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5.1. Treatment of Income


Ontario Works Effective Date: July 1, 2009
Topic: Income and Exemptions Replaces: November 1, 2004
Subject: Treatment of Income Policy No. H.5.1.



Authority  OW Art: Sec. 7(1), 7(2), 7(3), 16(1), 19(2) & OW Directives: Dir. 5.1

  • Ongoing income declared at time of application must be deducted from the initial cheque. When the amount of the income is irregular (i.e. part-time earnings), the actual income for the period of eligibility must be input and ongoing income declared thereafter by means of the Statement of Income. Actual earnings may be verified by pay stubs upon receipt of first Income Statement. 
  • Income received in the month prior to the date of grant will not be deducted; however it will be considered as an asset. (i.e. last pay). If it has been disposed of before the application, the Case Manager should be satisfied that the asset was disposed of appropriately and not for the purpose of qualifying for assistance. 
  • Income including earnings received during the current month must be deducted but the rent will be included as an expense, even if it has been paid. 

Note: If there is no income and the rent/mortgage has been paid, that portion of the shelter costs will not be allowed as an expense unless the participant has borrowed money to pay the rent/mortgage. 


The Income Statement is a document to be used as a guideline for the participant to report income. All income received must be reported on the income statement.


Income will be input based on actual earnings/monies received, e.g. participant reports income of $400.00 on Income Statement received for the period September 16- October 15. This income will determine the amount of assistance for November.


Utilize the “Federal Income Tax Tables” program on your desktop.

  1. The following claim codes may be appropriate for the selected situations:
Participant Situation  Claim Code
Single 1
Sole Support parent with children under 18 years 5
Sole Support parent with children 18 years and over 1
Couple both employed 1
Couple both unemployed 1
Couple/Applicant employed, spouse unemployed 6
Couple/Applicant unemployed, spouse employed 0
Dependent Adult 1
Children E

Note: Most cases fall under codes 1 and 5.

  1. The deduction amounts will be indicated on the Tax Tables according to code.  If there is a discrepancy,  the amount shown in the Tax Table should be deducted and the participant should be encouraged to discuss their claim code with their employer.
  1. When income terminates while a participant is in receipt of ongoing assistance, income shall continue to be deducted according to the Income Statement reporting period unless the monies has been deduted "up front".

Income from employment/training programs must be deducted from a participants’ financial assistance in order to prevent overpayments. 

The following procedure applies to a participant who begins employment/training and has received his/her full OW assistance for the month: 

  1. If the first pay is in the current month, i.e., the month the income statement is being processed, the Case Manager is to multiply the weekly earnings or training allowance by four to determine the next month’s entitlement. 
  2. If the first pay is in the next calendar month, the Case Manager is to project the actual earnings for that month.
  3. If the participant neglects to report his/her employment and earnings until he/she submits the Income Statement, an overpayment is to be determined by the Case Manager and input on the computer. 
  4. Case Manager to note details in SDMT notes. 
  5. In situations where there may be undue hardship, the Case Manager should discuss options with the Ontario Works Supervisor.

The Ministry Directive list sources that shall not be included as income. The incentive payment received from LEAP is exempt as income. This refers to the $500 received from LEAP participants for completing school.