Ontario Works

ST. THOMAS-ELGIN ONTARIO WORKS

Ontario Works is a program that provides financial and employment assistance to people in financial need. In order to receive employment assistance you must first qualify for financial assistance. Eligible participants receiving assistance through Ontario Works engage in a wide range of employment assistance activities, in order to prepare, find and maintain employment.  Every person has the right to apply for assistance and to have an application taken.

If you are in temporary financial need, Ontario Works can provide you with money and help you find a job.

To be eligible to receive help from Ontario Works, you must:

  • live in Ontario
  • need money right away to help pay for food and housing costs, and
  • be willing to take part in activities that will help you find a job.

Qualifying for Financial Assistance 

If you are in financial need, you may apply by:

Telephone Application:  Call the St. Thomas Ontario Works Office at 519-631-9350 or toll free at 1-800-265-4362.  When prompted by the automatic message, please select Option 3 (*Intake Line).  This process will take approximately 10-15 minutes. 

*INTAKE LINE is open 8:30am to 12:00noon and 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Applying in Person (without access to a phone):  If you decide to apply at the office, a short intake form must be completed upon your arrival and you will be given a time to meet with a Caseworker.  This meeting usually takes place at the Ontario Works Office.


Read our Mission Statement

For more information please visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services website or read our FAQs

The St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works Department administers a variety of services to residents of the City of St. Thomas and the County of Elgin.

Please see the full list of services that we offer


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Ontario Works Connection Communication Newsletters


Community Connections St. Thomas & Elgin County


Territory and History

The Social Services Departments of the City of St. Thomas and The County of Elgin were amalgamated on January 1, 1999 to form the present day St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works Department. The City of St. Thomas was designated the Service Manager and delivers programs through the Ontario Works Department to both the City and the County. Ontario Works is the only City department that services both City and County.

The County of Elgin stretches approximately 160 km along the north shore of Lake Erie with the City of St. Thomas at the centre of the county.  The County is bordered on the east by the County of Norfolk, on the west by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and on the north by the City of London. The County of Elgin is composed of the following:  The Municipality of West Elgin, The Municipality of Dutton/Dunwich, The Municipality of Central Elgin, The Municipality of Bayham, The Town of Aylmer, The Township of Malahide and The Township of Southwold.  The City of St. Thomas remains a separated city within Elgin County.