Apply for financial assistance

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Try the Income Eligibility Estimator (LICO)

To use this estimator, enter the total number of your household size, and where applicable, the monthly net income for you, your spouse/common-law partner dependant adults (18 years or older) and children (17 years or younger) living with you.

What is your family size? For example, if you are living with your spouse and have one child, your family size is 3.

What is the monthly net income for each family member living with you?

Net income is the income remaining after all taxes and other deductions are taken off, for example the balance left on your pay check.

This includes the monthly net income for you, your spouse/common-law partner and dependant adults (18 years or older) and children (17 years or younger) living with you. If there is no income for the family members or not applicable, enter 0.

Emergency Assistance

If you are in a crisis or emergency, you may apply for temporary financial support. A crisis or an emergency could be:

  • Are being evicted from your home
  • Are in or are leaving an abusive relationship
  • Are worried about your safety
  • Health-related crisis
  • Death in your immediate family
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Theft

If you are eligible for emergency assistance, the amount you get will depend on your situation.

You are not eligible if you are getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Essential Health and Social Supports (EHSS)

The Essential Health and Social Supports (EHSS) program helps Ottawa residents who cannot afford to pay for items or services needed to maintain their housing and for health items that are not available through other programs. EHSS may help to pay for things like:

  • Urgent dental care and dentures
  • Eye exams and glasses
  • Fuel/gas/hydro arrears, deposits and reconnection fees
  • Rent arrears and deposits
  • Assistive Devices Program (ADP) 25% consumer contribution
  • Bathroom aids
  • Surgical and diabetic supplies
  • Cremations and burials

If you receive or earn a low income and have limited savings, we may be able to help. To see if you might qualify, try our eligibility estimator. 

If you are receiving Ontario Works or ODSP, talk to your case worker. A case worker must first approve your application.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

ODSP offers:

  • Financial assistance to help you and your family with essential living expenses
  • Benefits, for you and your family, including prescription drugs and vision care
  • Help to find a job and advance your career

Apply for ODSP

To apply for ODSP, visit the provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services website or call the ODSP office at 613-787-3951.

It sometimes takes several months to find out if you can get ODSP. If you cannot wait for help, you can apply for immediate financial help through the Ontario Works program.

Residential Services Homes

Residential Services Homes, also known as domiciliary hostels, are private or non-profit residences that provide long-term housing to vulnerable adults who require some supervision and services to maintain their independent living. Residents are typically living with a psychiatric, developmental or physical illness and/or disability. These homes offer a residential living environment that is safe and supportive for all residents.

Services include:

  • Furnished rooms (most are shared accommodation)
  • 24-hour urgent response
  • Medication management
  • Meals and snacks
  • Housekeeping and personal laundry
  • Social and/or recreational activities
  • Access to both on-site and other community-based services

The Residential Service Homes Standards [ 908 KB ] outline the City's expectations for service delivery and ensure that services are delivered with dignity and respect.

The City of Ottawa provides subsidy to residents on low income to help with the cost of their board and lodging in a residence.


The City of Ottawa helps pay for the direct disposition, burial or cremation of a deceased resident who does not have enough funds in their estate to cover the costs.

The person responsible for making the arrangements may apply with the City on behalf of the deceased. The applicant must:

  • Apply to the City before signing a contract with a service provider (funeral home, mosque or cemetery)
  • Identify all services requested (direct disposition, burial and/or cremation).