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Ontario Works Reloadable Payment Card Policy - Issue Report - May 28, 2020

Report to: Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB

From: Donna Stewart, Director of Integrated Social Services and Anne Quenneville, Ontario Works Program Supervisor

Date: May 28, 2020

Re: Ontario Works Reloadable Payment Card Policy - Issue Report


That the Board approves the new Ontario Works Reloadable Payment Card (RPC) policy.


The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has worked with Service System Managers to train and guide us through the process of being able to issue Reloadable Payment Cards to our Ontario Works clients. The Ministry is also committed to reforming and modernizing social assistance, including service delivery. The RPC will improve client experience, improve fiscal responsibilities, and cost efficiencies by reducing the cost of printing cheques, reducing the number of replacing lost, stolen, or damaged cheques. RPC is also aligning with the Ministry’s mandate of going paperless.

In 2016, the RPC was introduced as an alternative payment method for individuals receiving assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). While the ministry’s preferred method of payment remains direct bank deposit (DBD), the RPC offers a safe and reliable electronic alternative to paper cheques for people unable to obtain a bank account

In the fall of 2019, the RPC program was expanded to Ontario Works (OW), beginning with a pilot in select locations, and implemented in phases for OW delivery agents that choose to participate. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB submitted an expression of interest and was selected to participate.

Cardholder Fees

DSB administration costs of the RPC include:

  • $16 per card package registered – one-time fee
  • $5 per replacement card issued
  • $2 monthly load fee per active card

Client costs include:

  • $2 for each additional withdrawal after four no fee/month
  • $2 per withdrawal from a non-RBC Royal Bank ATM
  • $5 per withdrawal from an ATM Outside of Canada

We currently have approximately 11% of our caseload who are potentially eligible to participate in the reloadable payment card process.


At the present time, we are seeking Board approval of the new Reloadable Payment Card policy so that we can proceed with implementation for clients who cannot get bank accounts where it makes sense (i.e. Homeless population).