Important Notice

October 8, 2021

All tribunals and Tribunals Ontario offices were closed on September 30, 2021, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to commemorate the history and legacy of Residential Schools in Canada. Applicable timelines that are calculated by business day are extended by one day.

Legislation and Regulation


The Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) is established under Part IV of the Ontario Works Act, 1997. Appeals are heard under that act and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997.

  • The Ontario Works Act provides for basic financial assistance to people who are in need while they attempt to become employed or stay employed. The Act establishes Ontario Works, a program designed to help participants become self-sufficient.
  • The Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 provides for an income support program for people with disabilities and support for children with severe disabilities. Employment supports are also provided under the Act.

Both acts outline the process for reviewing decisions where a person has been denied assistance or when his/her assistance has been reduced or cancelled.

Ontario Works Act: Regulation 134/98 provides more information about the requirements of the Act. Together, the Act and this regulation identify:

  • Who is eligible for assistance
  • The obligations of people on assistance to be involved in employment assistance activities
  • The application process for persons seeking financial assistance
  • Responsibilities of recipients and their dependants while receiving assistance
  • The amount of financial assistance and the method of calculation
  • The amount and types of income and assets that are considered to determine if a person is eligible
  • The reasons for which assistance can be refused, cancelled or reduced by the administrator
  • The review of decisions of the administrator
  • The Social Benefits Tribunal and its powers
  • An appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal and the process for such an appeal
  • The right to appeal to Divisional Court on an error of law.

Ontario Disability Support Program Act: Regulation 222/98 provides information about specific provisions in the Act, such as:

  • How to apply for Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Who is a person with a disability
  • The role of the Disability Adjudication Unit in determining if a person has a disability
  • The responsibilities a person and his or her dependants must meet to be eligible
  • The amount of income support and benefits available
  • The amount and types of income and assets that are considered to determine if a person and his or her dependants are eligible
  • The reasons for a director to refuse, cancel or reduce income support
  • The review of decisions of the director not to grant or to cancel or reduce income support or benefits
  • An appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal and the process for an appeal
  • The right to appeal to Divisional Court on an error of law.

Ontario Disability Support Program Act: Regulation 224/98 provides more information about assistance for children with severe disabilities. It describes who is eligible for assistance, and how much a person can receive based on the income of the parent, the severity of the child’s disability and the expenses incurred for the child.

The Statutory Powers Procedures Act provides a framework for the conduct of hearings before Ontario’s administrative tribunals and applies to the proceedings of the SBT.

The SBT hears and decides appeals by people who have been refused social assistance and people who disagree with a decision that affects the amount of, or their eligibility for, social assistance. Because of the sensitive personal information involved in these cases, legislation requires that all hearings be held in private.