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Ontario Works Caseworker ignoring my emails 

Posts: 1

Posted On: 11/4/2019
Posts: 1
Good Day,

My OW Caseworker asked that I call her which I did. I followed up the call with an email. No response. I followed up to the email with another email. Out of office notification stating she would be out of the office for a number of days.

I guess she returned to work early for which she wrote be a crude email about how rather than call her I have chosen to email her and she will not explain the matter to me via email and therefore I am to request an internal review.

I respond to her email and requested her supervisor information because her reaction was uncalled for.

She responded back with her Supervisor Name and number and said she will not communicate with me via email and that from now on I have to call her to ask a question and that includes emailing her bills for reimbursement.

I spoke with her supervisor regarding this and his response was that it is because emailing me could be a legal liability.

If my OW Caseworker was not violating my rights why would there be legal concern?

More importantly he attempted to validate her behaviour which didn’t work because I did what I was suppose to do as a OW recipient and she attempted to make it look as though I didn’t.

If I can not email then how do I prove my integrity should a situation arise where my caseworker is acting in bad faith towards me?
Posts: 3700

Posted On: 11/6/2019
Posts: 3700

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

We can appreciate that you would be concerned about this situation.

According to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website:
“If you are receiving Ontario Works, you are required to:
  • meet with us every 3 months to review your Participation Agreement and every 12 months to review your financial information
  • take part in employment assistance activities that will help you find a job
  • report any income you receive from a job, a training program or other sources of income, such as Employment Insurance, pensions, etc.
  • keep your receipts and statements in order to verify your income, assets and expenses. For example, keep your pay stubs, bank account statements, childcare receipts, etc.
  • tell us about any changes in your situation such as getting a job, opening or closing a bank account, having a baby, moving, etc.
  • provide documents or information that we ask for
  • obtain any other income that you are entitled to. For example, child support, Ontario Child Benefit, Employment Insurance, other tax benefits, etc.
  • repay any Transition Child Benefit money you received if you get a retroactive Ontario Child Benefit and/or National Child Benefit Supplement payment that applies to the same month(s) you received the Transition Child Benefit, and
  • repay any money you received that you were not entitled to.”
You can contact your local office for more information or escalate your complaint above your caseworker and their direct supervisor.

If you’d like to file a complaint about your worker and the way they have conducted themselves professionally you can submit a complaint to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

If you wish to make a complaint about the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services itself, you can do so through the Ombudsman of Ontario.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

Settlement.Org Team, Certified Community Resource Specialist (CCRS)