Memo: Centralized Intake Prototypes - September 30, 2020


Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Social Assistance Policy, Planning and Innovation Division
23rd Floor, 2 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M7A 2T2

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Social Assistance Programs Division Social Assistance Central Services Branch

2 Bloor Street West, 24th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9


To: Municipal Ontario Works Delivery Partners

From:  Lindsay Jones, Director, Social Assistance Reform Branch
Dr. Andres Laxamana,  Director, Social Assistance Central Services Branch

Date: October 16, 2020

Subject: Centralized Intake Prototypes

As a follow-up to the memo from Assistant Deputy Ministers Nelson Loureiro and Keith Palmer on September 30th, 2020 about the Social Assistance Recovery and Renewal Plan, the Ministry will be piloting a new centralized intake process for social assistance beginning on October 30th, 2020.

This new centralized intake process is designed to optimize the user experience for applicants and reduce administrative burden for staff; to allow them to focus on value- added results for clients. The process will also address a potential increase in social assistance applications as the province moves to economic recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Centralized Intake Process Prototypes

The Ministry will begin prototypes of the centralized intake process on October 30th, 2020, with the following pilot municipalities:

  • City of Hamilton
  • York Region
  • Chatham-Kent
  • District of Parry Sound
  • Durham
  • Greater Sudbury
  • County of Renfrew

These municipalities were approached in order to include a variety of geographic locations and intake models. The pilot phase will allow the Ministry to test the centralized and automated risk-based intake process with a limited number of users before expanding roll-out to include additional locations and programs. The Ministry will be
consistently engaged with pilot locations to gather feedback, identify necessary changes and test new features and enhancements.

The centralized intake process includes:

Social Assistance Digital Application (SADA): A new online application for social assistance

  • Streamlined online application questionnaire that is user-friendly, web-responsive and mobile compatible
  • Improved data mapping to accurately match known applicants and populate SAMS evidence
  • Streamlined process for social assistance applicants to confirm their identity in real time
  • eSignature check-boxes that allow the application to be considered signed when received

Risk-Based Eligibility Determination (RBED): A new automated assessment process

  • Applies a consistent risk-based approach to assess eligibility of applicants
  • Improved access to social assistance by reducing the need for immediate in- person meetings for applicants
  • Reduces administrative burden by verifying applicant information to determine if a case needs to be reviewed immediately or can be automatically granted and reviewed at a later date

A provincial-municipal joint project team is meeting regularly to co-design and jointly implement these prototypes. We look forward to keeping you apprised of progress and of future opportunities to expand the centralized intake process to additional municipalities.

Lindsay Jones, Director, Social Assistance Reform Branch, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Dr. Andres Laxamana, Director, Social Assistance Central Services Branch, inistry of Children, Community and Social Services

Sunny Sharma, Director, Business Innovation and Implementation Branch, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Jeffrey Bowen, Director, Social Assistance Performance and Accountability Branch, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services