Ontario Modernizing Application Process for Social Assistance

November 26, 2020

OMSSA members have been working closely with the Province on Social Assistance Modernization. Today, the Government of Ontario announced the launch of a new centralized intake application process that will be piloted in Hamilton, York Region, Chatham-Kent, District of Parry Sound, Durham, Greater Sudbury, and the County of Renfrew. Service system managers outside the pilot areas will work towards implementation in the spring of 2021. 

The goal of the new online application process is to improve the applicant’s experience, process applications quickly and allow caseworkers to spend more time working with people.  Municipal service system managers work closely to provide life stabilization and employment supports to Ontario Works recipients.
The first phase of the prototype includes:
  • a mobile-friendly online application
  • automated assessment to process applications more quickly
  • a streamlined process for social assistance applicants to confirm their identity online, reducing the need for applicants to come into a physical office during the pandemic
750 applicants have successfully applied to date. This pilot is part of the Ontario government’s plans to digitize government and utilize technology to reduce administration. 15% of caseworker time is spent processing applications. Lessons learned and enhancements will be considered through future consultations as all 47 service system managers work towards implementation in 2021.

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