Income, Gifts & Loans

Employment Income
For the first 3 months they take all the money you make (after deductions). They do this to try and keep people off of assistance because the government cares more about the bottom line than it does people.

After that, they take half of what you make. If you have legit employment expenses such as childcare (that you didn't get reimbursed for already, up to $600) you can subtract them from your income.

Your kids can work and if they are dependents on your cheque, they cannot subtract it as income.

Note – training stipends and allowances are treated as employment income.

If you consistently make more than your welfare cheque before your income is deducted, you will get cut-off.

Casual gifts of small value are not considered income. If you get gifts regularly, especially from the same person, it will get taken off of your cheque.

Non-Chargeable Income
These are types of income that welfare cannot take off of your cheque:

  • Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) and Child Tax Benefit (CTB)
  • GST cheques
  • income tax payments and refunds
  • Assistance for Children With Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
  • donations from religious or charitable organizations
  • reimbursements for child care expenses under the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families (OCCS)
  • payments by Children's Aid Societies (child not eligible for OWA)
  • Work Assessment Program incentives
  • CPP Death Benefits
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments (B165 payments)- WSIB awards for Non-Economic Loss are exempt up to a certain amount
  • Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs)
  • damages for pain and suffering paid to you or someone in your benefit unit for an injury or death - generally up to $25,000 but there is no limit for pain and suffering damages paid under:
    Helpline Reconciliation Model Agreement
    Grandview Agreement
    Multi-Provincial/Territorial Assistance Program and Extraordinary Assistance Plan
    Ontario Hepatitis C Assistance Plan
    1986 -1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement
    Walkerton Compensation Plan

  • Quest for Gold - Ontario Athlete Assistance Program (OAAP)
  • grants under the Skills Development Employment Benefit
  • Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities payments
  • Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) program payments are exempt as long as the money is used towards the parent's post secondary education or it is invested in an Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for one of the parent's dependents.
  • Canada Education Savings Grants paid into the RESP by the Government and interest earned on the RESP is exempt, as long as it is reinvested into the RESP.
  • payments received from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or under the Indian Act other than funds for post-secondary education.
  • boarder or rental income received from a person is exempt only if the client or spouse is the parent or grandparent of the boarder or renter and the person(s) boarding or renting is in receipt of basic financial assistance, or a beneficiary of ODSP.
  • locked in money accessed under the Pension Benefits Act if the income from these funds are used under one of the following circumstances:
    • to pay rent arrears
    • to prevent eviction due to the non-payment of a secured debt on a principal residence (mortgage or taxes),
    • to cover non-reimbursed medical expenses,
    • to cover reasonable expenses for renovations or alterations of a principle residence required due to illness or physical disability,
    • for first and last month’s rent to obtain a principal residence, or
    • is used to purchase an exempt asset, with the approval of the MSS (funds before taxes must be less than $25,000 per year),
    • with the approval of the MSS, a portion of the payment received from the sale or disposition of an asset is applied towards the purchase of a principal residence by the client or spouse to be used by the benefit unit,
    • the purchase of any other asset that is deemed to be necessary for the health and welfare of the client, spouse or dependant.

If you get a loan, it is counted as income and they will count the entire amount as an overpayment. This is always the case unless you get approval in advance and:

- it is for necessities and approved by your worker
- it is so you can operate a business
- it is for a car if you need it to do training or to keep a job
- it is for a medical need that isn't covered
- it is a student loan AND it is for a part-time school, a dependent adult who isn't a spouse, OR child who is not supporting themself
- you use it for first and last month's rent (however, you should get Community Start-Up for this in almost all circumstances.)

Bursaries and Scholarships
You can get a bursary or scholarship as long as it will be used for tuition, supplies, books, transportation, fees, equipment, etc.