Life is expensive, and if you’re struggling to keep up, Ontario can give you a hand. Many benefit programs in Ontario provide eligible residents with all kinds of support. Whether you need relief on your energy bill or a cushion while you train for a new career, there could be a program just for you.

Here are some of the benefits in Ontario that you can apply for right now to give your budget a boost.

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Ontario Trillium Benefit

This benefit is designed to help low-to moderate-income Ontario residents pay for energy costs, sales, and property tax.

There are three credits you can apply for:

  • Northern Ontario Energy Credit
  • Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
  • Ontario Sales Tax Credit

If you are eligible, you will receive a tax-free payment to your bank account either by direct deposit or by mail.

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

This program lowers electricity bills for lower-income households through a monthly credit. If you qualify, you’ll receive a credit directly on your monthly bill for two years.

Eligibility is based on household income and size, and you can apply at any time, but the application takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to process.

Ontario Works

This program provides financial assistance, benefits, and employment assistance to people who are in financial need and are looking for work.

Ontario Works is open to eligible residents who are at least 16 years old, participating in employment activities and have assets no greater than the limits set out in the program.

As you receive financial aid, you’ll also be getting help to develop a plan to improve your skills and find work.

Ontario Child Benefit

Parents are eligible to receive up to $1,607 per child per year to help with the cost of raising children. This benefit is for low-income to moderate-income families, and the amount is based on household income and the number of children under 18 years old.

The federal government recently introduced the Canada Dental Benefit, which provides uninsured Canadian families with a net income of under $90,000 with access to dental care for children under 12 years old.

However, Ontario also has a free dental care program for children called Healthy Smiles Ontario. The new federal benefit will not impact eligibility or access to the Health Smiles program.

Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit

If you’re making career moves, the government has a support program for you. This temporary, refundable personal income tax credit helps workers get trained for a new career or to sharpen their skills.

That includes any costs associated with educational courses, specialized skills training, or exams.

You can get up to $2,000 per year in relief for 50% of your 2021 or 2022 eligible expenses. If you’re eligible, you can get credit regardless of whether you owe income taxes.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

This year, Ontario increased the amount of ODSP support by 6.5%, which is tied to inflation.

The program is for singles and families to cover to cost of basic needs and shelter, including those in a long-term care home or specialized care residence.

There are many areas of support within the ODSP, including income support, benefits for health costs, and other disability supports.

Eligibility for ODSP depends on your financial and medical circumstances, and you can find out more right here.