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Frequently Asked Questions:

Early Years Services

Employment Services

Income Services

Homelessness Services

Housing Services

Answers to FAQ's:

What help is available to assist families with the cost of child care?

Child Care Fee Subsidy helps eligible parents or guardians cover the cost of licensed child care or recreational programs for children up to the age of 12. Based on eligibility, parents pay a portion of the daily cost of child care to the child care centre or recreational facility; and Early Years Services pays the balance of the daily cost directly to the centre or facility on their behalf. Eligibility is determined through an application process based on provincial legislation and municipal guidelines. 

To apply, contact our Customer Service Unit at 905-372-6846 or 1-800-354-7050, ext. 2468.

Financial assistance towards the cost of licensed child care, recreational program or an informal caregiver can also be provided to parents or guardians who are involved in an Ontario Works employment, job search, education or training program. To learn more, contact your caseworker directly.

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What child care options are there in Northumberland?

Northumberland County has over 1100 child care spaces available in various types of settings:

  • Licensed Child Care Centres
  • Home Child Care Agencies
  • Nursery School Programs
  • Approved Recreation Programs
  • Special Needs Resourcing Program
  • Licensed First Nations Program

The child care centres and recreational programs are licensed / approved by the Ministry of Education, and must meet specific provincial standards that provide for the health, safety and developmental needs of the children. For a listing of child care options, click here.

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What help is available for children with special needs?

To ensure that children with special needs receive the best possible services within provincial guidelines, Northumberland County Early Years Services has partnered with Five Counties Children's Centre to deliver Northumberland's Special Needs Resourcing Program. Together we provide the support needed so that every child can take part in a licensed child care program or approved recreational program of his/her family's choice. 

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Where are the Employment Ontario providers in Northumberland?

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What help is available if I am facing major barriers in my job search?

If you're facing obstacles in your job search that seem overwhelming, ask to speak to one of our Employment Caseworkers.  Our Employment Caseworkers can provide the extra support you may need as you work hard to remove those barriers to employment. 

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How do I apply for social assistance?

If you are a resident of Northumberland County, there are 2 ways to apply for Ontario Works assistance:

  1. You can call the Customer Service Unit at 905-372-6846ext. 2468, or
  2. You can visit this website to apply online ...

When applying by phone ...

  • An Application Assistance screener will ask you a number of questions to determine if you qualify for assistance.  
    This telephone screening will take 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • If it looks like you might be eligible, you will be scheduled to attend a Verification Interview at our local office located at 555 Courthouse Road in Cobourg.

When applying online ...

  • The screening process can take up to 60 minutes to complete.  This online application is confidential and available in English and French, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If it looks like you might be eligible, there is also a feature that allows you to suggest up to three dates 
    and times that you could come in to the local office for a Verification Interview.

Whether you are applying online or by phone, be sure to have the following information available for you, your spouse and dependents ready before you get started:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Insurance Number(s)
  • Health Card Number(s)
  • Immigration Number and Date of Landing (if applicable)
  • Cost of Accommodation (including mortgage, rent, heat and hydro)
  • Address Information (for the last 12 months)
  • Employment Information (for the last 3 months)
  • Bank Account and Asset Information (such as RRSP, GIC, CSB)
  • Information on all earnings and income (such as Canada Pension or Workplace Safety Insurance Board)
  • Notice of Assessment and Child Tax Assessment from Revenue Canada

Please note that you must also bring this information with you to the Verification Interview. During this in-person interview, your eligibility to receive assistance will be confirmed and required forms completed. You will also view a brief overview presentation and you may be asked to complete a literacy screening test. And if so, please remember that it's not a matter of passing or failing - it's a matter of finding out whether you may need help, so that we can then get you the help that you need.

If it is determined that you are not eligible for assistance, you may be referred to other services within our department such as Early Years Services, Housing Services, Community Outreach or other services within our local community. People who are in crisis or unable to go through the screening process online or over the telephone, will be able to access services at our local office.

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What other benefits are available for Ontario Works recipients?

For those who are eligible to receive Ontario Works financial assistance, the following benefits may also be available:

Advance Child Care Benefit  

If you are on Ontario Works and start employment, you may have child care costs before your first pay. You may be eligible to have these costs covered up to the actual cost for licensed care and a maximum of $600 per child for unlicensed care.

Dental & Vision Card  

Covers emergency dental care (relief of pain only) for adults. Children 17 years of age and under are covered under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. Vision care services for adults and dependent children (under 18 years of age) are covered in accordance with the County of Northumberland Vision Plan (e.g. purchase and/or repair of frames and lenses). Denture services may also be covered; must be pre-approved prior to the commencement of treatment.  

Diabetic Supplies  

Must have doctor's prescription stating requirements. 

Drug Card  

Issued for all family members listed on your monthly cheque, and covers medications listed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan

Extended Health Benefit  

If you are no longer eligible for Ontario Works due to income (e.g. CPP, OAS, etc), you may be still eligible for extended health benefits (e.g. prescriptions and/or other health related costs). You must have been in receipt of Ontario Works assistance the month prior to applying for this benefit.

Extended Employment Health Benefit   Drug card may be issued for a period of up to 6 months after leaving Ontario Works due to employment income.
Extended Start-up Benefit   If you are starting new employment, your hours of work have increased or you have started an employment related activity, you may be eligible to receive up to a maximum of $253 to cover costs such as clothing, work boots, hard hat, transportation, etc.
Full-time Employment Benefit   If you have been in receipt of Ontario Works assistance for at least 3 months, and you get full-time employment (over 30 hours per week), you may be eligible to receive up to $500 maximum to cover employment start-up costs. Confirmation of employment is required.
Guide Dog Benefit   Monthly costs for registered guide dog are covered for up to $64 per month.
Medical Travel and Transportation   Covers transportation costs to medical appointments, therapy, etc.
Shelter Benefit  

You may be eligible for municipal funding to help with last month's rent, moving costs, utility deposits and/or utility arrears to avoid disconnection or to reconnect, under Northumberland's Shelter Benefit Program.

Surgical Supplies   You may be eligible for this benefit if you are being treated at home after surgery.
Transition Child Benefit  

Parents who do not get the maximum Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) and maximum National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), will be eligible for the Transition Child Benefit. Maximum of $213 may be issued for each child under the age of 18, if eligible.

Other Discretionary Benefits   Municipal funding may also be available to cover dental cleaning for pregnant women, baby supplies and child care while attending medical appointments.

To learn more or to access any of these benefits, contact your Ontario Works caseworker directly.

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I need emergency housing - where can I go for help?

The Salvation Army may provide emergency shelter for those in need. Call 905-373-9440 or 1-866-865-0768 (Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9 am to 1 pm).

Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre located at 40 Swayne St. in Cobourg, is a temporary women's shelter for victims of abuse. Call 905-372-0746 or 1-800-263-3157.

Alderville Women´s Shelter (Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig Inc.) located in Roseneath, is a temporary women's shelter for victims of abuse; open to native and non-native women. Call 905-352-3708 or 1-800-388-5171. 

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I need help with last month's rent, moving costs and/or utility costs - where can I go for help?

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you may be able to get help with last month's rent, moving costs, utility deposits and/or utility arrears to avoid disconnection or to reconnect, under Northumberland's Shelter Benefit.

If you are receiving Ontario Works assistance, contact your caseworker. If you are receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) assistance, or you are on a fixed or low income, contact our Customer Service Unit at 905-372-6846 or 1-800-354-7051 ext. 2468.  

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How do I apply for subsidized housing?

To apply for subsidized housing, you may do one of the following:

  • Pick up an application at the our office located on the lower level at 555 Courthouse Road, Cobourg, ON.
  • Contact us at 905-372-3329, ext. 2304, or toll free at 1-800-354-7050 to have an application mailed to you.
  • Click here to download an application.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and want to apply for Special Priority Status, click here to download the Special Priority Package.

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Can I choose the size of unit I want?

Your choices must fall within the range of unit sizes determined by Northumberland County Policy Occupancy Standards - Policy #2008-7 according to your household size.

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When will I be notified regarding the status of my application?

Once a completed application has been received in our office, you will be notified by letter of your eligibility status within 30 days.

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Where am I on the Waiting List?

Northumberland County Housing Services maintains a Centralized Waiting List for all subsidized housing in Northumberland. The Centralized Waiting List is used to fill vacant units for non-profit, co-operative and County-owned subsidized housing units, in chronological order of the date of application. 

Where you are on the waiting list also depends on the number of bedrooms you need, location preference and vacancy turnover rate. This means that there are no specific numbers assigned to applicants on the wait list. You will, however, be given an approximate wait time in your eligibility letter at time of application.

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How will I be contacted with an offer for a housing unit?

Northumberland County Housing Services and our non-profit / cooperative Housing Providers require a daytime telephone number so that they can call you when a unit becomes available. If you cannot be reached during the day, it would be helpful if you provide a telephone number of a contact person who can be reached during the day so that they can pass a message along to you. 

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How many times can I turn down an offer for a housing unit?

A household can turn down an offer of a unit three times. After the third refusal, you will no longer be eligible for subsidized housing and will be removed from the waiting list. You may re-apply, however your original application date will no longer be applicable.

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How do I make changes to my application?

It is important that you keep your application up-to-date. You must notify us in writing within 30 days of any changes in your application, such as:

  • Change of address or contact phone numbers
  • Change of building selections on your housing application
  • Number of people in your household
  • Change of income or assets 

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How do I add or change my building selections?

You can add or change your building selections at any time after submitting your original application; however, a new date will be assigned to these additional selections, based on the date your new request is received in our office.

Download the Building Change Request Form or call 905-372-3329 or 1-800-354-7050 ext 2304 to receive a copy of the Building Change Request Form by email or by regular mail.

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How much rent do I have to pay?

Rent is based on approximately 30% of your total gross household income. Tenants on fixed income such as Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) assistance, pay according to the Provincially Mandated Rent Table.

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How many pets can I have?

Northumberland County's Housing Policy states that tenants are permitted to have one pet in their housing unit. A pet is defined as a domesticated animal which is kept or fed, such as a dog, cat, bird, gerbil, hamster, guinea pig or any other member of the rodent family, snake, lizard or any other reptile (according to local by-laws). It is important to note that your pet must not interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the property by other tenants or you could risk eviction.

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What if I still have questions?

To receive more information about subsidized housing, call 905-372-3329 or 1-800-354-7050 ext 2304.

To learn about services and subsidies available in your community, call our Centralized Intake Unit at 905-372-6846 or 1-800-354-7051 ext. 2468, and ask to speak to one of our Community Outreach workers.

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What other affordable housing resources are available in Northumberland?

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