Supporting Ontario's Most Vulnerable
Province Providing Additional Support for December Social Assistance Payments
The province is working to ensure that social assistance clients receive their monthly Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) payments on schedule over the holiday season.
December's payment schedule will be consistent with past years:
- ODSP payments will be issued on Dec. 22, 2014.
- OW payments from offices in Toronto will be issued today, Dec. 19, 2014.
- OW payments for offices elsewhere in Ontario will be issued by Dec. 31, 2014.
These payments will mark the second monthly pay run using the new Social Assistance Management System (SAMS), which has already supported 570,000 households in November 2014.
The government acknowledges that there have been issues with the implementation of the new system. If issues do arise the province is prepared to deal with them promptly, as was done with the November pay run. The province is taking additional steps to ensure timely and accurate payments for OW and ODSP clients in December 2014, including early testing and review of the pay-run data. This enhanced oversight and support will ensure that clients receive correct and timely payments in the month of December.
To help clients with questions about their payments, an online Ontario Social Assistance Office Finder is available to ensure they can quickly locate the OW or ODSP office that serves them. The finder will provide recipients with the location, map, address and phone number of their local OW or ODSP office so they can contact their caseworker, should any issues arise.
The government continues to work daily with its service delivery partners to ensure individuals and families receiving social assistance get the support they need, particularly over the holiday season. Ontario is committed to supporting our most vulnerable and will work to ensure accurate and timely payments for all clients.
- Every month, ODSP and OW offices issue approximately 570,000 payments to social assistance recipients in Ontario.
- Ontario is providing $5 million in additional funding to assist with a variety of costs across our municipal partners. This doubles the total amount of one-time funding provided by the province to date.
- Except for statutory holidays, all ODSP offices will be open to assist clients throughout the holiday season. For OW holiday hours, please contact your local office.
- About 25 per cent of OW payments fluctuate from month to month and about 15 per cent of ODSP payments fluctuate from month to month. A recipient’s payment can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including changes to an individual’s or family’s shelter cost, changes to income, late reporting of monthly earnings to the ministry, changes in employment status, changes in family circumstances such as family members leaving or joining the household, and changes in housing arrangements.
“Our first priority is always to make sure social assistance clients get the right payments. We know they rely on this support and we are always there to help them get it.”