Apply for Ontario Works or emergency assistance
If you need help paying for food and shelter, financial help is available from the Ontario government called Ontario Works. This is also sometimes known as social assistance.
Emergency assistance is also available and offers short-term financial help for people in crisis or an emergency situation.
On this page
Eligibility depends on your household income, what you own, and the number of people in your family. Only 1 application is needed for each family.
Applicants must also be:
- At least 16 years of age.
- An Ontario resident with status in Canada.
- Willing to make reasonable efforts to participate in activities leading toward employment.
Applicants must be:
- An Ontario resident with status in Canada.
- In crisis or emergency such as, affected by COVID-19, evicted from your home, in or leaving an abusive relationship, have emergency authorization to be in Canada for humanitarian reasons, affected by fire, flood, or another natural disaster, waiting for refugee status.
- Not currently receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support social assistance.
- Must have current ongoing income (if no current ongoing income, you must apply for Ontario Works.
If you are a Ukrainian or migrant with documentation confirming that you are in Ontario under the Canadian-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel and require emergency assistance, call 905-793-9200 or toll free at 1-800-327-5379.
What you need
When applying you will need the following:
- Identification such as birth certificate, Social Insurance Number (SIN) card, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.
- Immigration or sponsorship information, if applicable.
- Full address including postal code.
- Cost of rent or mortgage and landlord information.
- Cost of utilities (gas, hydro, water).
- Address history for the past 12 months.
- Most recent monthly bank statement.
- Any sources of income (earnings from EI, CERB, CPP, OAS).
- Assets (vehicle, RRSP's, etc.)
How to apply
Peel Region staff will complete your Ontario Works or emergency assistance application for you if you meet any of the following criteria.
- An adult providing temporary care for a child who's in financial need and is not your child.
- Under the age of 18.
- In need of a translator to complete an application
- Applying for discretionary benefits including funeral applications.
Call us to complete your application
- Brampton and Mississauga 905-793-9200
- Caledon 1-800-327-5379.
Telephone applications take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Apply to the Ontario government
You'll need to apply directly to the Ontario government if you do not meet the criteria for Peel Region staff to apply for you.
You can also call toll free 1-888-999-1142 to apply over the phone.
You'll be contacted by a caseworker within 4 business days of you submitting your application.
Who to contact
If you have questions about this service, call 905-793-9200.
Watch this video to learn how Ontario Works can help you.
Your application review appointment
An appointment will be set up to review your application with you and a caseworker. Have all your documents ready for your appointment. Staff will review your documents to decide if you qualify for financial assistance and can recommend other programs to support you.
Your spouse and any children over age 18 must also be available for your application review appointment.
If you need a translator, Ontario Works may provide one for you.
Appeal a decision
If you aren't eligible for financial help, you will get a letter. This letter will tell you why your application wasn't accepted, and you can ask for the decision to be re-considered. This is called an appeal.
You can appeal if:
- Your application wasn't accepted.
- You disagree with the amount of financial assistance you receive.
Rights and responsibilities
Ontario Works provides financial assistance to people in need. If you are eligible for assistance, you will receive assistance each month for as long as you are eligible.
Dental and eye care coverage
As an Ontario Works client, you can get help paying for emergency dental, denture and eye care for yourself and your family. Simply bring a piece of ID showing your name and date of birth to your dentist, denturist or eye doctor and tell them that you are with Peel Region Accerta.
You need to let the dentist, denturist or eye doctor know that you are receiving Ontario Works assistance so that you are not charged for services. Your provider may be required to obtain pre-approval before services are provided. Ontario Works in Peel does not reimburse for costs you pay out of pocket.
To find out what you are eligible for, ask at your appointment with your dentist, denturist, or eye doctor. If you are told that you are ineligible for service, all 905-793-9200 ext. 4535 and leave a voice message.
Report welfare fraud
Welfare fraud reports are taken very seriously.
Provide the following information:
- address (including city)
- why you believe this person is receiving assistance fraudulently.
How to report:
- Complete an online report.
- Contact local offices (Ontario Disability Support Program and/or Ontario Works).
- Mail or fax information to your local office.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ministry staff cannot confirm whether individuals are in receipt of social assistance and therefore cannot discuss the details of a fraud investigation with the person who filed the complaint.