How to Apply

How to Apply For Social Assistance Through Ontario Works

Effective June 21, 2021:  There are two ways to apply for assistance:

PLEASE NOTE: Clients not living in the Rainy River District or reside on a First Nations Reserve must apply at their local band office.

1. Online Application 

If you have access to a computer/internet and have an email address, clients living in the Rainy River District  should apply for Ontario Works online..

Note: After you complete your online application, the local office will contact you through the email address you provided to schedule an appointment time to conduct an in-person Verification Interview. 

2. Telephone

If you do not have access to a computer, or do not have an email address, you should apply by telephone by calling 1-888-999-1142 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are applying for one-time Emergency Assistance, Temporary Care Assistance or have received assistance in the last 30 days, you should contact the local office at:

Fort Frances Office

Physical Address: 450 Scott Street
Office Hours: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday
Phone: 807-274-5349

Atikokan Office

Physical Address: Rawn Road (Located in office behind Atikokan Non-Profit Daycare Centre)
Office Hours: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday
Phone:  807-597-1431

Intake Screening Interview 

The first stage of the application process includes an intake screening interview.  You will be asked a series of questions relating to your financial situation. Questions include the details of your benefit unit, accommodation, income and assets.

The following information is required for all members of the benefit unit for the first stage telephone interview:

  • Date of Birth – Legal Registered Name
  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • Health Card Numbers
  • Immigration documents; if you were not born in Canada
  • Sources of Income such as; earnings (present & for past 12 months), Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, WSIB, support payments, etc
  • Bank Account Information
  • Asset details, including RRSP’s, vehicles, property, life insurance
  • Accommodation costs including; mortgage, taxes, rent, heat, hydro, insurance, water, water tank rental as well as your landlord’s name and phone number.
  • Address history for the past 12 months (street name and number, date you moved in and date you moved out).
  • Employment history for the past 12 months (Employer Name, start date, end date, gross and net monthly earnings).

At the end of the telephone interview, you will be provided with a verification interview appointment.
This appointment is scheduled at the local office.

Verification Interview

The applicant, spouse and dependent adult (children 18+ years) are required to attend the verification interview.

The verification interview consists of the following:

  • The applicant will be required to provide verification documents confirming the information provided during the telephone, in-person interview or online application.
  • Sign the required forms and documents
  • The applicant, spouse and dependent adult may be required to complete a literacy assessment
  • The applicant, spouse and dependent adult discuss Rights and Responsibilities
  • The applicant, spouse and dependent adult must each complete a Participation Agreement

Documents to bring to verification Interview:


  • Birth documentation for every member of the benefit unit
  • Health card for every member of the benefit unit
  • Social Insurance Card (or other offical document showing SIN such as Income Tax Return) for members of the benefit unit


  • If applicant/spouse/dependent adult is currently working, pay stubs for the last 2 months
  • If applicant/spouse/dependent adult was recently laid off/quit or fired within the last 3 months, Record(s) of Employment and the final pay stub(s)
  • Any other income such as EI, CPP, WSIB, private pension, sick benefits, etc, provide verification of the income


  • Annuities/Stocks/Shares
  • Bank account information for the last 30 days
  • Investments such as GIC, RRSP, Mutual Funds, etc
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Trust funds

Accommodation Costs

  • Landlord’s name, address and phone number (Landlord is the owner of the building)
  • Rent verification
  • Room and board receipt
  • Gas bill
  • Fire/house/tenant insurance
  • Hydro bill
  • Hot water tank rental
  • Water bill
  • Mortgage verification
  • Property tax bill


  • Court Order
  • Separation Agreement
  • Divorce Decree


  • Most Current Child Tax Benefit Assessment
  • Immigration Documents (if applicable)
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