Ontario Works

Apply for Ontario Works

Assistance through Ontario Works

Updated June 5, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, current Ontario Works clients will continue to receive their scheduled payments. Clients can access Ontario Works COVID-19 key information from the Ontario government.

Individuals may continue to apply for income assistance and emergency assistance through the Online Application for Social Assistance (OASA) or by calling the City of Hamilton Ontario Works office at 905-546-4800.

To access information about your OW case, report income and change your address online, visit ontario.ca/MyBenefits.

These additional funding and supports are also available during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Ontario Works recipients who have additional expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak and who do not currently receive Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) income (with some exceptions) are eligible for monthly payments of $100 for a single person or $200 for a family until July 2020. Families with a youth under 18 receiving CERB or a family member in full-time school attendance receiving CERB may still be eligible for the benefit. If you received the emergency benefit in March or April and meet eligibility criteria, you will automatically receive the benefit in May, June and July. For new requests, contact your Case Manager or the City’s Ontario Works office at 905-546-4800 with your name, member ID and your additional expenses. 

Examples of these expenses include:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for hospital or clinic visits, e.g. for dialysis, doctors’ appointments for an ongoing health related issue
  • Cleaning supplies for those who have a family member diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Delivery costs for food, medical or other essential supplies for recipients or families who are self-isolated or quarantined
  • Travel costs (e.g. taxi) to pick up food staples, medical or other essential supplies for recipients who are avoiding public transit

The benefit will be provided based on specified needs identified by the client.  

Emergency assistance is available to individuals who have lost their job and/or are in urgent need of financial help because of COVID-19. Individuals who do not already receive support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can apply for emergency assistance online or call the City’s Ontario Works office at 905-546-4800 to request an application.

Individuals who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Please do not contact Ontario Works to apply for the CERB. For information on eligibility or to apply, visit Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

There are many types of financial support available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19. A COVID-19 Virtual Assistant is available online to help you find more information on what financial supports are there for you from the Government of Canada.

Learn more about Financial Supports for Individuals

Helpful Links:

Ontario Works provides temporary financial and employment assistance, also known as social assistance, for people who are in financial need. 

How to apply

Step 1: Documentation

You will need information from a number of documents to complete an application. It's a good idea to get these documents together before you start. Review list of documents you will need to complete the online application

Application options

Apply online

Service available 24 hours, 7 days a week, in English or French.
Eligibility may take 15 minutes and another 20 to 30 minutes for the application. You will receive a call within three business days to book an in-office appointment.

Please call our office within three days of completing the application If you do not:

  • receive a confirmation number once you have submitted your online application
  • provide a phone number with your application

You can reach us at 905-546-4800 and press option 3 when prompted.

Apply by phone

Please call our office at 905-546-4800 and press option 3. Service available Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, in English or French.

Step 2: In-office appointment to verify application

An in-office appointment is necessary to complete the application process. During the appointment, you will be expected to provide required information, complete and sign the application and all accompanying forms. You will need to bring your spouse (if you have one) and any children who are 18 or older to the appointment and all supporting documents used to complete the application. If you are not physically able to come to the in-office appointment, please advise us and we will make other arrangements with you.