Pay Direct and Trusteeship
This section is an excerpt from the Ontario Works Act, 1997 prescribed by the Province of Ontario.
Appointment of person to act for recipient
17. (1) An administrator may appoint a person to act for a recipient 18 years of age or older if there is no guardian of property or trustee for the recipient and the administrator is satisfied that the recipient is using or is likely to use his or her assistance in a way that is not for the benefit of a member of the benefit unit.
(2) An administrator shall appoint a person to act for a recipient who is under the age of 18 years if there is no guardian of property or trustee for the recipient.
(3) An administrator may provide assistance for the benefit of a recipient to the recipient’s guardian of property or trustee or to a person appointed under subsection (1) or (2).
(4) A person to whom assistance is provided under subsection (3) is not entitled to a fee or other compensation or reward or to reimbursement for costs or expenses incurred by acting under this section, except as prescribed.
Report and account
(5) A person appointed under this section to act for a recipient shall report and account in accordance with the regulations.
Money paid to a third party
18. A portion of basic financial assistance may be provided directly to a third party on behalf of a recipient if an amount is payable by a member of the benefit unit to the third party for costs relating to basic needs or shelter, as prescribed.
Person acting for a recipient
60. (1) If one of the following bodies is appointed by the administrator to act for a recipient under section 17 of the Act, that body may receive compensation for expenses incurred and services provided in acting for the recipient:
1. The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
2. An organization or agency under contract to the delivery agent or to the Ministry to act on behalf of persons.
(2) The compensation for expenses under subsection (1) shall not be recovered from the amount of basic financial assistance payable to a recipient.
(3) A person appointed to act for a recipient shall file an annual report with the administrator accounting for the use of the basic financial assistance received on behalf of a person and shall provide such supplementary information, monthly or otherwise, including receipts, as is requested by the administrator.
(4) The administrator shall, if feasible, obtain the consent of a recipient 18 years of age or older to an appointment under section 17 of the Act, and if the recipient so requests, shall give the recipient an opportunity to suggest someone else to act for him or her or to make submissions as to why the appointment should not be made or should be discontinued.
(5) If the administrator appoints a person to act for a recipient, the administrator shall periodically inquire into the need to continue the appointment and may revoke the appointment as a result of the review.
(6) An administrator who has paid basic financial assistance for a benefit unit to a person appointed under section 17 of the Act may pay an additional amount not to exceed one month’s income assistance if the administrator is satisfied that,
(a) the person appointed under section 17 of the Act has misused the amount originally paid; and
(b) without the additional payment, the benefit unit is unable to provide for its basic needs and shelter.
Payment to a third party
61. (1) An administrator shall not pay a part of a recipient’s basic financial assistance directly to a third party under section 18 of the Act unless the administrator is satisfied that an amount is due and owing or will be due and owing to the third party by a member of the benefit unit.
(2) The administrator may pay a part of a recipient’s basic financial assistance into court or to a neutral third party pending resolution of a dispute if,
(a) the recipient asks the administrator to do so; and
(b) the administrator is satisfied that there is a reasonable dispute regarding the obligation to pay to which subsection (1) applies.
In most circumstances assistance is to be paid directly to clients. However, there may be instances where a client indicates an inability to cope with the management of his/her affairs and requires the assistance and support of another person or an agency. The provision of a trustee or direct payment to a third party may be the type of support required by the client.
Establishing a trustee or payment to a third party is intended to assist a client in managing his/her assistance when they have used or would likely use their assistance in a way that is not for their own benefit or for that of the benefit unit. A client’s entire social assistance entitlement could be paid directly to a trustee, or, a portion of the monthly entitlement paid to a third party on behalf of the client.
Pay Direct to a Trustee
When a trustee has been appointed, the client’s full entitlement is to be directed to the trustee for disbursement.
Pay Direct to a Third Party
A third party is another person/organization that receives a portion of client’s allowance. Under special circumstances third party payments are considered. These can be one-time payments to help with rental arrears or on-going payments to help with monthly shelter costs.
Special circumstances in which a payment is made to a trustee or third party include:
- the incapability of the client handling his/her own affairs,
- an existing pattern of mismanagement of funds,
- the seriousness of the situation, and the extend to which it is harmful or likely to be harmful to the health and well being of the client, and
- initial deposits required by landlords or others for rent, hydro and heating,
- instances where rent has been ordered directed to a trust account pending the resolution of a landlord and tenant dispute, and
- payment of arrears required to ensure continuation of hydro or heating service or to prevent eviction.
An Appointment of Trustee Form must be completed and on file for all clients with appointed trustee.
Establishing a trustee should be done after discussions with the client and, if possible, with the client’s consent. If possible the written consent of the recipient should be done in order to administer an allowance or portion of an allowance.
The following people and/or organizations may be considered for the appointment of being a trustee:
- family members,
- community agencies,
- religious organizations,
- banks, or
When a trustee cannot be found, the caseworker can contact the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
All trustees should be advised of the following:
- no payment or compensation is provided for trusteeship, and
- of their responsibility to maintain a record of receipts and disbursements of assistance.
Pay Direct to a Third Party
An Authorization to Make Payment Directly to the Landlord should be completed if possible and should be on file for all clients with ongoing direct payments to a third party. This form can be changed to reflect payments made to institutions such as organizations.
It is the client’s responsibility to keep the caseworker informed of any changes in their circumstances that would affect the client’s eligibility and amount of assistance being issued.