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Appealing Decisions

Ontario Works applicants and recipients can appeal decisions made about their eligibility for financial assistance.

What decisions can be appealed?

Disagree with a decision? Request an internal review.

  • An applicant or recipient can request an internal review of any decision.
  • You may make a written request for an internal review within 30 calendar days after receipt of the decision.
  • Our office will complete this internal review within 10 days of your request and will notify you of the result.

Disagree with the internal review?

  • You can make an appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal within 30 days of the date of the internal review decision.
  • You CANNOT file this appeal unless you have asked for an internal review.

How do I request an internal review of my decision?

If you disagree with a decision about your case, you must request an internal review within 30 calendar days from the day the decision is received.

In most cases, the request must be made in writing. Some exceptions apply (e.g. literacy or language barriers). You may submit your written request for an internal review with a letter/note, or by completing Form 2880, Request for Internal Review (PDF file). Speak to your case manager if you do not feel you are able to submit the internal review in writing.

If you decide to submit a letter/note, it should include:

  • a statement indicating that you want the decision about your case reviewed
  • the reason you disagree with the decision
  • your name, member ID and signature

More information about the internal review process can be found at the Ministry of Community and Social Services (external link) website.

How do I appeal my decision to the Social Benefits Tribunal?

Only decisions affecting eligibility for income assistance and mandatory benefits or the amount of income assistance issued may be appealed to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).

You can appeal your decision to the SBT once an internal review has been completed or if the review time for the internal review has passed without a decision.

You must file your appeal within 30 days of the receipt of the internal review decision or after the 30 day internal review period has passed.

The SBT must send a Notice of Hearing to all participating parties within 60 days. The Notice of Hearing outlines how the hearing will be held, along with any requirements:

  • for a paper hearing: the dates that written submissions and documentary evidence are due to the SBT.
  • for an oral hearing: the date, time and place of the oral hearing. The SBT will work with all parties to schedule the hearing date.

Need help with an internal review or an appeal to the SBT?

The Halton Community Legal Services (external link) gives free legal advice regarding Ontario Works and can help you with your internal review or an appeal to the SBT.