Applying for Financial Assistance
Overview of Provincial Social Assistance
Social Assistance in Ontario consists of two programs;
- Ontario Works provides financial benefits and life stability support to eligible York Region residents who are in temporary financial need.
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income support to people with disabilities, delivered by the province. Visit the provincial Ontario Disability Support Program website for more information about applying.
If you are in an emergency and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for emergency assistance, which will provide you with temporary financial support.
Ontario Works Eligibility
To qualify for Ontario Works financial assistance, you must:
- be at least 16 years of age
- be an Ontario resident
- have assets no greater than the limits set out in the program
- be in financial need
- participate in employment activities
More information is available from the province on eligibility for Ontario Works.
Emergency Assistance Eligibility
You may qualify if you live in Ontario (not a visitor or tourist), are in a crisis or emergency, and do not have enough money for things like food and housing. For example, a crisis or emergency includes situations where you:
- have been affected by COVID-19
- are being evicted from your home
- are in or are leaving an abusive relationship
- are worried about your safety
- have emergency authorization to be in Canada for humanitarian reasons
- this includes Ukrainian migrants arriving or remaining in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel pathway (CUAET).
You are not eligible if you are getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program.
If you are eligible for emergency assistance, the amount you get will depend on your specific situation. In most cases you will not get more than what you would get on Ontario Works.
How to Apply for Ontario Works and Emergency Assistance
York Region residents can apply for Ontario Works or Emergency Assistance:
- Through the online Social Assistance Digital Application 24/7
- Or by calling Service Ontario at 1-888-999-1142, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
When you apply, be sure to have the following information ready:
- Birth certificate
- Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
- Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card
- Immigration/sponsorship information if applicable
- Full address including postal code
- Cost of rent or mortgage
- Cost of utilities (gas, hydro, water)
- Current landlord’s name and address
- Address history for the past 12 months
- Employment history for the past 24 months
- Most recent monthly bank statement
- Any sources of income
- Assets (vehicle, RRSP's, etc.)
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
TTY: 1-866-512-6228 or 905-895-4293
(for deaf and hard of hearing)
Access York is available to respond to inquiries related to York Region Ontario Works. Access York can also support ongoing Ontario Works customers with immediate supports and referrals to programs and services.
Interpretation services are available for those who may need an interpreter.