May 1st, 2013
Ministry of Community and Social Services Addresses Ontario Works Rent Payments In 11 Ontario Municipalities
According to a notice from the Ministry of Community and Social Services some people on social assistance in eleven Ontario municipalities may be inconvenienced by an error in computer processing that affected a portion of this month’s Ontario Works payments.
For landlords this means tenants on Ontario Works may end up being late for their rent payments. We know how non-payment of rent can set off alarm bells for small residential landlords. And with good reason!
It’s important to know if your tenant is late for rent, it may not be their intention.
The processing glitch will affect around 17,000 Ontario Works recipients who have pre-arranged for a percentage of their cheque to be automatically deducted to pay for rent and/or utilities.
The Ministry explained OW clients should expect to receive one lump sum in their bank accounts. This means they will be personally responsible for paying their bills. The error did not produce any over-payments, according to the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
The error will affect only Ontario Works clients who have made prior arrangements for their municipality to deduct some of their payment in order to pay bills such as utilities or rent. The one-time processing error caused the full amount of the Ontario Works payment to go to the social assistance client. As a result, the clients will be personally responsible for paying their affected bills this month.
Despite this error, all payments are being made on time and no Ontario Works client will be short-changed (and the error also did not produce any over-payments). The Ministry of Community and Social Services says the circumstances that caused the unprecedented error are unlikely to recur. The Ministry said it is reviewing procedures to ensure proper safeguards from now on.
The Ministry is working with the 11 municipalities to alert both the affected clients and the vendors.
Areas impacted in Ontario include Toronto, Brantford, Cochrane, Kawartha Lakes, London, Niagara, Northumberland, Ottawa, Parry Sound, Peel and Windsor.
To discuss this you can visit the topic at the Ontario Landlord Forum