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2.1. Intake Guidelines Overview


Ontario Works Effective Date: March 1, 2022
Topic: Application    Replaces: July 1, 2009
Subject: Intake Guidelines Overview  Policy No. H.2.1. 



Authority OW Act:2-9, 14-16(1), 24 , 25 , 41, 44 and 46. OW Directives: DIR 2.2 

An applicant is a person who applies for assistance or a person on whose behalf an application is made. An application is made for a benefit unit which includes the applicant, his/her spouse and any dependents.

Anyone who wishes to apply for assistance under the Act is to be given the opportunity to make an application and have their application reviewed. When the application is completed, the Administrator makes a decision regarding his/her eligibility for assistance and communicates the decision in a format and manner approved by the Director.


Individuals can apply for Ontario Works through the online application for Social Assistance, over the phone with the IBAU call centre, or in person or by phone with the Ontario Works office closest to them.  

• Applications received through the local office will be taken by the Integrated Program Assistant from that location and sent to the Integrated Program Assistant in Espanola for processing in the Social Assistance Computer System. 

Upon receiving the application, the Integrated Program Assistant in the Espanola office inputs the application into the Social Assistance Computer System and sends a meeting request to the appropriate Case Manager.  The Case Manager must contact applicant within 48 hours. The applicant must be seen by 5th working day from date of referral.

Case Manager calls applicant within 48 hours from referral date, to book an appointment.   During this call, if the Case Manager so chooses, the Application can be completed by phone to minimize actual interview time. If the application is filled out over the phone, the Application for Assistance and Consent to Disclose and Verify Information may be printed, and an appointment scheduled to review and sign documents. Alternatively, Case Managers can send the documents by email and ask clients to sign them using the electronic signature software.

             1. Case Manager to complete the Employment Assessment and the Outcome Plan.

                Once the application has been completed, Case Managers should book client for monthly mandatory EIS session                  including: WHMIS. 

No Shows for Scheduled Office Visit: No contact from applicant within 24 hours of scheduled appointment, applicant to be made ineligible.

Outcome Plan & Rights & Responsibilities & Inter-Departmental Consent Form:  Must be completed with the Form 1.

DBD: should be completed within 2 months. 

Emergency Walk-in Applicants and Telephone Referrals: Will be allocated to the Case Manager based on the demographics of the client’s residence.   


If Case Manager off sick: The Case Manager is required to call into the head office in Espanola indicating the possible length of time they will be off sick. They will request the Integrated Program Assistant Worker to cancel their appointments listed in their Outlook Calendar for the stated duration of time.     

  • An Integrated Program Assistant will then cancel the Case Manager’s appointments for that day(s).
  • A co-worker will assume that Case Manager’s clients and any emergencies, depending upon the period of time they are off.

If Case Manager is on holidays: Depending upon the length of time they are off, a co-worker will assume that Case Manager’s NEW clients and any emergencies.