Proving you still qualify

When you are getting assistance from Ontario Works (OW), they will ask you for information to prove that you still qualify financially. OW regularly reviews the files of people who are on assistance. Sometimes these file reviews are part of what they call a Consolidated Verification Process (CVP).

These file reviews are in addition to the rule that you must report your income every month, and the rule that you must report any change in circumstances as soon as it happens. Some examples of a change in circumstances would be a change of your address, rent, or living arrangements.

When OW reviews your file for financial eligibility, they ask you for information and documents to prove that you are entitled to the assistance you are getting. They are also supposed to tell you if you are getting all the assistance you are entitled to.

They can get information about you from other government agencies you deal with, such as the Canada Revenue Agency, the Ministry of Transportation, or the Family Responsibility Office.

If you are supposed to participate in certain activities in order to get assistance — for example, go to school, work, or do a community placement — then OW can check with these places to confirm that you are doing so.

After reviewing your file, OW could decide that you are not eligible for the assistance you are getting, and your assistance could be cut off or reduced.

If OW decides that you have received more assistance than you were entitled to, they will set up an overpayment. They can then reduce the amount of your monthly assistance to get the overpayment back from you.

For information about what you can do if your assistance is cut off or reduced, see Ontario Works > Refused, reduced, or cut off.

To find out more about OW file reviews and your rights when OW asks for information, see CLEO's booklet Proving that you still qualify financially for social assistance  (PDF, 16 pages).