How Can I Get Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario?

Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario: Your Comprehensive Guide

Financial crises are a part of life and can hit anyone at any time. Whether it’s due to unexpected job loss, a global pandemic, or an unforeseen crisis, there are moments where you may find yourself in need of immediate financial help. If you’re an Ontario resident, you’re in luck. Ontario offers Emergency Financial Assistance for those in dire straits.

This comprehensive guide will shed light on how you can get Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario, who qualifies for it, and the steps involved in the application process.

Understanding Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario

Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario is a lifeline for residents who are facing an urgent financial crisis and don’t have sufficient funds to cover necessities, such as food, housing, and utilities. This temporary financial support can be a lifesaver in your hour of need.

Let’s delve into the program benefits and how you can avail of this support.

Program Benefits

The amount of assistance you receive depends on your individual situation. However, here’s a general idea of what you might expect:


  • As a single person needing support for food and housing, you could receive approximately
    per month.

    • If you have children, you can expect a higher amount.
  • The support can last for up to 48 days depending on your specific circumstances.
  • If your situation warrants, you may be granted additional periods of support.


Eligibility for Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario

You might be wondering, “How can I get Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario?”. The first step is to determine if you qualify. You may be eligible if:


  • You live in Ontario and are not a visitor or tourist.
  • You’re in a crisis or emergency situation.
  • You don’t have sufficient money for essentials like food and housing.


Specific scenarios that fall under a crisis or emergency include:


  • Being impacted by COVID-19.
  • Facing eviction from your home.
  • Being in or leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Being concerned about your safety.


Having emergency authorization to be in Canada for humanitarian reasons. This includes Ukrainian migrants arriving or remaining in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) pathway.

Please note, if you’re already getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you’re not eligible for this emergency assistance.

Support for Ukrainian Migrants

Ontario is actively supporting individuals and families fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. If you’ve arrived or are staying in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), you can apply for temporary financial support through Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario.

For eligible persons, this assistance can provide swift support for you and your family.

Available Support

As a single person, you might receive around $733 a month if you need help with food and shelter. If you have dependents, the amount can be higher.

Prescription Drug Benefits

Upon qualifying for Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario, you’ll receive a drug card. This card can offset part of your prescription drug costs.

Applying for Emergency Assistance

The application process for Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario is simple and can be done online or in-person.

Online Application

The online application can be completed in about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you have the following information at hand:


  • Personal details of you and your family.
  • Information about your housing costs.
  • Details of your family’s total income and available assets.
  • Bank account details (if you have one) to ensure quick payment.


Documentation confirming your status in Canada, including your passport, visa, permits, etc. This is particularly relevant for persons in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).


In-Person Application

If you can’t apply online, you can contact your local Ontario Works office for assistance.

Application Process

The application process for Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario involves four steps:


  1. Step 1: Gather the necessary information and submit your application.
  2. Step 2: A worker at your local Ontario Works office will review your application.
  3. Step 3: You will be contacted by a worker from your local Ontario Works office within four business days. They might ask you to provide additional information to verify your application.
  4. Step 4: If your application is approved, you’ll receive a payment by direct deposit or cheque.


Privacy and Protection of Your Information

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and/or your local Ontario Works office will use the information you provide to administer and evaluate the delivery of emergency assistance and Ontario Works. Your information is collected under the legal authority of the Ontario Works Act, 1997, sections 7, 8, 15, 7 and 58.

If you have questions about the collection and use of your personal information, you can contact Ontario Works:

Toll-free: 1-888-789-4199

Monday to Friday

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET)

Considerations for Ontario Works Recipients

If you’re already receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support, and you’re still struggling to meet your expenses, don’t hesitate to speak to your OW worker. They can provide you with information about other programs, such as local food banks, churches, or charitable organizations like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul that might be able to help.

Exploring Other Options

While the Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario program is a great resource, it’s just one of many options available for those in need. Let’s explore some other avenues that you can consider.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

CRB is an excellent emergency relief option if you anticipate that your financial difficulties could persist beyond a couple of weeks. This benefit is available to those who have lost their job due to Covid-19 and are not covered by Employment Insurance, workers’ compensation, disability benefits, sick pay or caregiver leave.

The payment remains the same as the previous program (CERB): $500 a week or $2,000 a month. You can apply for CRB even if you are working. This is particularly helpful for self-employed and contract employees.

To qualify for CRB, you must:


  • Have earned $5,000 in the year prior to application.
  • Have suffered an income reduction of at least half.
  • Have a valid SIN.
  • Be at least age 15.


It’s essential to remember that you must reapply every two weeks and apply within 60 days after the end of the applicable period. Also, keep in mind that if you make over $38,000 for the year, you will repay 50 percent of your income in excess of $38,000 up to the maximum CRB received.

Bankruptcy: Is it the Only Option?

If you’re in a severe financial bind, you might think that bankruptcy is your only option. However, before making such a drastic decision, consider seeking advice from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) at Bankruptcy Canada. We can help you explore other options and come up with a long-term solution that fits your life.


Facing a financial crisis can be challenging, but remember, help is available. If you’re in Ontario and need emergency financial help, consider applying for Emergency Financial Assistance in Ontario. This temporary support can provide the immediate relief you need to navigate through your crisis. Remember to assess all your options, consider long-term solutions, and seek professional advice when necessary.

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