Ontario Works Payment Dates and Benefits Application (2021)

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by Enoch Omololu

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Ontario Works is one of the main pillars of social assistance and welfare payments in the province of Ontario.

If you need financial support to pay for basic needs, this benefit can help and is disbursed through the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services.

Depending on your circumstances, social assistance is also available through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

This article covers Ontario Works payment dates in 2021, how to apply, and how much you can expect in OW benefits.

Ontario Works Payment Dates 2021

Ontario Works payments are issued monthly and are paid on the last business day of the previous month.

For 2021, the payment dates are:

Benefit MonthPayment Date
JanuaryDecember 31, 2020
FebruaryJanuary 29, 2021
MarchFebruary 26, 2021
AprilMarch 31, 2021
MayApril 30, 2021
JuneMay 31, 2021
JulyJune 30, 2021
AugustJuly 30, 2021
SeptemberAugust 31, 2021
OctoberSeptember 30, 2021
NovemberOctober 29, 2021
DecemberNovember 30, 2021

You can receive your payment through direct deposit (faster option), cheque, or on a reloadable payment card.

These payment dates are the same for ODSP and Ontario Trillium benefits.

Ontario Works Benefits

Ontario Works provides eligible Ontarians who are in financial difficulties with money to pay for food, housing, and clothing.

The program also assists them in finding a job.

Ontario Works Financial Assistance

If you meet the eligibility requirements (discussed later below), you receive temporary monthly income support to pay your bills. How much you get is dependent on your family size, income, and the costs of basic necessities.

In addition to this monthly financial assistance, Ontario Works recipients may also qualify for health benefits and coverage for:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Eye exams and vision care
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Medical travel and transportation services
  • Assistive devices
  • Extended health benefits
  • Guide dogs
  • Special diets

Ontario Works Employment Assistance

The program assists you with finding a job by giving you access to job-specific training, counselling, employment workshops, job placements, and more.

In order to receive financial assistance, you must agree to participate in “employment assistance activities” that will help you find a job.

After finding a job, you may be eligible to receive money to cover childcare, training, and employment-related costs.

After leaving Ontario Works, you may still qualify for extended health and prescription drug coverage, and employment related expenses.

Related: Ontario Child Benefits.

Who is Eligible for Ontario Works?

To qualify for Ontario Works, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Live in Ontario
  • Be in financial need and lack the resources to pay for basic needs
  • Be willing to look for a job unless medical or special reasons prevent you from doing so.

How To Apply For Ontario Works

You can apply for Ontario Works benefits online.

To complete the 20-30 minutes application, you will need to provide your social insurance numbers (SIN), banking information, and details from your Ontario health insurance plan, tax returns, pay stubs, birth certificates, and immigration papers (if applicable).

After submitting your application, a caseworker will contact you to review your information and request additional documentation, if needed.

You can also apply by calling 416-338-8888 or 1-888-465-4478 (toll-free) or 416-392-2823 (TTY) from 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

If your application is denied, you can request an internal review within 30 days of receiving the decision. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you can make an appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.

Ontario Works Benefit Amounts

The amount of Ontario Works benefit you receive depends on your family size, income, assets, and shelter costs.

The amount payable for basic needs is as follows:

Number of Children or Dependent AdultsSingle PersonCouple
0 children$343$494
1 child aged 17 or under$360$494
1 dependent adult aged 18 or older$623$652
2 children aged 17 or under$360$494
1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or older$623$652
2 dependent adults aged 18 or older$781$826

For each additional child or dependent adult, the monthly basic needs amount is increased by $175.

A shelter benefit can cover your rent, mortgage payments, taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, and other eligible housing costs.

The maximum monthly shelter amounts are:

Family SizeMaximum Monthly Shelter Allowance
1$390
2$642
3$697
4$756
5$815
6+$844

Depending on your living situation, you may qualify for a board and lodging allowance (instead of basic needs and shelter). The rates for board and lodging are:

ontario works board and lodging
Source: mcss.gov.on.ca.

A special boarder allowance of $71 is paid in addition to the amounts above.

You are required to report your income earnings every month while receiving financial assistance.

The first $200 in earnings per month is exempt. For every additional $1 earned, $0.50 is clawed back from your payment.

FAQs

What day does Ontario Works get deposited?

Ontario Works welfare payments are paid by direct deposit on the last business day of the month. Cheques sent by mail may arrive on different dates depending on Canada Post. Your cheque is dated on the same day that direct deposit payments occur.

How much money do you get on welfare in Ontario?

The maximum benefit paid to cover basic needs and shelter in 2021 is $733 per month.

Related:

Have a question about Ontario Works? Let us know in the comments.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

2 thoughts on “Ontario Works Payment Dates and Benefits Application (2021)”

  1. Hi
    I am single mom of five children under the age of 17 and I do not have a job. I applied to Ontario Works and my application was accepted, but unfortunately the amount I received from them for myself and my children is only $1,200 per month, knowing that this amount is not even enough to pay the house bills except for food. I do not know the reason for reducing the amount provided to me, knowing I had big family . I don’t know what can I do.Thanks

    Reply
    • @Nisreen: I think it would be best to contact Ontario Works so they can take a look at your file. You can try reaching them by calling 416-338-8888 or 1-888-465-4478 (toll-free) or 416-392-2823 (TTY).

      Reply
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