examination within the preceding 24 months; and

(b) the member of the benefit unit is not entitled to payment on his or her behalf for the periodic oculo-visual assessment or the major eye examination under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan established under the Health Insurance Act.

(1.0.1) Revoked.

(1.0.2) In paragraph 5.1 of subsection (1),

“full-time employment” means 30 hours or more of paid employment per week.

(1.0.3) A recipient is not eligible for a benefit under paragraph 5.1 unless the recipient has received income assistance for a period of at least three months.

(1.0.4) A benefit shall not be paid under paragraph 6 of subsection (1) in the case of a recipient, spouse or dependent adult who begins full-time employment if an amount is payable under paragraph 5.1 of subsection (1) in respect of that same event.

(1.1) Despite paragraph 6 of subsection (1), the maximum amount payable under that paragraph shall be reduced by any amount paid under paragraph 6 of subsection 44 (1) of Ontario Regulation 222/98 (General) within the applicable 12-month period.

(1.2) Despite paragraph 7 of subsection (1), the maximum amount payable under that paragraph shall be reduced by any amount paid under paragraph 7 of subsection 44 (1) of Ontario Regulation 222/98 (General) within the applicable 12-month period.

(2) The amount paid under paragraph 7 of subsection (1) shall not constitute reimbursement for child care expenses for the purpose of determining deductions from income under section 49.

Click for more information regarding Child Care Start-Up Costs.

 

(4) If, as a result of section 33, income assistance is not being paid on behalf of a member of a benefit unit for a period determined under subsection 33 (2), (3) or

(4.1), the benefit set out in subparagraph 1 i of subsection (1) shall be paid with respect to the member during that period, if the administrator is satisfied that the member meets the criteria set out in that subparagraph and requires the drugs referred to in that subparagraph for a serious illness or serious health condition.

(5) In this section,

“major eye examination”,

(a) has the same meaning as a major eye examination as described in the document entitled “Schedule of Benefits for Optometry Services (November 1, 2004)”, published by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and available from that Ministry, when the examination is performed by an optometrist, or

(b) has the same meaning as a major eye examination as described in the document entitled “Schedule of Benefits – Physician Services under the Health Insurance Act (July 1, 2003)”, including amendments made on and before December 1, 2004, published by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and available from that Ministry, when the examination is performed by a physician; (“examen de la vue majeur”)

“periodic oculo-visual assessment”,

(a) has the same meaning as a periodic oculo-visual assessment as described in the document entitled “Schedule of Benefits for Optometry Services (November 1, 2004)”, published by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and available from that Ministry, when the assessment is performed by an optometrist, or

(b) has the same meaning as a periodic oculo-visual assessment as described in the document entitled “Schedule of Benefits – Physician Services under the Health Insurance Act (July 1, 2003)”, including amendments made on and before December 1, 2004, published by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and available from that Ministry, when the assessment is performed by a physician. (“bilan oculo-visuel périodique”)

Transition Child Benefit

58.3 (1) A recipient who has one or more dependent children shall be paid a monthly transition child benefit under this section in respect of each dependent child who meets one of the following criteria:

1. A child in respect of whom neither the recipient nor his or her spouse, included in the benefit unit, is in receipt of any amount of the Ontario child benefit under section 8.6.2 of the Income Tax Act or any amount in respect of item “C” in the formula set out in subsection 122.61 (1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

2. A child in respect of whom the recipient or his or her spouse, included in the benefit unit,

(i) is receiving less than the maximum amount of the Ontario child benefit under section 8.6.2 of the Income Tax Act and any amount in respect of item “C” in the formula set out in subsection 122.61 (1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or

(ii) is receiving one of the following, but is not receiving the other:

A. any amount of the Ontario child benefit under section 8.6.2 of the Income Tax Act,

B. any amount in respect of item “C&” in the formula set out in subsection 122.61 (1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

(2) The amount of a transition child benefit to be paid in respect of a dependent child shall be determined in accordance with the following rules:

1. With respect to dependent children to whom paragraph 1 of subsection (1) applies, the transition child benefit is $230 for each child.

2. With respect to dependent children to whom paragraph 2 of subsection (1) applies, the transition child benefit is calculated as follows:

A = ($230 × B) – (C + D)

where,

A = the monthly amount of the transition child benefit,
B = the number of dependent children to whom paragraph 2 of subsection (1) applies,
C = the total monthly payment with respect to dependent children to whom paragraph 2 of subsection (1) applies under section 8.6.2 of the Income Tax Act, and
D = the total monthly payment with respect to dependent children to whom paragraph 2 of subsection (1) applies that represents item “C” in the formula set out in subsection 122.61 (1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) as decreased by the sum of $43.75 for the first dependent child, $41.99 for the second dependent child and $41.41 for each additional dependent child.

(3) A recipient whose budgetary requirements are determined under subsection 43 (2), 44 (2) or 44.1 (2) or (3) is not eligible to be paid a transition child benefit under this section for his or her dependent child or children.

(4) Where a recipient or spouse included in the benefit unit receives, or a determination has been made that he or she is eligible to receive, the Canada Child Tax Benefit under section 122.61 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) for six months over a 12-month period in respect of a dependent child (shared eligibility for the Canada Child Tax Benefit), the transition child benefit in respect of that child shall be calculated and paid under this section only for the six months during which the recipient or spouse receives or is determined eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit. O. Reg. 226/08, s. 7.

(5) For greater certainty, where subsection (4) applies, the recipient is not eligible for the transition child benefit in respect of a dependent child for the period during which another person outside the benefit unit is receiving or is determined eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit in respect of that child.

(6) The transition child benefit shall be reduced by 50 per cent where there has been a determination under subclause 2 (3) (c) (ii) that the recipient or spouse included in the benefit unit is a parent who shares physical custody of a dependent child on an approximately equal basis in a month.

Read a summary of the Transition Child Benefit and how to apply

Discretionary Benefits

59. (1) A delivery agent may pay or provide one or more of the benefits set out in subsection (2) to or on behalf of a person referred to in section 8 of the Act in the amount determined by the administrator.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the benefits are the following:

1. The cost of dental services.

2. The cost of one or more prosthetic appliances, including eye-glasses.

3. The cost of vocational training and retraining.

4. The cost of travel and transportation.

5. The cost of moving.

6. The cost of a funeral and burial and the extraordinary costs of transporting a deceased person.

7. Any other special service, item or payment in addition to those set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 authorized by the Director.

(3) An application for discretionary benefits shall be in the form and manner approved by the Director and shall be made to the administrator for the geographic area where the applicant resides.

(4) Beneficiaries under the Family Benefits Act and children on whose behalf financial assistance is provided under section 49 of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 are prescribed classes for the purpose of clause 8 (c) of the Ontario Works Act, 1997.

(4.1) Children on behalf of whom temporary care assistance is provided are a prescribed class of persons for the purpose of clause 8 (c) of the Act.

(5) Ontario or a delivery agent is entitled to recover amounts paid under paragraph 6 of subsection (2) from the persons or organizations liable for the payment of those costs.

Highlights

An application for assistance is deemed an application for benefits. Eligibility for benefits is determined in accordance with the Act and Regulations. The provision of benefits is made to meet the budgetary requirements of the participant for items not covered under income assistance (basic needs and shelter). Benefits may be provided as mandatory items or discretionary benefits as determined by the legislation.

Mandatory Benefits of OW

Eligible participants are entitled to receive mandatory benefits including the following:

Discretionary Benefits of OW

Discretionary benefits can only be granted to persons in receipt of OW or Ontario Disability Support Program. the issuance of these benefits is discretionary with eligibility criteria and procedures for each benefit. The caseworker must discuss any requests for an item not defined as a discretionary benefit in OW Regulation 59 with a Supervisor, Direct Program (SDP), and the benefit can only be authorized with the SDP’s approval.

The items granted as discretionary benefits by Employment and Social Services are:

Employment and Social Services grants equivalent benefits to vocational training and retraining, travel and transportation.

Legislation allows for the provision of other special services, items or payments which are health-related where if they were not provided, it would result in a detriment to the health of the participant or a member of the benefit unit.

These discretionary health-related benefits are cost-shared 80/20.