Important Message to Ontario Works Participants
In the event of a postal disruption, the City will make special arrangements
to ensure that the delivery of cheques will not be affected.
Please remember that you may drop off information at one of the following six
drop boxes in the community:
- Market Tower
- Glen Cairn Resource Centre
- South London Community Centre
- Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre
- North London Optimist Community Centre
- Canada Games Aquatic Centre
We strongly encourage you to consider having your Ontario Works payment
deposited directly into your bank account. Your bank can provide you with the
direct deposit information, which you should submit to your caseworker as
quickly as possible.
What is Ontario Works
The City of London, Department of Community Services manages and delivers the provincial Ontario Works program in London. The Ontario Disability Support Program is administered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The following information is for Ontario Works only.
The Ontario Works Program was implemented in London in July 1997. It is a mandatory program whose purpose is to make social assistance clients more employable and to actively support their efforts to prepare for, find and keep employment. It also provides basic financial assistance. The Ontario Works program is guided by the following principles:
- Assist individuals to plan, choose and follow the most effective route to employment or self-sufficiency.
- Maximize choice, independence and responsibility for both individuals and organizations.
- Provide services according to need from a full range of supports, applying resources where they provide the most benefit.
- Support an effective and efficient network that assists individuals to achieve key program outcomes (e.g. increase earnings, decrease costs).
- Include participating organizations that support the achievement of individual plans, are opportunity-focused, work together effectively with other partners, provide open communication and share appropriate information for tracking referrals and monitoring progress.
- Maintain an active and ongoing planning and evaluation component.
- Identify the skills required for recipients to obtain paid employment in the private sector and promote and market recipients in the private sector.
Key ingredients in Ontario Works are:
- Honour client choice
- No job loss
- Local model of delivery is critical
- Support the vulnerable
- Respect agency autonomy
- Move people to real jobs
- Meaningful placements
- Maintaining benefits
- Protecting benefits if no opportunities available
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How Do I Apply for Ontario Works Assistance?
There are two options for applying to Ontario Works. You can apply online
or by telephone.
To apply online click on the link,
To apply by telephone, call 519-661-4520 and Press 3, Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Before applying online or by phone, you will need the following information for you and all family members for whom you are applying for benefits. If you are missing some of the requested information, please inform the Intake Caseworker who answers your call.
- Date(s) of birth
- Health cards and social insurance numbers
- Address, postal code and telephone number
- Banking information such as account balances and branch details
- Housing information such as landlord name, rental or boarding agreement or leases, mortgage details and contact numbers
- A list of assets such as your house, car or any investments
- All other sources of income such as child support payments or Canada Pension
- Employment history - include past and current employer names, contact numbers and employment details
Now you are ready to
apply for Ontario Works at
or by calling 519-661-4520, Press 3.
To complete the application process, you will be asked to attend a meeting at
an Ontario Works office. A Caseworker will verify all of your information.
He or she will determine your eligibility and will explain how the Ontario Works program can help
you. This includes discussing your rights and responsibilities and working with you on your future plans.
The person on the phone may also direct you to other services for immediate help.
During the application meeting, the Caseworker will need to see documents to
complete the application for assistance. Please look for the document
below that describes your type of applications and make sure that you bring all
the necessary information with you.
Application for Ontario Works (pdf)
Application for Temporary Care Assistance (pdf)
Application for Discretionary Benefits (pdf)
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Rights and Responsibilities
You have a right to an interview and you can have anyone with you. This person can be anyone you would like to have there.
You have a right to be informed of any decision we make regarding eligibility or amount of assistance in writing.
If you do not agree with a decision that we make you have the right to appeal this decision. In order to do so you must ask for an internal review.
Attend periodic interviews with your worker.
Respond promptly if you receive a message or a notice from your worker.
Report any absence from Ontario in excess of 7 days.
You need to be looking for work or participating unless you have approval to not participate for a temporary period of time.
If you are participating you must record your participation (i.e. job search records).
Keep all your receipts and statements (i.e. bank statements, rent receipts).
Obtain all available income and report it.
Report your living arrangements and any changes.
Report all your assets (i.e. if you open or close a bank account).
Repay all overpayments you may have even after you leave Ontario Works.
Follow the rules of Ontario Works including honest reporting of anything that would affect your eligibility.
Ontario Works consists of two forms of assistance: Basic Financial Assistance and Employment Assistance.
Basic Financial Assistance includes assistance provided for the purpose of basic needs (i.e. food) and shelter. In addition to Basic Financial Assistance and a monthly drug card, participants may be eligible for the following benefits:
- Advanced Age Item
- Child Care Expenses
- Community Start Up Benefits
- Dental Care
- Discretionary Benefits
- Employment Assistance Expenses (i.e. bus pass)
- Employment Start Up Benefit
- Special Diets
- Special Necessities
- Temporary Care Assistance
- Vision Care
Employment Assistance assists people to become and stayed employed. It includes:
- Job Search
- Job Search Support Services
- Basic Education
- Employment Placement
- Job Specific Skills Training
- Support to Self Employment
- Substance Abuse Recovery Programs
- Community Participation
- Learning, Earning and Parenting
Additional funds may be provided to assist with any related participation expenses while you are involved in approved Ontario Works activities.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System
Our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone system can provide you with some automated information that you would normally get from your caseworker. It is available during and outside regular business hours and is easy to use.
Step One: Call 1-800-808-2268
Step Two: Enter your nine digit Member ID number and your four digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Step Three: Use the telephone options to get information about your file (such as when the last cheque was issued) or general information
about social assistance.
Within 2-3 weeks of receiving your first cheque you will receive two separate letters containing these personal numbers. DO NOT share these numbers with anyone.
If you lose your Member ID Number or Personal Identification Number, the IVR Help Desk Attendant can help you.
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Under 18 Applications
A person must be 18 years of age or older to qualify for assistance in his/her own right. However, if
special circumstances exist (e.g. a 16 year old is being abused at home) AND the person is attending school, an 'Under 18' may be able to qualify for Ontario Works. As well, 'Under 18s' must have a guardian or trustee in order to qualify for Ontario Works. The Department cannot pay the benefits directly to the Under 18 person.
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Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) Program
The LEAP program encourages young parents to:
- complete their grade 12 education,
- learn effective parenting skills, and
- find and maintain work.
The LEAP program is for young parents who are:
- 21 years of age or younger
- receiving Ontario Works assistance or Ontario Disability Support Program assistance, and
- have less than grade 12.
The LEAP program can offer:
- financial assistance with school activities,
- free planned parenting activities,
- subsidized child care,
- help with transportation costs, and
- a $500 incentive upon graduation.
For more information about the LEAP program call
Ontario Works Employment Supports at 519-661-5304.
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to clients and low income Londoners
Child Care Subsidy Program
The City of London Department of Community Services provides eligible parents with financial help for child care costs under the Provincial Day Nurseries Act and the Child Care Policy of City Council. The City buys child care services for infants, toddler and preschool children from child care centres and agencies throughout the city. All centres and agencies are licensed by the Provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services. Parents choose the child care centre that they want their child to attend.
Eligibility for subsidy is determined through a "needs test" using criteria set by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the City of London. Applications are available at the child care centres or by phoning 519-661-4834.
This program provides financial assistance towards the cost of special items of extreme need such as eye glasses, emergency dental, dentures, prosthetics, and funerals. Discretionary Benefits is available to social assistance recipients including Ontario Works clients and Ontario Disability Support Program clients. Discretionary Benefits may also be available to low income applicants or applicants in receipt of Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security or Guaranteed Annual Income Supplement. In some cases a "financial needs test" will be required to determine eligibility.
The Family Support Worker assists Ontario Works participants in getting financial support for themselves and their children through support orders and agreements. When you receive financial assistance from Ontario Works, you are required to try and get support - either through an agreement or a court order.
Family Support staff will assist you in searching for the absent parent, obtaining an agreement (out of court), obtaining court orders for support and increasing your current level of support payments. Please contact our Family Support Worker if you have any questions.
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For more information please contact:
519-661-4520 Press 3
Child Care Subsidy Program
Social Research and Planning
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