Financial Support

1. Where can I get financial support?
If after six months of living in Canada, you still cannot find a job, you can apply for financial support. Each province has its own financial support program. Some examples are Ontario Works, Alberta Works, BC Employment and Assistance, Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance, etc. Visit the appropriate financial support office and ask if you are eligible for financial support. Their officers will look over your documents and ask you to fill out a big questionnaire, from which they can determine if you need financial support. Try to provide copies of documents wherever possible and submit originals only when required. You will also need to sign a commitment to report regularly on your income and allow them to check your bank account. If your application is denied, ask immediately for an explanation in writing. Subsequently you can add new information and request a review of the decision.
The website will connect you to all government benefits for newcomers in Canada and the website Benefits and Credits for Newcomers to Canada explains newcomers’ rights in terms of getting financial assistance.

2. How can I get financial support?
If you need help getting back to work, temporary income support or skills training, to find information about federal, provincial and territorial financial programs and services, visit the "Canada Benefits” website. This source also helps eligible newcomers connect with financial assistance. After choosing your province and answering some questions you will find financial programs and services suited to your particular situation. For example, there are the following financial programs and services in Ontario:
•Ontario Works
•Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
•Employment Insurance Regular Benefits
•War Veterans Allowance (WVA)
•Old Age Security (OAS)
•Guaranteed Annual Income System for Seniors
•Allowance Program
•Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
•Ontario Disability Support Program: Income Support
•Income Assistance Program

3. What is Ontario Works?
Many immigrants are familiar with such a situation: the money they brought with them to Canada has run out, and a job, for various reasons, has not yet been found. What financial assistance can be provided to immigrants during the period of learning English, preparing for their job search, or searching for a job? Each province has their own financial programs and services. Ontario's financial assistance program is called Ontario Works. If you have permanent resident status, live in Ontario, haven’t found a job within six months of arrival in Canada and you need immediate financial assistance to pay for the apartment and food, you can contact Ontario Works. You have to show that you are actively looking for a job and are willing to accept any help in finding employment. Carefully spend the money that you bring with you to Canada and keep cheques, as these will serve as evidence if you decide to apply for financial assistance.

4. How much money can I receive from Ontario Works and how long can I stay on it?
The amount of payment depends on your particular situation: family size, number and age of children, the assets you have, the value of a bank account (no more than $ 2,500 per single person and less than $5,000 for a couple) and the benefits that you already get. On average, the money issued by a single person is about $750, and a married couple with one child under 18 will receive $1,150 per month plus reimbursement of certain costs of treatment (Source: Ontario Works Rate Tables). The duration of your financial assistance from Ontario Works also depends on your particular situation. For example, if you cannot find a job due to poor English skills, you can take English courses as long as you need to and receive financial assistance from Ontario Works.

5. Where can I apply for Ontario Works?
In Ontario, the nearest office where you can apply for financial assistance can be found in the telephone directory under the Ontario Works or Social Services section. After you have asked for help, you will be visited by an employee of Ontario Works, who will look over your documents and ask you to fill out a long questionnaire, which will help to determine if you need financial help. You will also need to sign a commitment to report regularly about your income and allow Ontario Works to check your bank account. Ontario Works officers have the right to come to your home without warning and inspect your apartment. A TV and a computer are not considered superfluous, as well as an inexpensive vehicle. He or she may ask how you spent the money you brought to Canada and you will have to prove this with cheques and receipts.

6. What are my obligations while receiving Ontario Works?
Ontario Works has a number of rules; for example, you must sign a Participation Agreement, report regularly about the results of your efforts to find a job, and bring proof that you are studying English or taking full-time courses. Receiving financial assistance, you will be constantly under the supervision of Ontario Works. You must actively look for a job, visit workshops and seminars and regularly submit supporting documents. Also, you have to limit your departures from Canada, except in special cases. Finally, using Ontario Works you can be brought to take part in public works, which you cannot refuse.

7. What if I have been refused by Ontario Works?
If you are denied Ontario Works, or you feel that you will get too small an amount, seek immediate explanation in writing. Upon a negative decision, you can appeal in writing within 30 days to Ontario Works for Internal Review. You can tell Ontario Works why you do not agree with their decision, provide new information about your financial situation and ask them to change their decision. If you disagree with the Internal Review or they are considering your complaint for more than 30 days, you can file a complaint with the Tribunals Ontario ( If necessary, consult a lawyer.

8. How can Ontario Works help me to find a job?
While you are receiving financial assistance, Ontario Works actively forces you to enter the Canadian job market. They offer you workshops and seminars, connect you with employers and job banks, and help you to write e a competent resume and pass an interview. If you refuse to attend workshops or do not engage in other employment-seeking activities, you can lose Ontario Works financial assistance.

9. What financial aids are available for newcomer seniors who cannot work?
Canadians 65 years old or higher who regularly worked and saved money for retirement will be able to receive a pension under the Canada Pension Plan. Immigrants at age 65 who cannot work may receive financial assistance, even if they have not worked in Canada for a single day. Immediately after your arrival in Canada with permanent resident status, if you are 65 years old, you can receive disability benefits. In Ontario this is called the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Receiving ODSP you are not required to look for a job, but must report regularly about your income. If you are 65 years old and have lived in Canada for 10 years, you can receive the Old Age Security Pension (OASP) with Guaranteed Income Supplement. Receiving OASP, you do not have to report about your income if it is no more than $70,000 dollars a year. If you earn more, your OASP will be reduced. This rule does not apply to those who are receiving pensions under the Canada Pension Plan.

10. Where can I find additional information about financial assistance in Canada?
We recommend the following sources about financial assistance in Canada:
Ontario Works
What is Ontario Works (OW)?
Disability benefits in Ontario: Who can get them and how to apply

11. Are there any Canadian sources in other languages?
See please