Ontario Works provides income and employment supports to people in temporary financial need. Read Applying for Ontario Works for more information.

People receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works participate in a wide range of employment assistance activities, which help them prepare for, find and keep a job. To be eligible for Ontario Works you must be:

  • A resident of Ontario
  • In immediate financial need
  • Willing to participate in employment assistance activities

The amount of money you may receive from Ontario Works will vary depending upon your circumstances, such as family size, income, assets and housing costs.

Ontario Works is an Ontario-wide program that municipalities deliver according to provincial regulations and rules. The province shares the cost of delivering OW with municipalities. This program combines income support with employment services. It has two main components:

Employment Assistance

Provides opportunities for participants to engage in a variety of activities that lead to jobs or increase employment prospects.

Financial Assistance

Includes funds to cover food, shelter, clothing and other household items for people who have no other means of support. The province sets the benefit rates.

Clients are first assessed to determine whether they are in financial need. Most people who receive Financial Assistance must participate in an Employment Assistance activity to remain eligible.