COVID-19 Measures

The Social and Housing Services Department is working to limit the spread of COVID-19. You can use our services by phone and email. Our facilities are closed to walk-in traffic. You can also drop off documents in the dropbox at our offices.

Social Assistance - Ontario Works

The Social Services Division of the  Social and Housing Services Department administers the Ontario Works Program. We provide income and employment assistance for people in temporary financial need. Eligibility will depend on your circumstances. The amount depends on your family size, accommodation costs, your income and assets and your willingness to participate in approved activities.

For more information visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website for more details on any changes.

New Centralized Intake for Ontario Works - How to Apply

To apply for Social Assistance benefits (Ontario Works) please apply online using this link or call the Intake and Benefits Administration Unit (IBAU) at 1-888-999-1142 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

To answer the questions, you will need specific information about you and the family members in your home. See below for the type of information you will need before starting the application.  

 Information you Need to Provide

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.)
 Your Assistance
Every month that you are eligible, you will receive assistance for basic needs and shelter, and employment assistance.
 Interactive Voice Response
The Interactive Voice Response is a toll-free telephone system that provides Ontario Works participants the following options:
  • Access information through expanded hours – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Obtain a breakdown of issued payments and new overpayment information
  • Review outstanding verification items
  • Obtain additional benefit eligibility request decisions
  • Report earnings
  • Obtain local office contact details.

Once your assistance is granted, you will receive a 9-digit identification number (member ID) and a 4-digit personal identification number (PIN). Both numbers are required to access your case file at 1-800-808-2268.

 Register for MyBenefits

Register for MyBenefits today! Fast. Easy. Secure.  

Report income or address changes, see past payment information, and view letters and more – anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Sign-in to: Ontario.ca/MyBenefits to view or update your Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program case information.

MyBenefits is a new online service available 24/7 to Ontario residents who receive Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

With MyBenefits, you can:

  • Report income, address/shelter costs or phone number changes
  • See past payments
  • See the overpayment balance
  • See your letters and receive email notifications when new letters are available for viewing
  • View your profile information (e.g. phone number, email, household members)

If you have an email address on file and have your member ID you can create an account for MyBenefits.

Creating Your Account for MyBenefits is Easy

Creating your account for MyBenefits is a quick and easy, two-step process.

  1. Confirm your identity when you visit Ontario.ca/MyBenefits for the first time:
  • Enter your 9 digit member ID
  • Enter the email address that you have on your file and press ‘Next’
  • A message will be sent to your email with an activation link. Click the link within 30 minutes to confirm your identity.

This will take you back to Ontario.ca/MyBenefits, where you will be prompted to enter your date of birth to finish the process.

You do not need to do this step again in the future!

  1. Set up your user name and password to access your information. You have two choices to sign-in to your account:
  • login with an email address and password of your choice using the ‘My Ontario Login’ or,
  • you can login with the same username and password as your online banking using ‘Securekey Concierge’

Follow the prompts to create your account. This is the way you will sign-in to MyBenefits for all future visits.

Create your account now! Ontario.ca/MyBenefits 

Having trouble signing-in? You can call toll free for technical help at 1-888-999-6130.

 Reloadable Payment Card

Getting rid of paper cheques in favour of electronic methods of payment is one part of the government’s move toward more paperless service delivery.

  • The Reloadable Payment Card (RPC) is an alternative electronic method of payment for Social Assistance clients who are unable to open and/or maintain a bank account for direct bank deposit (DBD).
  • DBD remains the preferred method of payment.  
  • The RPC is a more convenient, secure and reliable method of payment than paper cheque for clients who cannot use DBD.

What are the benefits of the reloadable payment card?

The card is convenient, secure and reliable. It is a better payment method than cheque for clients who are unable to open or maintain a bank account because it:

  • Saves money by reducing reliance on expensive cheque cashing services
  • Improves client service by reducing the need to replace lost, stolen or damaged cheques
  • Provides enhanced security by using PIN and chip technology and reduces the need to carry cash
  • Increases privacy by providing clients with a card like any other bank card, which does not identify them as being in receipt of social assistance

Implementing the RPC will also help to streamline service delivery processes and improve the overall integrity and accountability of social assistance in Ontario.

How does the reloadable payment card work?

The RPC is like a debit card but does not require a bank account. Social assistance payments are electronically loaded on the card and clients can access their funds from Automated Teller Machines (ATM), using point of sale (POS) or online; anywhere Visa is accepted.

RPCs use chip and PIN, the most advanced card security technology available. Cardholders are required to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access their money.

 Employment Services

Under the Ontario Works Act, 1997 and Regulations, as a condition of employment, every employable applicant or participant must participate in employment assistance activities including:

  • single people;
  • couples with or without children;
  • sole support parents;
  • dependent adults 18 year of age or older

After receiving your initial benefits, you will be required to attend an information session prior to meeting with a Case Manager to develop an effective employment plan. These participation agreements (PA) are reviewed regularly and tailored to your needs. Activities include:

  • community placement;
  • employment placement and job skills training;
  • basic education (completion of a high school diploma).

 

Programs and Services

 Family Support Program
An Ontario Works applicant/recipient is required to pursue spousal support payments as a condition of eligibility. The Eligibility does not depend on the actual receipt of spousal support payments, but on the efforts being made to obtain support.
 Eligibility Review Program

The Eligibility Review Program reviews and investigates fraud or misrepresentation related to Ontario Works. If there is sufficient evidence to suspect that fraud or an offence under social assistance legislation has been committed, the case may be referred to the police for investigation.

The public is encouraged to report any fraudulent activity

Here are different ways to report to the provincial “Welfare Fraud Hotline”:

  • Online Form
  • Email
  • Fax at 1-866-681-3154
  • Call the local office at 613-933-6282, ext. 3305
 Appeals to Decision

You can request an internal review using this form. An internal review is an informal review of a decision that was made about the financial assistance that you receive.

If you disagree with the result of the internal review, you can appeal the decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal using the appeal form.

Interim assistance is financial help you may be eligible to receive while waiting for your appeal to be concluded. The SBT may order that you receive interim assistance if you will experience financial hardship. You may apply for interim assistance using the Appeal Form. You will be notified in writing of the Tribunal’s decision regarding interim assistance. If you lose your appeal, your interim assistance shall be assessed as an overpayment on your file and you will be required to repay all of the assistance that was issued to you.

 Direct bank deposit for vendors
Vendors who receive payments on behalf of social assistance recipients can now register to receive payments online. Vendors can sign up for direct bank deposit by following the instructions on this pamphlet and fill out the Form 006-3216: Direct Bank Deposit (Electronic Funds Transfer) Enrolment / Change of Information Third Party Payees.

We value your feedback!

Please take a few moments to complete a short Customer Service Survey about your experience with Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works. Survey responses are completely confidential and will help improve our services. Only general information will be shared with the local offices.

Contact

Main Office
340 Pitt Street
PO Box 877
Cornwall ON
K6H 5T9
Phone:  613-933-6282
Toll-free: 888-655-2656
Fax: 613-932-6969
Email:  CMSM@cornwall.ca

Branch Office
Community Care Building
530 Fred Street, Suite G4
Winchester ON
K0C 2K0
Phone:  613-448-3987
Toll-free: 877-448-3987
Fax:  613-774-6439
Email:  CMSM@cornwall.ca

Branch Office
60, rue Anik Street
Suite 100
Alexandria ON
K0C 1A0
Tel:  613-525-0628
Fax:  613-525-5929
Email:  CMSM@cornwall.ca

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Ontario Works
340 Pitt Street, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
Phone: 6139336282
Fax: 6139326969
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