Ontario Works recipients, spouses and any dependents may be eligible to receive the following mandatory 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 Benefit
• Full-time Employment Benefit
• Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit
• Advance (up front) child care
• Transition Child Benefit
Full-time Employment Benefit
The Full-time Employment Benefit (FTEB) is provided to a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit or a dependent adult to help with expenses associated with beginning full-time employment. The benefit may be paid in one or more installments, up to the maximum in any 12-month period.
The maximum amount that may be provided through the FTEB is up to $500 in a 12-month period for each eligible recipient.
Recipients are eligible for this benefit if they meet the following criteria:
- have been on social assistance for three consecutive months; and
- are beginning full-time employment and require assistance with the costs of going to work
Beginning full-time employment means working 30 or more hours per week in one or more jobs.
A participant who is self-employed is not eligible for the FTEB.
The following discretionary benefits may be provided to eligible recipients:
- 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
Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit
The Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit is provided to a recipient, a spouse in the benefit unit, a dependent adult not attending secondary school full-time or a training program, or a dependent child who has graduated from secondary school. This benefit is provided to assist with costs associated with beginning or changing employment or an employment assistance activity.
Recipients are eligible for this benefit if they are:
- beginning or changing participation in employment assistance activities, which means beginning a new training program with different duties and responsibilities, or shifting from job training to work experience; or
- beginning or changing employment with a current or new employer where the duties and responsibilities are substantially different than the previous job.
Expenses associated with accepting or changing either employment or an employment assistance activity, including a training program, include but are not limited to, the following:
- appropriate work wear;
- grooming costs;
- licensing fees, association costs;
- tools and equipment;
- transportation costs.
The maximum amount that may be provided for each eligible recipient of this benefit is up to $253 in a 12-month period.
Advance (Up Front) Child Care Payment:
An advance (up front) child care payment may be provided to a recipient, a spouse included in the benefit unit, a dependent adult or a dependent child with a dependent child if in the opinion of the Administrator the person is required to pay in advance for child care that is necessary to permit employment or an employment assistance activity.
The advance child care payment can be issued up to the following maximum amount in any 12-month period:
- actual costs for licensed child care under the Day Nurseries Act; or
- up to $600 for unlicensed (informal) child care costs.
Employment-related expenses are provided to support participants as they progress toward sustainable employment.
Employment-related expenses are also available for ODSP recipients who are participating in Ontario Works employment assistance activities. Where a participant is eligible for the mandatory Other Employment and Employment Assistance Activities Benefit, that benefit is accessed first.
Payments may cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with participation in employment assistance activities, including, but not limited to:
- necessary transportation;
- clothing, grooming, and special equipment;
- safety equipment;
- supplies and equipment;
- protective clothing;
- telephone expenses;
- criminal reference checks or medical examinations and certificates (where required as a condition of job referral or community placements);
- costs associated with obtaining a Pardon (for the removal of a criminal record) where the criminal record may be a barrier to employment;
- minor fees (e.g., certification charges, short training costs);
- child care costs to make participation in employment possible;
The maximum average that is provided for each eligible participant is $250 per month, with a maximum advance of $500. Employment-related expenses related to child care costs are accounted for separately.
Child Care Assistance
Administrators may provide assistance towards child care expenses for parents participating in employment assistance activities
Participants can be reimbursed for the actual cost of licensed child care if paid for by the participant. Participants can also be reimbursed for the cost of informal or alternative child care (e.g., summer camp, supervised homework programs, etc.) up to the established maximum of $600 per month per child.