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Ontario|Government & Justice System
Government & Justice System
717 Social Assistance and disability benefits
- Ontario social assistance programsThe Ontario Government administers social assistance programs that provide financial support to people without an income because they are single parents caring for young children, they cannot find work, or they are disabled. There have been recent changes to these programs that affect who is eligible to receive benefits and what programs have been replaced by Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, referred to as the ODSPA. Ontario Works is administered by your local municipality and the ODSPA is administered by the Province. If you were receiving Family Benefits or had submitted a complete application for family benefits before May 31, 1998, your case may, over time, come under the new laws.
- Ontario Works programThe Ontario Works program provides financial support to employable people and in most cases requires recipients to participate in a work or training program in order to keep receiving benefits. If you are a single parent with children under the age of 6 years old, you are normally exempt from the work component of Ontario Works.
There are three main types of work programs that recipients must participate in: first, volunteer work for a community organization; second, employment training programs to prepare recipients for the work force; or third, a work placement. Once you apply for benefits, you will be assessed and placed in one of these work programs.
- Applying for Ontario Works benefitsTo apply for Ontario Works benefits, you should call the nearest social assistance office and ask to speak with an intake worker. The intake worker will assess your situation and arrange an appointment to finalize your application at their office.
- Ontario Disability Support ProgramPeople who are considered disabled according to the government's definition, can receive financial support through the Ontario Disability Support Program. In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must complete the application process, which includes medical examinations.
To apply for benefits, call the nearest Ontario Disability Support Program office. Although it normally takes up to six months to begin receiving benefits, you will probably be eligible to receive Ontario Works benefits during this six month waiting period. If you apply for Ontario Works benefits, you can request that your case worker also process your application for disability benefits at the same time.
- Benefit amountsThe amount of benefits you are eligible to receive will depend on your marital status and the number of children you support. Generally, a single person receiving Ontario Works benefits can receive up to a maximum of $520 per month. For a single person receiving Disability benefits, the maximum is normally $930 per month. For additional information about social assistance programs you can contact the nearest Social Assistance office listed in the Blue pages of your telephone book.