3. Learn the rules about getting rid of assets
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Question & AnswerCan I get OW if I own property or other things?
Ontario Works (OW) can refuse to give you , reduce it, or cut it off if:
- you give away
- you sell assets for less than what they’re worth
When you apply for OW assistance, you have to tell them about any assets that you gave away or sold.
You have to give this information going back at least one year before you apply. And OW can ask you for the information for the past 3 years.
If you got rid of something for less than it was worth
OW considers how much an asset was worth when they decide how many months to cut off or refuse to give you assistance.
If you gave something away or sold it for less than it was worth, you may still qualify for financial assistance. But OW can reduce the amount of your assistance.
Why you sold or gave away an asset
Before OW decides what to do about your assistance, they must consider the reasons you:
- gave something away, or
- sold it for less than what it was worth.
If you got rid of assets to qualify for OW
OW can refuse to give you financial assistance or cut off your financial assistance if they think that:
- you got rid of something for less than it was worth,
- you did this on purpose, and
- you did it to qualify for financial assistance.
If you had other reasons for getting rid of assets
You might be able to explain to OW why you got rid of an asset for less than it was worth.
For example, if you sold something to pay a debt:
- Did you owe the money to the government or a bank or other institution?
- When did you have to pay the money?
- Did you use the money you got from selling the asset to pay the debt?
- Can you give OW proof of the debt and that you paid it?
What else OW must consider before deciding what to do about your assistance
OW must also look at things like:
- your and how much you need to live
- how long ago you sold or gave away the asset
- why you got rid of the asset and if something happening in your life affected whether you could make good decisions
When OW looks at your reasons, they can decide to start giving you financial assistance or to keep giving you the same amount. And they can do this even if you gave something away or sold it for less than it was worth.