Ontario Works Payment Dates for 2021: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re under the low-income bracket and are looking for a job or struggling to meet the basic costs of living in Ontario, you should prepare for the Ontario Works payment dates.

Ontario Works is one of the social assistance programs that the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services administer to eligible Ontarians.

So once you’re eligible for this program, you will be entitled to monthly payment up to a specific maximum determined by your situation.

Here I discuss the Ontario Works payment dates for 2021, covering everything you need to know before and after the payment dates.

What is Ontario Works?

Ontario Works (OW) is a social assistance program in Ontario that assists eligible individuals in meeting essential living costs and finding and jobs in Ontario.

So whether you’re looking for help in meeting the cost of food, clothing, housing and health in Ontario, this program can help you.

Also, if you’re looking for job-related assistance such as job counselling, basic education, job training, resume writing or workshop, Ontario Works is there for you.

However, the assistance you get from this program depends on your assets, income, shelter costs, and family size.

Subsequently, you will learn more about what OW entails and how to prepare for the Ontario Works payment dates.

Who Qualifies for Ontario Works Payment?

Ontario Works payments are made to those that meet the following requirements:

  • Reach 16 years or older
  • Are Ontario resident
  • Need financial assistance for food and shelter costs.
  • Willing to participate in job search activities

Thus, once you meet the above requirements, you can go ahead and apply for the program and anticipate the Ontario Works payment dates.

Rights and Responsibilities of Ontario Works Beneficiaries

Whether you are applying for the Ontario Works or are already a participant, you have the right to:

  • Learn about your qualifications in written form.
  • Appeal your qualifications if you disagree with the decision.

However, if you’re already a participant of the Ontario Works, you are expected to perform the following duties:

  • Participate in job-related activities.
  • Attend monthly and annual meetings.
  • Report all your sources of income.
  • Document your statements and receipts for income and assets verification.
  • Repor5 changes you experienced in your situation such as getting a job, relocation account opening or closing etc.
  • Receive any benefits you qualified for, such as child support and Ontario Child Benefit.
  • Refund any deposit to your bank account that you’re not entitled to.

What is the Maximum Ontario Works Payment

As I mentioned earlier, the amount you get on the Ontario Works payment dates depends on your assets, income, shelter costs, and family size.

Thus, you can get a low or high Ontario Works amount based on these factors.

Here are the maximum basic, shelter and board and lodging amounts you can get under during the Ontario Works payment dates.

Basic Needs Amounts

RecipientNumber of Children/Dependent AdultsAmount
Single PersonNo children

1 child 17 years or under

1 dependent adult 18 or older

2 children 17 years or under

1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or older

2 dependent adults 18 or older

$343

$360

$623

$360

$623

 

$781

CoupleNo children

1 child 17 years or under

1 dependent adult 18 or older

2 children 17 years or under

1 child 17 years or under, and 1 dependent adult 18 or older

2 dependent adults 18 or older

$494

$494

$652

$494

$652

 

$826

Source: Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Furthermore, there’s a $175 addition for each dependent adult aged 18 or older.

Monthly Maximum Shelter Allowance Amounts

Family SizeMonthly Maximum Shelter Allowance
One$390
Two$642
Three$697
Four$756
Five$815
Six and above$844

Source: Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Board and Lodging Amounts

Board and Lodging Amounts

Source: Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Ontario Works Payment Schedule 2021

Ontario Works payment dates often fall on the last business day of the previous month.

Below is the Ontario Works payment schedule for 2021:

Benefit MonthPayment Dates
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

Source: Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Ontario Works Payment Dates: Cheque vs. Direct Bank Deposit vs. Reloadable Card Payment

You can receive your payment through cheque, direct bank deposit, or a reloadable payment card on the Ontario Works payment dates.

So if you opt for a cheque, you will receive mail a few dates earlier. However, how soon you receive your payment lies on your area Canada Post delivery.

Consequently, the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services suggests you opt for a direct bank deposit.

This is because a direct bank deposit is the easiest and safest method of receiving the Ontario Works payment.

However, if you don’t have a bank account to receive a direct bank deposit, you should opt for a reloadable payment card.

How Ontario Works Can Help You

Here are the benefits you can receive on the Ontario Works payment dates based on your eligibility and situation:

1. Ontario Works Financial Assistance

This assistance aims at helping Ontarians struggling to meet the cost of basic needs such as food and housing costs.

As a result, your asset, income, family size and housing costs, you may receive low or high financial assistance.

Thus, for your basic needs, you may receive up to $343 if you’re single or up to $494 as a couple.

But for your shelter allowance, you may receive up to $390 if you’re single or up to $697 if you’re a couple with a child.

However, you may get both the basic needs amount and shelter allowance if you’re living under a board and lodging condition plus a $71 special allowance per month.

2. Ontario Works Employment Assistance

This assistance is available to those looking for a job or job-related assistance such as resume writing, workshops, job counselling, basic education and job training etc.

Furthermore, even after securing a job, you may still get help from Ontario Works for:

  • Job-related costs
  • Prescription drug coverage,
  • Extended health coverage

However, to receive this assistance, a person is expected to participate in employment assistance activities.

Subsequently, we shall be looking at the major employment assistance activities.

Employment Assistance activities

Here are the major employment activities you will be required to participate in to get employment assistance on Ontario Works payment dates:

  • Education Programs: This involves activities that help you graduate from high school, improve your language, reading, writing and job skills.
  • Literacy Screening and Training: This involves activities that help you get rid of reading, writing or mathematics difficulties.
  • Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP): These activities are for young parents aged 16 to 25 who need to graduate from high school, prepare for work and improve their parenting skills.
  • Employment Placements: This involves preparing you for an interview, training you for a job, and connecting you with hiring managers.
  • Community Placements: This involves placing you with a community agency to improve your experience, confidence and job skills.

3. Ontario Works Health Benefits

You and your family may also be qualified for health-related assistance under this program which includes:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision care
  • Eye examinations
  • Diabetic or surgical supplies and dressings
  • Travel and transportation for medical purposes
  • Extended health benefit
  • Assistive devices

4. Ontario Works Transition Child Benefit

You may also qualify for the Transition Child Benefit under the Ontario Works.

However, for a person to qualify for the Transition Child Benefit, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Have children below the age of 18
  • Are not a beneficiary of the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
  • Be entitled to less than the Ontario Child Benefit amount per child
  • Are anticipating the Ontario Child Benefit monthly payment.

Furthermore, the amount of OCB you get plus your National Child Benefit Supplement amount determines how much Transition Child Benefit you get on the Ontario Works payment dates.

5. Ontario Works Guide Dog Benefit

If you possess a certified guide dog and are struggling with a disability, you could be eligible for financial assistance toward the cost of the dog’s care.

Thus, you may receive up to $84 monthly to offset the cost of taking care of your dog.

However, your dog must be certified and trained as a guide before you qualify for this benefit.

6. Ontario Works Emergency Assistance

You may also get assistance on the Ontario Works payment dates if you’re struggling financially to survive an emergency as a result of:

  • COVID-19
  • Personal insecurity
  • Home eviction
  • Being a women’s shelter
  • Abusive relationship
  • A natural disaster such as fire or flood
  • A pending refugee status

How to Apply for Ontario Works

Within 20 to 30 minutes, you can apply for the Ontario Works online and start anticipating the Ontario Works payment dates.

That said, you need is to visit the Ontario Works application page to initiate the application.

But before starting, you will be required to provide your home postal code.

Furthermore, you can find your home postal code using Canada Post’s postal code finder.

However, if you’re homeless, you can use the postal code of your nearest social assistance office. Use the office locator to find it easily.

After you provide a postal code, you will be required to fill a questionnaire related to the Ontario Works program.

Thus, upon answering the questions, you can now start the application process through the following steps:

Step One

Here you will be required to provide your basic information such as your:

  • Name
  • Email address (including the email addresses of your family members aged 18 and above)
  • Date of birth
  • Housing costs
  • Assets
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Bank account details

Step Two

This step involves reviewing your application by a caseworker.

Thus, you will be assigned a caseworker within four working days of your application. The caseworker will schedule a meeting with you.

Step Three

Here you will meet with your caseworker for the verification of your information and documents.

Consequently, you may be required to provide additional information and documents to verify your information.

Subsequently, you will be required to sign a consent form and your application package to determine your eligibility.

Step Four

After accessing all the necessary information, your caseworker will notify you within four working days about your eligibility and your entitled amount.

Thus, your local Ontario Works office will notify you about your first payment and payment method if you’re accepted.

Step Five

At this step, your caseworker will arrange a meeting with you about your participation in employment-related activities.

However, this may not be necessary if you suffer from a particular sickness or engage in caregiving.

When to Report Changes Under Ontario Works

As a beneficiary of Ontario Works, you’re expected to report any changes in your situation related to your income, assets, family size and housing costs before the Ontario Works payment dates.

As a result, it will ensure that you get the perfect entitlement for your situation during the Ontario Works payment dates.

But if you didn’t report changes in your situation, you might receive more or less than what you ought to receive.

However, if you receive more than your entitlement during the Ontario Works payment dates, you’re expected to refund it immediately.

Moreover, to report changes in your situation, fill the “Changes Report” form attached to the monthly mail you receive.

Ontario Works (OW) vs. Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

As a beneficiary of Ontario Works, you may also qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Like OW, ODSP is also a social assistance program that assists Ontarians suffering from disability and financial crises.

Also, you can receive assistance for basic needs, shelter, health-related and job-related costs through the ODSP.

However, to be eligible for the ODSP benefits, you must be:

  • An Ontario resident
  • 18 years or older
  • Looking for financial support to meet basic living costs
  • A member of a Prescribed Class or have a verified disability.

Thus, once you meet the above requirements, you can apply for the ODSP online or through your local ODSP office.

However, you should hear in mind that the Ontario Works payment dates are not the same as those of ODSP.

Here are the 2021 payment dates for ODSP:

Benefit MonthPayment Dates
JanuaryJanuary 29, 2021
FebruaryFebruary 26, 2021
MarchMarch 31, 2021
AprilApril 30, 2021
MayMay 31, 2021
JuneJune 30, 2021
JulyJuly 31, 2021
AugustAugust 31, 2021
SeptemberSeptember 30, 2021
OctoberOctober 29, 2021
NovemberNovember 30, 2021
DecemberTo be determined

Source: Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

To learn more about ODSP payment dates, click here.

Final Thoughts on OW Payment Dates

Now you are informed about the Ontario payment dates and what it takes to be eligible for payment.

But remember, a direct bank deposit is easier and safer to receive your OW payments than a cheque.

Furthermore, you now understand why it’s necessary to apply for the ODSP even as a beneficiary of OW payment.

Ultimately, you should identify and claim any benefit you may qualify for, such as Ontario Trillium Benefit and Canada Workers Benefit.

Thus, the more of these benefits you claim, the more money you will have to supplement your income and improve your finances.

In conclusion, if you have more concerns about the Ontario payment dates, don’t hesitate to contact the Ontario Works Office nearest to you.

READ MORE: Canada Workers Benefit

FAQs on OW Payment Dates

What are the Payment Dates for Ontario Works

The payment dates for Ontario Works are dates that eligible persons receive Ontario Works benefits.

However, for 2021, the Ontario Works payment dates start from December 31, 2020, and end on November 30, 2021.

When is the Next Ontario Works Payment

The next Ontario Works payment dates will be in 2022. Expectedly, each will be scheduled on the last business day of the previous month.

Is Ontario Works Increasing in 2021?

There are no official statements from the Ontario government about increasing the Ontario Works rate in 2021.

However, the government is currently improving the accessibility and application process of the program.

Finally, if you have more questions about the Ontario Works payment dates, let me know in the comment section.

 

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