Our Services

Employment and Financial Support Services

The Kenora District Services Board offers help to people who are looking to find employment and/or are in financial need.

The Ontario Works Program offers financial support and offers two types of assistance:

Financial assistance, including:

  • Income support to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter
  • Health benefits for clients and their families


Employment assistance to help clients find, prepare for and keep a job. This assistance may include:

  • Workshops on resume writing and interviewing
  • Job counselling
  • Job-specific training
  • Access to basic education. Allowing clients to finish high school or improve their language skills

In most cases, a client must agree to participate in employment activities to receive financial assistance.

Emergency assistance is available in a crisis or emergency situation. These situations may include people who:

  • Have lost their home
  • Are leaving an abusive relationship
  • Worry for their safety

Eligibility for the Ontario Works Program

To be eligible for the Ontario Works Program you must:

  • Live in Ontario
  • Be in financial need
  • Be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for and keep a job

Adult members of your household must agree to participate in employment activities.

Applying for the Ontario Works Program

You can start the application process either online, by phone or in-person.

An Integrated Services Worker (ISW) will receive your application. The ISW will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting with a Case Manager.

In-person meeting with a Case Manager

You will be asked to bring specific documents to the meeting. The Case Manager will review and verify:

  • Your personal information
  • Information about members of your household
  • Your household’s financial needs
  • Your household’s income and assets

You will be asked to give consent. Signing a consent form will give KDSB consent to access your information. This information will come from other government programs like:

  • Ministry of Transportation
  • Employment Insurance
  • Equifax Canada

The above information will determine if you qualify for assistance.

Your Rights

If you are applying for or are eligible for the Ontario Works Program, you have the right to:

  1. An interview: Any time that you meet with your Case Worker, you can bring someone with you. This person can be anyone you choose.
  1. A decision in writing: KDSB will provide any eligibility or financial decisions they make in writing. KDSB will explain the reasons for making them.
  2. A chance to have decisions reviewed: If you disagree with a decision, you may make a written request. You must make your written request within thirty days. Your local office will review the decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Direct Deposit: One – Three business days
  • Cheque: As many as five business days

This is an estimate. Timelines depend on your Case Manager receiving all required information and granting your case.

Please call the Interactive Voice Response at 1-800-808-2268.

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) toll-free telephone system. IVR gives you access to your personal case file information or general social assistance information over the phone. Information includes:

  • Most recent cheque amount and date
  • Previous cheque payments (within the last 45 days)
  • Overpayments
  • Case file status

To sign up for IVR access or to reset your PIN speak to your Case Manager.

KDSB can give you an application for subsidized housing. Tools are available in the resource room of each office to search for housing through newspapers and online.

If you are moving for employment we may be able to help with moving costs. Talk to your Case Manager about your situation.

Supports may be available based on your participation agreement. Speak with your Case Manager.

Make sure you discuss your concerns with your Case Manager first. You can ask for an internal review if you don’t agree with the decision. You will not be able to appeal some benefits.

You can make all benefit requests through you Case Manager. The Ontario Works Program has maximum shelter and basic needs allowances.

Yes, talk to your Case Manager. There are benefits available for child care depending on your activity requirements with the Ontario Works Program.

Many communities have programs that support children’s abilities to participate that are accessible for funding. Please see our Assistance for Child Recreational Programs web page.

The Ontario Works Program promotes employment and will provide supports to help you start and keep your job.

The letter will tell you why your file is suspended. Your Case Manager might be missing information that you need to provide. If you aren’t sure, contact your Case Manager right away.