1. Learn how OW can pay someone from your OW money

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Ontario Works (OW) can pay all or part of your to someone you owe money to. This is called “pay direct”.

For example, OW can decide:

  • to pay your rent directly to your landlord
  • to pay your utility costs, like heating or electricity, to your utility company

You can ask OW to pay someone directly

You can ask your OW worker to set this up if you think it would help you manage your money.

OW is supposed to set up “pay direct” for housing costs, like rent and utilities, if you ask them. But they won’t do it if they think that there’s a risk to you. For example, they can refuse if they think your landlord might try to take money that you don’t owe.

If you don’t ask OW to pay someone directly

OW can decide to use “pay direct” if:

  • they think you’re using your financial assistance in a way that’s not good for you or others in your household
  • someone else asks them, for example, your landlord or someone in your household

OW is supposed to talk to you before they decide. And they’re supposed to look at things like:

  • Have you been running out of money for rent and food because you spent your financial assistance on things that were not necessary or as important?
  • Has the way you’re managing your money been harming your or other people in your household?
  • Are you often late paying your rent or utilities?
  • Are you behind in your payments for rent or utilities?
  • Is your landlord trying to evict you?
  • Is your heat or hydro going to be cut off?

OW can set up pay direct even if you don’t agree.

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