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

Ontario Works Regulations

42. (1) In this section,

“shelter” means the cost for a dwelling place used as a principal residence with respect to any of the following:

10. The cost of energy for heat.

42. (2) The following rules apply for calculating the cost of shelter:

1. Subject to section 45, determine the actual cost payable for shelter under subsection (1).

2. Determine the maximum amount payable for shelter in accordance with the following Table:

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

3. Subject to paragraph 4, the amount payable for shelter shall be the lesser of the amount determined under paragraph 1 and the maximum amount determined under paragraph 2.

4. If the cost of energy for heat exceeds the maximum amount payable for shelter under paragraph 2, the cost payable for shelter shall be the cost of energy for heat.


Shelter Allowance is calculated based on total accommodation costs (rent/mortgage, property taxes, fire insurance, fuel and utilities) up to a maximum by family size.

When home heating costs are separate from other shelter costs, a person may receive a Shelter Allowance based on total accommodation costs including utilities and fuel costs or actual fuel costs whichever is greater.

Actual fuel costs are granted when it is to a person’s benefit. A Shelter Allowance or actual fuel costs may be granted to a qualifying case but not both.

Regardless of the type of accommodation, actual fuel costs are granted instead of the Shelter Allowance when those actual costs exceed the applicable Shelter Allowance.

This includes condominiums when fuel costs are not included in the maintenance fees.

Fuel costs are treated as one component of actual accommodation costs for the calculation of Shelter Allowance.


Family of two: shelter cost $300.00 and fuel costs $650.00.

Total accommodation costs $950.00.

Maximum Shelter Allowance is $642.00.

Actual fuel costs exceed the Shelter Allowance.

Actual fuel costs ($650) are granted.