Frequently asked questions

Who can use this tool?

This tool is for service providers who are working in a frontline capacity with clients living on a low income. It is free and accessible online. The content on the tool assumes that you or a referral source that you know, has some knowledge about how to help clients apply for government benefits. To learn more about the purpose and background of the tool, please read the About page.

What information will this tool provide me with?

This tool will provide you with a list of all the benefits that your client may be eligible for, based on their responses to a screening questionnaire. You and your client may select some or all of the recommended benefits, and look at the full list of 60+ benefits that are part of this tool. You can then prioritize the benefits you selected and Print, Download, or Email a PDF of the results to your client and/or yourself. You can also view local agencies that may provide resources related to applying for benefits or for broadly supporting people living on low income.

How do I use this tool?

Access the application through the home page or here, click “Get Started” to begin using the tool. The tool has three mandatory steps and one optional step.

1. Questionnaire

  • The questionnaire is the most important part of the tool. On this page, you’ll find a series of 16 questions that will ask about your living situation and income.
  • Invite your client to answer the questions to the best of their ability. The answers will help the tool recommend the benefits that will be most relevant for your client.
  • Answers will be kept anonymous. No names, email addresses nor locations will be saved by the tool.

2. Eligible benefits

  • This page will show you which benefits may be recommended for you, based on the answers you provided in the questionnaire. You can narrow the recommendations even further by clicking selections from the ‘Filter’ button.
  • From this page, you may click on the individual benefits to view more information, including the application requirements, pre-requisites, and more. To add a benefit to your list, you can click 'Add to my benefits' directly from the main list on the 'Eligible benefits' page, or from the page with the detailed description. Once you’ve made selections, the listed benefits will change colours based on whether you’ve added them to your list or marked as N/A.
  • At the top of the Select Benefits page, you’ll also notice the tab labelled ‘Other.’ Clicking on this will show you the other benefits available that were not recommended by the tool, based on the answers in the questionnaire. You can review these benefits as well, if you would like to be certain. This will take additional time with your client.
  • From here, use the menu at the left to click on ‘Review my benefits’ - with the star – to see the benefits you’ve selected.

3. My Benefits

  • This step allows you to prioritize the benefits that you and your client have selected.
  • Benefits are categorized into eight categories: Health, Housing, Disability, Income, Retirement, Family, Education, and Transportation.
  • Your client may have certain emergent needs related to one or more of these categories. This step allows you and your client to select benefits that are more important to apply for than others.
  • You can click and drag the benefits to change their order and prioritize certain benefits over others.
  • At the end of this step, you can Print, Download, or Email a PDF document of the prioritized benefits for your client and/or yourself. This PDF document has all the details for the benefits that were selected, in the order they were prioritized.

4. Find Help (optional)

  • Thanks to our partnership with 211 Ontario, this step allows you to see all the local resources that may help your client access benefits or resources for people living on low income, such as food banks.
  • As you support your client through the screening, reviewing recommendations, and prioritization steps, you may discover resources that your client may need in order to apply for benefits, such as access to a computer, printer, ID, shelter, or transportation.
  • This step allows you to write down or print local resources that may be applicable.

Watch the video to learn all the features of this tool. 

Download the user guide here.

Can I print or keep a record of the information generated by the tool?

Yes. Once you have selected and prioritized benefits (step three), you can Print, Download, or Email a PDF document of the prioritized benefits for your client and/or yourself. This PDF document has all the details for the benefits that were selected, in the order they were prioritized.

How do I use the PDF that is generated from this tool?

Review the PDF document with your client to make sure they understand the details on each page. You can use the notes section to write timelines, deadlines, instructions, and/or encouraging notes for your client before they leave.

You can also email a copy of the PDF to your client and/or yourself for future use. To keep track of multiple My Benefits lists, you can specify your client’s name in the subject line.

What benefits are included in the Benefits library?

The Benefits library contains all 60+ federal, Ontario, and some City of Toronto benefits in the BST. Benefits for other provinces and municipalities are not currently listed.

The benefits in this library are pulled from Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and City of Toronto websites and updated as of October 2020.