Applying for Social Assistance

​Ontario Works provides income and employment support to people in temporary financial need.

Two Ways to Apply

Apply for Ontario Works Online

You can apply online using the Online Application for Social Assistance. The online application will help you determine if you're eligible and ask you to input information about yourself and any family members you are applying with.

An Intake Worker will call you within one (1) business day to confirm we have received your online information and will assign you to a caseworker. Contact your caseworker the following day to book a Verification Interview and complete your application. 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. 

By using the online application you can:

  • Find out if you are eligible for all three social assistance programs: Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD).
  • Apply for Ontario Works, ODSP and ACSD.

Applying by Telephone

To apply by phone call 1-800-382-4940 and select "option 5."  Intake workers are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm to take your call. They 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 and complete your application.

Information for Application

You will need the following information for you and all family members applying for benefits:

  • Date of Birth (birth certificate, immigration paper)
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Health Card Number
  • Address Details
  • Bank Account
  • Employment History
  • Rent or Mortgage Details
  • Assets (vehicles, RSP's, life insurance)
  • Current, recent and expected income from earnings and other sources (employment, child support, Canada Pension, Employment Insurance)
  • Utilities (heat, hydro, fire insurance)

Verification Interview

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 and determine your eligibility, and 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 dependent over the age of 18 who resides in the home will also be required to attend.


Appeal a Decision About Your Case

You have the right to appeal if you are notified that you are not eligible for Ontario Works financial assistance or if you disagree with the amount of financial assistance you receive.  For more information on how to appeal a decision, visit the Ontario website.


General Inquiries

For general inquiries about Ontario Works programs and services, please call 519-351-8573 or email ckess@chatham-kent.ca.