Can I get OW if I’m in custody?

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Long delays for appeal hearings

If you’re appealing a decision made by OW or ODSP in 2020, your appeal hearing may not happen for a long time. People report that they’re getting hearing dates from the that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We’ll update this information as things change.

The general rule is that when you’re in custody because of criminal charges, you don’t qualify for from Ontario Works (OW). This is true whether you’re waiting for your trial or serving a sentence.  

It does not matter whether you’re in a or a .

Qualifying for OW while serving a sentence

If you’re serving a sentence part-time, for example, on weekends, you may still qualify for assistance from OW. This is because you’re not in custody every day. See Step 2.

If you’re in a , you may be able to get some assistance from OW. Talk to the staff at the halfway house about this.

Conditional sentences

A conditional sentence means you don’t serve your sentence in custody. So you may be eligible for assistance from OW.

You serve a conditional sentence in the community and there are strict conditions that you must follow. This is sometimes called “house arrest”.

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