Ontario Works


The Province of Ontario's Ministry of Community and Social Services has the Ontario Works Act which is about employment and financial help for people in need. The City of Windsor's Employment and Social Services Department has Ontario Works for people in need who live in Windsor-Essex County.

Application Process

Who Can Apply?

Any person who lives in City of Windsor or County of Essex may apply for Ontario Works help through the City of Windsor Employment and Social Services Department.

How to Apply?

You have two ways that you can apply. You can apply by:

  1. Phone - To start the application, call      519-255-5600, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 to 11:30 am and 1:00 to 4:00 pm;


  1. Online - The online application is available 24 hours a day in English and French from any computer with internet access.  The online application will take 40 minutes to complete


The Basic Financial Assistance given through Ontario Works helps with two things: Basic Needs and Shelter.

Additional Benefits

  • Ontario Works gives extra help to people to help them improve their daily lives.
  • Each person on Ontario Works gets Ontario Drug Benefit coverage, vision coverage, basic dental care for children and emergency dental care for adults.
  • Other health benefits may be available to you by contacting your caseworker.
  • For more information regarding the Provision of Benefits visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services Website

Employment Support

Some people need help learning how to look for a job or understanding information on local jobs. Other people may need help on how to get ready for a job interview or how to best put their work experience on a résumé. Job search training workshops, self-help job searching groups, a Resource Centre and referrals to community resources are available.

Financial Supports are available to help people getting Ontario Works (OW) with costs that come up when volunteering, job searching or working:

  • Employment-Related Expenses (ERE) are available to help you participate in employment, basic education and job-specific skills training
  • Community-Participation Expenses (CPE) are available to help you access volunteer placements and to help you with costs that may come with placements.

Financial Supports (ERE and CPE) to help you participate in Ontario Works activities may include:

  • Necessary transportation
  • Clothing, grooming, and special equipment
  • Supplies and equipment
  • Minor fees such as certification changes, short training costs
  • Child care