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Need welfare? How to apply to Ontario Works

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Can an OW worker visit without letting me know before they come?

Yes, an OW worker can visit you at home without telling you they are coming. But any visits must be during the OW office’s normal business hours.

OW can decide that they want to do a home visit to check information about whether you are eligible for assistance. This could happen when you apply or while you are on assistance.

The OW worker can come into your home only if you let them in. But if you do not let them in and do not have a "valid" reason, OW can refuse to give you assistance.

If you have a valid reason, you can arrange to have the visit another time. Here are some examples of “valid” reasons:

  • you or someone in your home is sick
  • you have visitors and do not want them to know that you applied for OW
  • the visit interferes with a religious practice, such as a religious holiday, prayer, or ritual

When an OW worker is in your home, they can look only at things that are in "plain view". This means that they cannot open and look inside places where you keep things, like closets, drawers, or the refrigerator.