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

Ontario Works Regulations

Application signed and complete

20. (1) An application for basic financial assistance and all accompanying forms shall be signed by the applicant and the applicant’s spouse included in the benefit unit.

(2) The application and all accompanying forms shall also be signed by other dependants if the administrator so requests.

(3) The application is not complete until,

(a) the application and all accompanying forms, agreements and consents have been completed and signed and have been provided, together with any required verification of information, to the administrator; and

(b) if required by the administrator under subsection 17 (3), the applicant, his or her spouse included in the benefit unit and his or her dependent adult have attended an employment information session.

(4) A responsible person may make an application on behalf of an applicant or sign an application on behalf of an applicant or the spouse of an applicant if the applicant or spouse is unable to make or sign the application by reason of disability.

Enquiry into circumstances RE: Basic Financial Assistance

22. In determining the eligibility of an applicant who applies for basic financial assistance, the administrator shall make or cause to be made an enquiry into the living conditions and the financial, employment and other circumstances of the members of the benefit unit.


Calculation of Assistance

General rule

40. (1) The amount of income assistance for a benefit unit shall be calculated on a monthly basis by determining the budgetary requirements of the benefit unit in accordance with sections 41 to 44.1, reducing that amount in accordance with sections 45 to 47.2 and subtracting from that amount the income of the benefit unit, determined in accordance with sections 48 to 54.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the budgetary requirements for a recipient in the month in which falls the recipient’s effective date for eligibility, as determined by the administrator under section 25 of the Act,

(a) with respect to shelter, shall be deemed to be the lesser of,

i.the amount the administrator has determined for one full month’s shelter cost, and
ii.the amount of the recipient’s actual shelter costs that remain unpaid on the effective date; and

(b) with respect to basic needs, shall be prorated based on the number of days remaining in the month beginning with the effective date.

Calculating income – General rule

48. (1) Subject to sections 49 to 54, income shall be determined for a month by adding the total amount of all payments of any nature paid to or on behalf of or for the benefit of every member of the benefit unit during the period determined by the Director.

(4) Despite subsection (1), if the budgetary requirements of an applicant or recipient are calculated under subsection 44 (2), income shall include the total amount of all payments of any nature paid to or on behalf of or for the benefit of any dependants of the dependant.


Ontario Works (OW) provides employment assistance and temporary financial assistance for people in financial need.

Financial assistance is determined by budgetary need and as such, income must be deduced from the budgetary requirements of the applicant and his or her benefit unit. Eligibility for financial assistance and the amount payable to applicant or participant who reports and or has income is determined in accordance with the OW Act and Regulations. The budgetary requirements of the applicant, including dependants, are calculated using the legislated tables with consideration given to any liquid assets or income.

Eligibility for assistance is determined following the completion of appropriate documentation.

Assistance may be provided on a temporary basis pending further investigation and/or documentation of financial need.