Applying for Ontario Works

Am I Eligible?
 You might be eligible for Ontario Works if you:
  • need help with your living expenses, meaning you do not have enough money to cover things like rent, food, and utilities for your immediate family
  • are 16 or older
  • live in Ontario (and are not a visitor or a tourist)
How to Apply for Ontario Works
If you are applying for assistance and you meet any of the following criteria, please call our office to speak to an Intake Worker:
  • Requesting your file to be transferred from another municipality
  • You need an interpreter
  • Under 18 years old
  • Sponsored immigrant to Canada
  • Refugee claimant/waiting for refugee status
  • Require a trustee
  • Need Emergency Assistance
  • You are providing temporary care for a child who is in financial need and not your dependent
  • You don’t have a phone or an email address
  • Received notice of eviction and/or utility disconnection within 7 days
  • You are homeless or entering a shelter
  • You’re experiencing an emergency situation such as a health-related crisis, abuse/domestic violence, worried about your personal safety, or if you are affected by fire, flood or another disaster
  • Pending income ex. EI, OAS, WSIB, CPP, a lawsuit (subrogation).  This does not include earnings or paid employment, child tax benefit, CRB, OSAP, or the sale of your home. 
  • Self-employed
  • Currently incarcerated
  • Already receiving OW/ODSP, receiving assistance in another municipality or received assistance in the past month

If any of the above apply to you, please call our office to speak with an Intake Worker:

Monday to Friday
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Phone - 519 837 2670
Toll Free – 1 800 265 7294

If you do not fall into any of the above categories, you can apply online anytime or by phone with the provincial Intake and Benefits Administration Unit from Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.

Before you start your application

Make sure all family members included in your application are with you when you complete your application so they can provide their consent and confirm their information.

Only submit one application for you and your family that lives with you.

Have your family’s identification documents ready, such as:

  • Email addresses for all family members 18 and older
  • Full names and dates of birth
  • Citizenship and Immigration information 
  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • Health Card Numbers
  • Address details (current and past 12 months)
  • Rent or mortgage details
  • Utilities details (e.g. gas and hydro)
  • Landlord's name and address
  • Bank account information, (if you have one) to get your payment quickly through direct bank deposit
  • Monthly income and asset information
  • Employment status and history
  • Other expenses, such as childcare
Application Process

Step 1 – Complete an application

You can apply by phone or online. 

Apply by phone – Call the provincial Intake and Benefit Administration Unit toll free from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm. The telephone application will take approximately one hour to complete.

Intake and Benefits Administration Unit
Monday to Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm
T 1 888 999 1142
TTY 1 800 387 5559

Apply online – Complete an online application anytime at:

Apply Online

Step 2 - Meet with a Caseworker

Our Ontario Works office will call you within four business days of submitting your application (not including weekends and holidays) to schedule an appointment for you to talk to a Caseworker.

Appointments are currently done over the phone while our office remains closed for in-person services due to COVID-19.

Have all of your documents ready for your appointment. A Caseworker will review your Ontario Works application and will tell you about any other programs or benefits you might find helpful.

Step 3 – Receive Assistance and Participate in Employment-Related Activities

You will receive a letter in the mail with details about your Ontario Works benefits, and consent forms that you will have to sign.

You will also develop and follow a plan for you to participate in employment-related activities while you are receiving assistance.

Interpretation Services

The Ontario Works department is dedicated to ensuring that all individuals are able to access necessary services. When required, the services of qualified interpreters are available for most languages for the Ontario Works application process.

Contact Information

Provincial Intake and Benefits Administration Unit
Monday to Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm
T 1 888 999 1142
TTY 1 800 387 5559

County of Wellington Ontario Works
Monday to Friday
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
T - 519 837 2670
Toll Free – 1 800 265 7294


© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909