Ontario Works

The Ontario Works office is open to those requiring in-person services; however, virtual and electronic services continue to be in place. 

Ontario Works is an Ontario-wide program that provides income support to assist with the cost of basic needs like food, clothing and shelter, as well as health benefits for people in temporary financial need.

    Assistance

    Apply for Ontario Works

    How To Apply

    Ontario Works provides income supports to people in temporary financial need.

    Ontario Works now has a centralized intake process. There are two options for applying to Ontario Works. You can apply online or by telephone.

    Applying Online: Please use the Online Application for Social Assistance found at https://www.sada.mcss.gov.on.ca/intake/OW/home-page

    Applying By phone:  Please call the Service Ontario Specialized Intake Team at 1-888-999-1142.

    Should you need immediate help the person on the phone may also direct you to other available services.

    At the time of your application, you will be asked for the following information for each family member:

    • Date of Birth
    • Social Insurance Number
    • Ontario Health Card Number
    • Address details and phone number
    • Bank account information, including branch details
    • Employment history
    • Housing information such as rent or mortgage details
    • Assets (i.e. Vehicles, RSP’s, Life Insurance, or any investments)
    • Income from earnings and other sources (i.e. child support, Canada Pension, Employment Insurance)

    If you are missing some of the requested information, please inform the Service Ontario Specialized Intake Team by calling 1-888-999-1142.

    Following Application Completion:

    Once your application has been processed through centralized intake, you will be contacted directly to arrange a meeting with an Ontario Works Case Manager from the County of Huron. 

    At this meeting, the Case Manager will verify your information to further determine your eligibility and explain how the Ontario Works program can help you. This includes discussing your rights and responsibilities.

    Eligible Applicants:

     Ontario Works Case Managers will work with eligible applicants and complete a Common Assessment and Mental Health and Addiction Screening Tool to:

    • Develop an action plan based on your current goals
    • Identify and address any barriers you might be experiencing to move you towards an employment services referral
    • Access supports in addressing barriers to an employment services referral
    • Provide available financial benefits, when appropriate
    • Address short-term and longer-term barriers
    • Refer to employment services, to work on employment related activities assisting to move towards the end goal of employment
    • Link with Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth to offer a variety of programs and services to help job seekers and employers achieve their goals.
      • To learn more about Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth and the network of service providers, visit the Providers page of their website at employmentbghs.ca/providers

     

    How To Apply For:

    Ontario Birth Certificate. Service Ontario. Online application for Ontario birth certificate or certified copy of birth registration.

    Ontario Health Card FAQs. Service Ontario. How and where to get an Ontario health card, or request changes.

    Social Insurance Number Application. Service Canada. Application for first-time, replacement card, or to request changes (i.e. name).

    Employment Assistance

    Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth

    Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth is an organization that provides a wide range of employment and training services to individuals and businesses in the region.

    Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth offers a variety of programs and services to help job seekers and employers achieve their goals, including:

    • Career coaching and counselling
    • Resume and cover letter development
    • Job search workshops
    • Job matching and placement services.
    • Apprenticeship support and training
    • On-the-job training and subsidies
    • Funding opportunities for training and education
    • Networking events and job fairs

    One of the unique features of Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth is the extensive network of service providers. The organization works with a wide range of community providers, educational institutions, and government agencies to ensure that clients have access to the best possible services and resources.

    Service providers include:

    • Conestoga College
    • Leads Employment Services
    • The Centre for Employment and Learning

    By partnering with the above organizations, Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth can offer clients a holistic approach to employment and training. Whether you need help with job search skills, upgrading your education, or accessing specialized training in a particular industry, they will connect you with the right service provider for your needs.

    To learn more about Employment Services of Bruce Grey Huron Perth and the network of service providers, visit the Providers page of the website at employmentbghs.ca/providers.

    For feedback and questions, e-mail: IntegratedEmploymentServices@brucecounty.on.ca

    Learning, Earning and Parenting (L.E.A.P.)

    Learning, Earning and Parenting is a program for young parents, ages 16 to 24. Through this program, you can work to complete your high school education, prepare for employment and improve your parenting skills. Additional supports are available to help you attend the program. Upon successful completion of LEAP, you become eligible to receive an educational bursary.

     

    Employment & Additional Benefits

    Earnings Exemptions

    If you have been in receipt of Ontario Works for three months or more, finding employment greatly increases your monthly income. A 50% exemption rate will apply to all earnings from employment. This means that if you earn $500, only 50% of the net income, will be deducted from your Ontario Works entitlement.

    Extended Employment Health Benefits

    If your income exceeds the Ontario Works rate and you no longer qualify for assistance, you may be entitled to Extended Employment Health Benefits. Anyone who exits OW due to employment may be provided health benefits for a transitional period of up to six months or until the employer offers health benefits, whichever comes first.

    Child Care Assistance

    Financial assistance may be available to help cover the cost of Home Child Care, Child Care Subsidy or municipal recreational program while eligible parents/guardians are involved in employment, job searching, education or training.

    Drug Coverage

    Drug coverage is provided each month while you are receiving income support.

    Dental and Vision Care for Children

    All children of parents who are in receipt of social assistance are eligible for basic dental and vision care.

    Diabetic and Surgical Supplies

    The cost of diabetic supplies such as blood glucose monitors, lancet, syringes and test strips, as well as various surgical supplies and dressings can be covered.

    Medical Transportation

    Costs associated with travelling to attend medical appointments can also be covered.

    Special Diet

    Where there is a special need, costs related to a special diet (as prescribed by an approved health professional) can be covered.

    Pregnancy Nutritional Item

    A monthly allowance is issued for the term of pregnancy to meet nutritional needs and assist in the healthy prenatal development of the baby.

    To find out if you are eligible or if you wish to request any of these additional benefits, please speak to your case manager. In most instances, items only need to be requested over the phone, however, on occasion you may need to provide written confirmation of the need.

    Forms

    Mandatory Special Necessities (MSN) Benefit Request. (PDF) County of Huron: Ontario Works, 2011. For Ontario Works recipients in need of medical transportation or medical supplies.

     

    Medical Travel Mileage Form. (PDF) County of Huron: Ontario Works, 2012. For Ontario Works recipients incurring travel costs to attend medical appointments.

    Financial Assistance

    Pathways to Self-Sufficiency

    Pathways to Self-Sufficiency is a program for low-income families and individuals in Huron County to prevent homelessness and provide access to financial supports.

    Assistance may include, but not limited to:

    • Hydro, Gas, Water and Sewer Arrears
    • Rental Arrears
    • Emergency dental
    • Emergency transportation
    • Eyeglasses
    • Hearing Aids
    • Layettes and baby supplies
    • Limited assistance with prosthetic item
    • Other health care items

    Do you qualify?

    Depending on your income, you may be eligible for Pathways when you are faced with a sudden change in your finances.

    How do I get help from Pathways?

    You can fill out the Pathways application form FOUND HERE.

    Feel free to reach out to Pathways by contacting Huron County Social Services and asking to speak to the Pathways Case Manager. People receiving Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) assistance should also call Huron County Social Services and speak directly to staff.

    What should I expect when I call?

    We are here to help! A Pathways staff person will take your information to see if the program can help you. They may also put you in touch with other community and government resources.

    If you have any questions or would like to know more about Pathways to Self-Sufficiency please call Huron County Social Services at 519.482.8505 ext. 4509 or Toll Free 1.888.371.5718 ext. 4509.

    Emergency Assistance

    Emergency Assistance is also available to people who are in a crisis or in an emergency situation (e.g. people who have lost their homes, are leaving an abusive relationship, and/or, are worried about their safety).

    WILOW

    What is WILOW?

    The County of Huron provides eligible Ontario Works clients and their family members with a free, confidential, short-term counselling support program for personal, family and work-related problems.

    Wellness in Life for Ontario Works (WILOW) is operated by an external provider, LifeWorks (formally Shepell). It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide immediate access to qualified professionals.

    Users are offered a variety of convenient ways to contact and chat with a professional counsellor or inquire about and book confidential appointments.

    WILOW can be used anytime you need it; for everyday challenges or more complex issues with no cost to you or your family.

    There is no cost to use WILOW. This benefit is provided to eligible Huron County Ontario Works clients and their eligible family members, spouses, partners, adult dependents and dependent children.

    Visit workhealthlife.com to learn more or to access this counselling program with LifeWorks.

    What kinds of service does WILOW offer?

    Professional counselling is provided by a wide range of confidential delivery options:

    • In-person sessions
    • Sessions over the telephone
    • Video counselling sessions
    • Online chat (First Chat) available on your computer or mobile device
    • Online written exchange (E-Counselling) where you can exchange written messages with a counsellor using a secure online portal
    • My EAP is a mobile device application to provide support anytime, anywhere
    • Self-guided information articles and information on a variety of health and wellness topics

    When you first access WILOW, you will receive help to determine which of these options is right for you based on your issue, learning style, schedule and more.

    WILOW provides you with support and information to help you with challenges including:

    • Addictions Anger management
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Self-esteem
    • Stress assessment, goal setting and action planning

    Who provides the counselling?

    This counselling support program is operated by an external provider, LifeWorks. They are fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), which uses rigorous criteria to ensure high counselling delivery standards.

    LifeWorks is the largest Canadian-based provider of Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) services.

    Is this service confidential?

    Your privacy is guaranteed. To use any of the online services there is no software to install, and all counselling sessions are hosted with fully secure data transmission and storage.

    LifeWorks encryption software and clinical practices ensure your information is protected. Users are required to enter their private login credentials each time they access E-Counselling, My EAP, Video Counselling, or the workhealthlife.com website.

    No information that would identify an individual using this service will be shared. Ontario Works will never know you or an eligible family member have accessed the counselling services unless you choose to tell them.

    Register for WILOW

    How do I register & what does it cost?

    There is no cost to use WILOW. This benefit is provided to eligible Ontario Works clients and their eligible family members spouses, partners and dependent children.

    You must be an eligible registered user in order to access WILOW. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes.

    • Step 1: Visit the website workhealthlife.com
    • Step 2: Click on the Register link in the top right corner of the screen.
    • Step 3: In the “Please tell use your organization” search field type Wellness in Life for Ontario Works. Then click the Search button.
    • Step 4: From the list of matching companies found during the search process click on the Huron County Wellness in Life for Ontario Works link.
    • Step 5: Complete the registration form. Then click the Submit button.

    Upon completing this registration you have created a profile for yourself. The next time you wish to use WILOW you can use the login link to access the available support services online.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I apply for Huron County Ontario Works?

    You can begin the application process for Ontario Works using the Online Application for Social Assistance found at https://www.sada.mcss.gov.on.ca/intake/OW/home-page or over the phone by calling 1.888.999.1142. 

    Can you tell me if my cheque has been issued?

    MyBenefits is an online service available 24/7 to Ontario residents who receive Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):

    https://mybenefits.mcss.gov.on.ca/auth/login

    With MyBenefits, you can:

    • Report income, address/shelter costs, or phone number changes
    • See past payments
    • See the overpayment balance
    • See your letters and receive email notifications when new letters are available for viewing
    • View your profile information (e.g. phone number, email, household members)

    If you have an email address on file and have your member ID you can create an account for MyBenefits.

    Creating Your Account for MyBenefits is Easy

    • Creating your account for MyBenefits is a quick and easy, two-step process.
    • Confirm your identity when you visit Ontario.ca/MyBenefits for the first time:
    • Enter your 9-digit member ID
    • Enter the email address that you have on your file and press ‘Next’
    • A message will be sent to your email with an activation link. Click the link within 30 minutes to confirm your identity.
    • This will take you back to Ontario.ca/MyBenefits, where you will be prompted to enter your date of birth to finish the process.
    • You do not need to do this step again in the future!
    • Set up your username and password to access your information. You have two choices to sign-in to your account:
    • login with an email address and password of your choice using the ‘My Ontario Login’ or,
    • you can log in with the same username and password as your online banking using ‘Securekey Concierge’
    • Follow the prompts to create your account. This is the way you will sign-in to MyBenefits for all future visits.

    Create your account now! Ontario.ca/MyBenefits

    Having trouble signing in? You can call toll free for technical help at 1.888.999.6130.

    For more information, speak with your caseworker.

     

    Who do I contact If I move, or find a job?

    If you are a recipient of Social Assistance, you must report any changes in your circumstances. This includes moving to a different residence, or starting a new job. Call your local Ontario Works office at 519.482.8505 or 1.888.371.5718 ext. 4501. Staff are available to take this information from you and answer any questions you may have.

    Why don’t I get the same amount of assistance as someone else?

    The amount of money you receive from Ontario Works will vary depending upon your circumstances, such as family size, income, assets and shelter costs, such as rent. Visit the Ontario Works office or call 519.482.8505 ext. 4501 or 1.888.371.5718 ext. 4501; the staff will be happy to explain the calculation of your assistance.

    Who do I call if I think my neighbour is committing welfare fraud?

    The Welfare Fraud Hot Line number is available for the public to report suspected cases of Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program fraud. Callers will be asked for the name and address and, if possible, the phone number of the person who may be cheating. Suspected cases may be reported by telephoning 1.800.394.7867.

    Additional FAQs about Ontario Works are available from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

    Information about the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), including FAQs about ODSP, are available from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

    Helpful Links

    Live Job Board

    The Centre for Employment and Learning live job board is an employment website that provides a list of a wide variety of jobs within Huron County:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wHa2OdbkLD-SFx6xBFV1E2z6eOUu9sYMgsWDruUIc0U/edit#gid=1765559014

    MyBenefits

    MyBenefits is an online service available 24/7 to Ontario residents who receive Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):

    https://mybenefits.mcss.gov.on.ca/auth/login

    With MyBenefits, you can:

    • Report income, address/shelter costs, or phone number changes
    • See past payments
    • See the overpayment balance
    • See your letters and receive email notifications when new letters are available for viewing
    • View your profile information (e.g. phone number, email, household members)

    If you have an email address on file and have your member ID you can create an account for MyBenefits.

    Creating Your Account for MyBenefits is Easy

    • Creating your account for MyBenefits is a quick and easy, two-step process.
    • Confirm your identity when you visit Ontario.ca/MyBenefits for the first time:
    • Enter your 9 digit member ID
    • Enter the email address that you have on your file and press ‘Next’
    • A message will be sent to your email with an activation link. Click the link within 30 minutes to confirm your identity.
    • This will take you back to Ontario.ca/MyBenefits, where you will be prompted to enter your date of birth to finish the process.
    • You do not need to do this step again in the future!
    • Set up your user name and password to access your information. You have two choices to sign-in to your account:
    • login with an email address and password of your choice using the ‘My Ontario Login’ or,
    • you can log in with the same username and password as your online banking using ‘Securekey Concierge’
    • Follow the prompts to create your account. This is the way you will sign-in to MyBenefits for all future visits.

    Create your account now! Ontario.ca/MyBenefits

    Having trouble signing in? You can call toll free for technical help at 1.888.999.6130.

    For more information, speak with your caseworker.

    Ontario 211

    Ontario 211 is a free, confidential, province-wide helpline that simplifies finding support and community services for Ontario residents and an online database of services in Ontario:

    211ontario.ca

    Rental Search

    The following rental search links will help you in finding a rental unit:

    County of Huron Housing Services

    Housing Services provide a range of funding support services to provide affordable housing options throughout the County of Huron:

    www.huroncounty.ca/social-services/housing

    Contact Information

    Should you have any questions or concerns relating to any aspect of Ontario Works, please contact:

    Huron County Ontario Works
    77722D London Road, RR 5
    Clinton, Ontario N0M 1L0 (Get directions)

    Phone: 519.482.8505
    Toll Free: 1.888.371.5718
    Fax: 519.482.1632

    Email: OWTeam501@huroncounty.ca

    Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.