Author Site Reviewresults

1.3. Programs


Ontario Works Effective Date: July 1, 2009 
Topic: Introduction to Ontario Works    Replaces: November 1, 2004
Subject: Programs Policy No. H.1.3. 



Amounts of assistance depending upon family size are available to cover basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, personal needs, household supplies and utilities.  In addition, participants may be entitled to additional mandatory and discretionary benefits listed below.

Monthly financial assistance allowance levels are determined by the Provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services. 

Mandatory Benefits

Mandatory benefits are provided to all eligible Ontario Works recipients and/or members of their benefit unit. 

Recipients, spouses and any dependents may be eligible to receive the following mandatory benefits: 

  • Health benefits:
    • prescription drug coverage
    • dental and vision care for dependent children and children in temporary care
    • diabetic supplies, surgical supplies and dressings
    • medical transportation costs $15 and over
    • consumer contribution for assistive devices and eligibility assessment under the Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
    • batteries and necessary repairs for mobility devices
    • routine eye examinations once every 24 months (ages 20-64)
    • extended health benefits
  • Guide dog allowance
  • Full-time Employment Benefit
  • Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit
  • Advance (up front) child care
  • Transition Child Benefit



The following benefits are already approved by the Director and may be issued at the discretion of Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB for participants in receipt of Ontario Works and in some cases ODSP recipients.

The following discretionary benefits are specified in legislation:


  • dental care for adults
  • vision care for adults
  • prosthetic appliances
  • funerals and burials
  • heating payments and payments for low-cost heating energy conservation measures


  • vocational training and retraining
  • travel and transportation that is not for health-related purposes
  • moving expenses
  • any other special service, item or payment authorized by the Director 
Special Services, Items and Payments

Administrators have the discretion to provide special services, items and payments where authorized by the Director of Ontario Works Branch, Ministry of Community & Social Services.

The following special services, items or payments are currently approved by the Director:

  • chiropractic services
  • northern allowance for communities south of the 50th parallel without year round road access
  • wheelchair and mobility devices (e.g., lifts) batteries, replacement batteries and necessary repairs
  • provision, replacement and repairs of hearing aids including batteries for the portion not covered by the Assistive Devices Program
  • prescription drugs when not listed in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary
  • certification of a learning disorder by a qualified medical doctor or psychologist 
  • costs of completing medical forms not covered by OHIP, as required to verify eligibility for assistance, benefits or other required purposes
  • necessary repairs to homes owned by recipients
  • replacement or repair of essential household furniture and appliances
  • replacement or purchase of smoke alarms and batteries for recipients who own their homes and are not in receipt of the maximum shelter allowance
  • replacement of household items and personal effects in emergency situations (e.g., fire, flood, storms)
  • electric beds to avoid bedsores for persons confined to a bed
  • air conditioners for severe asthmatics
  • electric breast pumps
  • layettes and baby supplies
  • energy and Water Conservation Measures
  • blood tests/DNA tests required for Applications for Support where the cost cannot be paid by some other means (e.g., Legal Aid)
  • cost of preparing a will where the cost cannot be paid by some other means (e.g., Legal Aid)
  • initial deposits required by landlords or others for rent, hydro and heating where necessary
  • payments for continuation of hydro or heating service, or to prevent eviction
  • payments for low-cost energy and water conservation measures

In addition to the approved list, the Director has authorized the provision of special services, items or payments for:

Health-related purposes where the Administrator has made a determination of need based on verifiable documentation, and failure to provide would result in a detriment to the health of the recipient or a member of the benefit unit. The provision of health-related special services, items and payments are based on actual cost.

Non-health-related purposes on a case-by-case basis up to a maximum of $250. If a special service, item or payment costs more than $250 approval from the Director is required.


Cross Reference: Section 7.A. - Mandatory Benefits.

Cross Reference: Section 7.B. - Discretionary Benefits.