Ontario Works

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Social Assistance Centralized Intake System

The IBAU system means if you need assistance through Ontario Works, you can apply directly online at Ontario.ca/socialassistance (if you have access to a computer) or by phoning 1-888-999-1142.

The centralized intake system will make it easier to get financial assistance faster and match you to supports better. The IBAU system can:

  • Complete the social assistance application,
  • Grant eligibility for social assistance,
  • Determine urgency or level of need,
  • Issue your first payment, and
  • Connect you to our local office. 

Ontario.ca/socialassistance or 1-888-999-1142

What is Ontario Works?

Ontario Works provides help to those in need residing in the City and County of Peterborough.

To be eligible for Ontario Works you need to:

  • Live in Ontario;
  • Need money right away for food and housing costs;
  • Have assets and income under a certain level. 

Even if you think you might not be eligible, you are encouraged to call and talk to us. We are here to answer all your questions. 

How can Ontario Works help me?

If you are eligible, you'll receive a monthly payment for your basic needs (like food) and shelter costs (like rent). 

The amount of money you will get from Ontario Works will depend on a few things including:

  • Family size;
  • Other income you may be receiving;
  • Your assets (property, investments, other money available to you); and
  • The cost of your housing, heat, and hydro.

 You will also receive drug and dental benefits. There are other things that you may be eligible for; more information on those can be found further down the page.

We can also help you find child care, and avoid eviction or utility disconnection.

How do I receive my money?

Payments can be deposited directly into your bank account, loaded onto a reloadable payment card or mailed to you as a cheque. No matter how you receive your funds you will also be mailed these items:

  1. A benefits eligibility card (if applicable);
  2. An explanation of the payment

Ontario Works payments will always come out on the last business day of the month.

Emergency Assistance 

You could also qualify for one time assistance in the event of an emergency even if you aren’t eligible for Ontario works.

Ontario Works benefits

Health Related Benefits

Drug Benefits

You will have the cost of eligible prescription drug covered while your are on Ontario Works.  You can show your Ontario Health card when you’re picking up your prescription at the pharmacy.


If you or anyone in your family needs new glasses or their prescription changes, we can help with the cost of glasses.   

Adults are eligible for up $350 for lenses and frames. Children are eligible for the actual cost of the lenses and fees and up to $125 for the cost of frames. Your Case Manager will need a prescription and an eyeglass estimate.

Diabetic and Surgical Supplies

Supplies like test strips, lancets, and other diabetic and surgical supplies can be covered through Ontario Works. Ask your Case Manager how to apply for this.

Advanced age item for people 65 or over

If you are 65 or older, you will receive an advanced age benefit added to your assistance.

Medical Transportation

Speak with your Case Manager to talk about financial assistance for frequent or out of town medical appointments. It is possible that all travel costs over $15 / month can be covered by Ontario Works. 

Special diets

If you or a family member need extra money for special diet because of a medical condition Ontario Works can help. You can talk to your case manager about getting a Special Diet Application form. You can take this in to your doctor or dietitian to be filled out.

Extended Employment Health Benefits

If you leave Ontario Works because you're working we may be able to extend your drug and dental benefits for up to 12 months after your file closes. This will give time for your benefits from work to start, or you can apply for the government of Ontario Trillium Drug program

Please contact your Case Manager if you have any questions about mandatory benefits.

Children and Families

Dental Coverage for children

Dental check-ups, and other dental services for your child are covered through Healthy Smiles Ontario.  Healthy Smiles is a government-funded dental program children and youth 17 years old and under. You can ask your Case Manager for more details your dental card to your dentist.

Vision Care for children

If your child needs eyeglasses Ontario Works can help with the costs.  Up to $125 dollars is available for the frames and the total cost of the lenses will be covered.  You may be eligible for new lenses if your child's prescription changes.

Eye exams are covered once every twenty four months. You can show your Ontario Health Card and a copy of your OW statement to your optometrist.

Childcare and Daycare

Speak with your Case Manager about options for assistance with childcare while you are searching for employment.

Please note the items, services and amounts listed are subject to change based on available funding. Any benefit that is issued in a month may be considered an overpayment if it is determined that you are not eligible for basic financial assistance in that month.

What's New

Social Assistance Survey

We value your feedback!

Please take a few moments to complete a short Customer Service Survey about your experience with Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works. Survey responses are completely confidential and will help improve our services. Only general information will be shared with the local offices.


You can now get information about your case, receive e-letters and report any income…  anywhere and on any device.

Visit Ontario.ca/MyBenefits to Sign up today.


Free Tax Clinic

  • Wednesday June 12, 2024

At the Social Services office.

Contact your Case Manager to sign up.


Ontario Works Forms

Direct Deposit Form

Email/Text Consent

Income Statement

Request for Internal Review

Housing Stability Consent Form

Change of Address Form

Medical Transportation Request

How was your experience?

The provincial government is asking you to take a short online survey to give feedback about your experiences with Social Services and/or the Ontario Disability Support Program.