City of Toronto prepared for safe distribution of Ontario Works cheques

Distribution of Ontario Works cheques and payment cards by the City starts Monday. After much hard work and preparation, we are fully prepared to safely deliver this necessary service to everyone who relies on it.

City staff have followed up with hundreds of clients to confirm current mailing addresses. This has greatly reduced the number who require in-person pick up from around 1,300 to 600. Extensive safety procedures will be in place for clients and staff at 3 sites across Toronto.

Line-up and distribution will occur outdoors and in tents to allow for physical distancing. Signage and tape will mark off 6-foot distances in line. Adequate staff will be on hand to maintain physical distancing and to act as runners for re-issued payment cards.

City staff will screen all clients for COVID-19 before entering the line-up. Potential cases will be redirected to an on-site paramedic and potential referral to a provincial COVID-19 assessment centre. Paramedics will provide transport to an assessment centre if needed.

Portable toilets with handwashing stations will be provided for clients at each pick-up location. City staff will have appropriate personal protective equipment for safety.

Information about where to pick up cheques and payment cards is being communicated to clients through multiple channels. There will be signage at all the closed Employment & Social Services locations.

City staff will be at the busiest closed Employment & Social Services locations on Monday and Tuesday to facilitate TTC shuttle bus service for clients to the open sites. There will be screening before boarding the shuttle bus.

The Province of Ontario will also be delivering ODSP payments on Tuesday following the same protocols for physical distancing and safety. City staff will be present at that location to help any Ontario Works clients, including providing TTC shuttle bus service.

In this pandemic, we must work non-stop to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community are supported. Many are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. All services and supports have to be rapidly reorganized for everyone’s safety.