Appealing a Decision

I Don’t Agree With An Ontario Works Eligibility Decision

If you disagree with a decision while applying for or receiving Ontario Works, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. The formal review process involves:

  • An Internal Review and, if necessary
  • An Appeal

When a decision is made about your eligibility for Ontario Works assistance, you will be sent a Notice of Decision letter that will:

  • Advise you of the decision that was made about your case and outline the reason(s) the decision was made
  • Tell you what steps you can take to address the matter
  • Let you know how to request an Internal Review if you do not agree with the decision and would like to appeal

Before asking for an Internal Review, you may be able to resolve the issue by speaking with your caseworker. If you cannot resolve the issue with your caseworker, you may speak to a supervisor.

Internal Review Process

You can request an internal review for decisions about your Ontario Works benefits. You have 30 days from the day you receive the Notice of Decision letter to submit a written request to your caseworker to have your case reviewed.

Your request should include:

  • A statement that you wish to have the decision reviewed;
  • The reason you disagree with the decision; and
  • Your first and last name (printed), date of birth and signature.

Your request can be in a letter or you can complete a Request for Internal Review Form.

Your file will be reviewed within 30 days of receiving your written request. In urgent situations, reviews will be completed more quickly.

You will be informed in writing of the results and what you should do if you continue to disagree.

Appealing a Decision

If you disagree with the results of the Internal Review, or the office has not completed the Internal Review within 30 days of your request, you can then appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal directly. Your Internal Review Decision letter will tell you whether you can appeal the decision to:

  • The Social Benefits Tribunal (as not all decisions can be appealed)
  • The Decision Review Committee

Social Benefits Tribunal

The Social Benefits Tribunal is an independent group that is separate from Employment & Social Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The Tribunal holds hearings which are similar to court but less formal.

If your Internal Review Decision letter states that you can appeal, then you can fill out and send an Appeal Form to the Social Benefits Tribunal. You must send in this form within 30 days of receiving your Internal Review Decision letter.

Appeal forms are available at your local Employment & Social Services office or from the Social Benefits Tribunal website. Send your completed Appeal form to:

The Social Benefits Tribunal
655 Bay Street, 14th Floor Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2A3
Toll-free number: 1-800-753-3895

After you send in your Appeal Form, you will receive a letter from the Social Benefits Tribunal stating the date, time and location of your appeal hearing.

For more information read the Social Benefits Tribunal brochure.