How to Apply for Social Assistance
Ontario Works provides income and employment supports to people in temporary financial need. There are two options for applying to Ontario Works. You can apply by telephone or online.
Before applying by phone or on-line, you will need the following information for you and all family members for whom you are applying for benefits:
- Date of Birth (ie. Birth Certificate, immigration paper)
- Social Insurance Number
- Health Card Number
- Address Details
- Bank Account
- Employment History
- Rent or Mortgage Details
- Assets (i.e. vehicles, RSP’s, life insurance)
- Current, recent and expected income from earnings and other sources (i.e. employment, child support, Canada Pension, Employment Insurance)
- Utilities (i.e. heat, hydro, fire insurance)
Applying by Telephone:
To apply by telephone, call 519.351.8573 or toll free 1.800.382.4940 and select option 5. The intake line is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am - 4:00pm.
Be prepared to spend 10-15 minutes on the telephone. The Intake Worker will ask you questions about your financial and family situation and assign you to a Caseworker. You will be asked to contact your Caseworker the following day to book a Verification Interview to complete your application.
You can apply online using the Online Application for Social Assistance.
The first step of the on-line application is “Am I Eligible”. This screening portion will give you an idea if you are eligible. Once you complete this portion you move on to the actual application.
The on-line application will ask you to input information about yourself and any family members you are applying with. It will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete the on-line application.
When your online application is complete:
An Intake Worker will call you within 1 business day to confirm we have received your online information, and will assign you to a Caseworker. You will be asked to contact your Caseworker the following day to book a Verification Interview to complete your application in person. If you do not have a phone where you can be reached, you will need to call our office, at 519.351.8573 and select option 5, to arrange an appointment with a Caseworker so you can finish the application process.
By using the online application you can:
- find out if you may be eligible for all three social assistance programs: Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
- and apply for Ontario Works, ODSP and ACSD.
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Whether you apply online or by phone, you will be asked to attend a meeting at an Ontario Works office, to complete the application. A Caseworker will verify all of your information. He or she will determine your eligibility and will explain how the Ontario Works program can help you. This includes discussing your rights and responsibilities and working with you on setting goals and future plans.
The Verification Interview will require that all persons applying for assistance are present. That means that if you are in a spousal relationship (married or common law) both persons will be required to attend. Any dependant over the age of 18 who resides in the home will also be required to attend.
Visit our Home page for more information. For general inquiries about Ontario Works programs and services, please call 519.351.8573 or email CKempsocserv@chatham-kent.ca