Am I Eligible?
- live in Ontario
- be in financial need (your household doesn’t have sufficient financial resources to meet basic living expenses)
- be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for and keep a job (unless you have specific circumstances that temporarily prevent you from doing so, such as an illness or caregiving responsibilities)
Other adult members of your household must also agree to participate in employment assistance activities.
You can start the application process online, by phone or in person.
- Online, use the Social Assistance Digital Application:
- By phone or in person, call or visit your local ADSAB office
Once you’ve started the process, an intake worker will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting. You will be asked to bring specific documents to the meeting, so that the caseworker can verify:
- your personal information
- information about members of your household
- your household’s financial needs
- your household’s income and assets
During your meeting, you will be asked to sign several forms, including a consent form that gives the ADSAB office permission to access information about you from other government programs or organizations (e.g., Ministry of Transportation, Employment Insurance, Equifax Canada).
he Ontario Works office will use the information you provide, along with the information from other organizations, to determine if you qualify for assistance.
If you do not agree with a decision about your Ontario Works case, you can ask for a review of our decision. This is called an internal review.
An internal review is done by staff at your local Ontario Works office. The person who does the review will not be the same person who made the decision you do not agree with.
You have to ask for an internal review before you can appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
What you need to do
To make your request, you must write a letter or fill out a Request for Internal Review form. You can get this form from your local Ontario Works office.
If you write a letter, you should:
- say “I am requesting an internal review”
- explain why you do not agree with the decision that was made (optional)
- attach any additional information that you think may help in the review
- include your full name and your member ID (this number is at the top of the decision letter)
- include your signature and the date.
Please mail, fax or hand deliver your internal review request to your local Ontario Works office within 30 days of receiving the decision letter.
Things to keep in mind
- If you cannot send us your request within 30 days because of reasons beyond your control, we may still do an internal review. Just tell us in your request why you need more time.
- Keep a copy of your request – you will need it later if you appeal the decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
- If you do not request an internal review or you withdraw your request, the decision will be final and you will not be able to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
Results of the internal review
We should give you the results of the internal review within 30 days of receiving your written request. If you do not receive the results of your review within 30 days, you can appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal.
The Social Benefits Tribunal Appeal Process
You have 30 days to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal. Here is how it works:
- If you receive a letter telling you the results of the internal review, you have 30 days to appeal from the day you receive the letter.
- If you do not receive a letter telling you the results of the internal review within 30 days of your request being received, you have 30 days to appeal once the 30 days have passed.
What you need to do
To make an appeal, you need to fill out an Appeal Form and mail, fax or hand deliver it to the Social Benefits Tribunal. You can get an Appeal Form from your local Ontario Works office, from the Social Benefits Tribunal or from their website: