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Need welfare? How to apply to Ontario Works

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Social assistance programs

If your income is low and you live in Ontario, you may be able to get financial help from one of these social assistance programs:

Ontario Works (OW)

Some people call this program welfare. OW is run by municipal or local governments, for example, towns, cities, counties, districts, or regions, and by First Nations.

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Some people call this program disability benefits. ODSP is for people with serious health problems. It is run by the Ontario government’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Both OW and ODSP give people money to help pay for living expenses, like housing and food.

They also help pay for some prescription drugs and may help pay for some dental services. And some people can get:

  • extra money to help pay for a special diet
  • other benefits, such as costs for travelling to medical appointments

This kind of help to pay for things you need is called financial assistance or income support.