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Can I work and still get money and other help from Ontario Works?

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Earnings exemption of $200 after 3 months

After getting money from OW for at least 3 months, the rules about take-home pay change. After 3 months, OW will not reduce the monthly amount they give you if your take-home pay is $200 or less that month.

This is called an "earnings exemption".

Instead of waiting 3 months, you can get the earnings exemption right away if all of the following are true:

  • you previously got money from OW or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for at least 3 months in a row,
  • you earned at least some money from work since you stopped getting money from OW or ODSP, and
  • it has been less than 6 months since you stopped getting money from OW or ODSP.
  • Money you make over $200

    After getting money from OW for at least 3 months, if your take‑home pay is more than $200, OW reduces the money they give you that month. They reduce it by half the amount of what you earn above $200.

    For example, if your take-home pay is $260 in a month, OW will not count the first $200. But they will reduce the amount of money they give you by half of the remaining $60.

    $260 (take-home pay)
    - $200 (earnings exemption)
    $60 (OW reduces this month's payment by this much)
    ÷ 2
    $30 (OW reduces this month's payment by this much)