Social Assistance Payment Dates and Benefits 2021

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by Enoch Omololu


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Social assistance programs in Canada provide financial support to individuals who are unable to cater to their basic needs without some form of income support.

In addition to income assistance, Canada’s welfare programs also include supports to help eligible individuals find and keep a job.

There are specific social safety nets for individuals who are suffering from a disability or impairment that hinders them from working and earning an income.

This article covers provincial social assistance payment dates, benefit types, and how to apply.

What is Social Assistance in Canada?

Social assistance provides income support to individuals when they have no other resources to meet their basic needs i.e., food, clothing, and shelter.

Each province and territory has its own income support programs and legislation that guides how they are implemented.

Social assistance for residents of indigenous communities is managed by Indigenous Services Canada.

In general, the amount of money you receive is dependent on your financial position (income and assets), the size of your family, and whether or not you have a qualifying disability.

Related: Minimum Wage in Canada.

Social Assistance in Ontario

Ontario’s social assistance program is offered through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Ontario Works provides financial and employment assistance to residents in financial need. ODSP provides income support to eligible individuals who have a disability.

Social Assistance Payment Dates in Ontario

The table below shows the 2021 payment dates for ODSP and Ontario Works.

Benefit MonthODSP Payment DatesOntario Works Payment Dates
JanuaryJanuary 29, 2021December 31, 2020
FebruaryFebruary 26, 2021January 29, 2021
MarchMarch 31, 2021February 26, 2021
AprilApril 30, 2021March 31, 2021
MayMay 31, 2021April 30, 2021
JuneJune 30, 2021May 31, 2021
JulyJuly 30, 2021June 30, 2021
AugustAugust 31, 2021July 30, 2021
SeptemberSeptember 30, 2021August 31, 2021
OctoberOctober 29, 2021September 30, 2021
NovemberNovember 30, 2021October 29, 2021
DecemberNot yet availableNovember 30, 2021

How much is welfare in Ontario?

Your monthly income is based on your financial circumstances and household size. For example, a single person can receive $733 for basic needs and shelter allowance. A single person on ODSP receives up to $1,169 for basic needs and shelter.

How to apply for welfare in Ontario:

You can start the application online. For inquires about the program, call your local Social Assistance Office.

Learn More: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

Social Assistance in British Columbia

Social welfare benefits are available in B.C. as income assistance and disability assistance. To qualify for disability assistance, you must be designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD).

B.C. also offers income supports to Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB).

Social Assistance Payment Dates in B.C.

The payment dates for income assistance and PWD benefits in British Columbia in 2021 are:

Benefit MonthIncome Assistance Payment DatesDisability Assistance Payment Dates
February 2021January 20, 2021January 20, 2021
March 2021February 17, 2021February 17, 2021
April 2021March 24, 2021March 24, 2021
May 2021April 21, 2021April 21, 2021
June 2021May 19, 2021May 19, 2021
July 2021June 23, 2021June 23, 2021
August 2021July 21, 2021July 21, 2021
September 2021August 25, 2021August 25, 2021
October 2021September 22, 2021September 22, 2021
November 2021October 20, 2021October 20, 2021
December 2021November 17, 2021November 17, 2021
January 2021December 15, 2021December 15, 2021

How Much is welfare in B.C.? You could get up to $935 per month in income assistance if you are single, or $1,358.42 per month for PWD benefits.

How to apply for welfare in B.C. You can start your application online. For inquiries, call 1-866-866-0800, or visit your local service B.C. location.

Learn more: B.C. Family and Social Supports.

Social Assistance in Alberta

Alberta offers income support to eligible individuals so they can pay for basic living costs and necessities.

If you have a permanent medical condition that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) payments.

Social Assistance Payment Dates in Alberta

The table below highlights the payment dates for AISH and income support in Alberta in 2021.

Benefit monthAISH Payment DateIncome Support Payment Date
January 2021December 23, 2020December 23, 2020
February 2021February 1, 2021February 1, 2021
March 2021March 1, 2021March 1, 2021
April 2021April 1, 2021April 1, 2021
May 2021April 30, 2021April 30, 2021
June 2021June 1, 2021June 1, 2021
July 2021June 30, 2021June 30, 2021
August 2021July 30, 2021July 30, 2021
September 2021September 1, 2021September 1, 2021
October 2021October 1, 2021October 1, 2021
November 2021November 1, 2021November 1, 2021
December 2021December 1, 2021December 1, 2021

How much is welfare in Alberta? The basic living allowance for AISH recipients is $1,685 per month. For income support, a single adult may receive up to $866 per month.

How to apply for welfare in Alberta: You can start your application online (income support) or here (AISH). For inquiries, call 1-877-644-9992 (toll-free).

Learn more: Alberta Income Support Program.

Related: Alberta Seniors Benefit Program.

Social Assistance in Manitoba

The social assistance program (Employment and Income Assistance – EIA) in Manitoba is divided into three categories:

  • EIA for single parents
  • EIA for persons with a disability
  • EIA for general assistance

Manitoba EIA Payment Dates

EIA payments through direct deposit are available on the following dates:

Benefit MonthMB EIA Payment Date
February 2021January 27, 2021
March 2021February 24, 2021
April 2021March 29, 2021
May 2021April 28, 2021
June 2021May 27, 2021
July 2021June 28, 2021
August 2021July 28, 2021
September 2021August 27, 2021
October 2021September 28, 2021
November 2021October 27, 2021
December 2021November 26, 2021
January 2022December 29, 2021

How much does social assistance pay in Manitoba? A single adult could receive the monthly payments below depending on their circumstances (combined with federal benefits):

  • EIA General Assistance: $796
  • EIA Single Parent: $948
  • EIA Persons with Disability: $1,093

How to apply for welfare in Manitoba: You can start your application for EIA benefits online. For inquiries, call 204-948-4000 (Winnipeg) or 1-855-944-8111 (toll-free).

Learn more: MB Employment and Income Assistance.

Related: Manitoba Income Tax Rates.

Social Assistance in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan offers a number of financial assistance programs including:

  • Saskatchewan Employment Supplement (SES)
  • Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP)
  • Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS)
  • Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID)
  • Transitional Employment Allowance (TEA)

The SIS program replaces SAP and TEA which are phased out in 2021.

Saskatchewan Social Assistance Payout Dates

The payment dates for Saskatchewan Income Support and Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program are:

Benefit MonthSAID Payment DatesSIS Payment Dates
January 2021December 30, 2020December 30, 2020
February 2021January 28, 2021January 28, 2021
March 2021February 25, 2021February 25, 2021
April 2021March 30, 2021March 30, 2021
May 2021April 29, 2021April 29, 2021
June 2021May 28, 2021May 28, 2021
July 2021June 29, 2021June 29, 2021
August 2021July 29, 2021July 29, 2021
September 2021August 30, 2021August 30, 2021
October 2021September 29, 2021September 29, 2021
November 2021October 28, 2021October 28, 2021
December 2021November 29, 2021November 29, 2021

How much does social assistance pay in Saskatchewan? For a single person on SIS, the monthly combined basic and shelter benefit is $810 – $860. SAID benefit rates vary depending on your location (from $931 – $1,064 for a single adult).

How to apply for welfare benefits in Saskatchewan: You can submit an application online. For inquiries, call 1-866-221-5200.

Learn more: Saskatchewan Family and Social Support.

Related: Saskatchewan Tax Brackets and Rates.

Social Assistance in Quebec

Social assistance programs in Quebec include the Social Assistance Program and Social Solidarity Program.

The Social Assistance Program provides “last-resort” financial support until you can re-enter the workforce.

The Social Solidarity Program provides financial assistance to individuals who suffer from severe physical or mental conditions that limit their ability to work.

Social Assistance Payment Dates in Quebec

Welfare benefits in Quebec are paid on the following dates in 2021:

  • February 1, 2021
  • March 1, 2021
  • April 1, 2021
  • April 30, 2021
  • June 1, 2021
  • June 30, 2021
  • July 30, 2021
  • September 1, 2021
  • October 1, 2021
  • November 1, 2021
  • December 30, 2021

How much does social assistance pay in Quebec? For a single adult who is eligible for the Social Assistance Program and has no limited capacity for employment, the basic benefit is $708 per month. If they have a temporarily limited capacity for employment, they receive $848.

For a single adult who is eligible for the Social Solidarity Program, the total monthly benefit is $1,111.

Additional benefits may apply depending on your situation.

How to apply for welfare benefits in Quebec: You can check your eligibility online and complete the application forms. For inquiries, call 514-873-4000 (Montreal) or 1-877-767-8773 (toll-free).

Learn more: Quebec Social Assistance and Social Solidarity.

Social Assistance in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s Employment Support and Income Assistance offers eligible individuals money for basic needs, special needs, and support for getting a job.

The province also has a Disability Support Program.

Nova Scotia Income Assistance Payment Dates

Benefit MonthCheque Delivery Dates
March 2021February 24, 25, 26
April 2021March 29, 30, 31
May 2021April 28, 29, 30
June 2021May 27, 28, 31
July 2021June 28, 29, 30
August 2021July 28, 29, 30
September 2021August 27, 30, 31
October 2021September 28, 29, 20
November 2021October 27, 28, 29
December 2021November 26, 29, 30
January 2022December 29, 30, 31
February 2022January 27, 28, 31

How much does income assistance pay in Nova Scotia? A single adult receives up to $686 per month for the standard household rate. A single adult who is eligible for the Disability Support Program (DSP) receives up to $850/month for the standard household rate.

How to apply for welfare in Nova Scotia: You can apply for income assistance at your local office or call 1-877-424-1177.

Learn more: Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.

Related: Sales Taxes by Province.

Social Assistance in New Brunswick

The Social Assistance Program in New Brunswick provides financial help to residents who are unable to meet their basic needs.

It includes basic social assistance benefits and extended benefits for individuals with a qualifying disability.

New Brunswick Welfare Payment Dates and Amounts

Direct deposit payments are made on the first day of each month.

If the first day falls on a weekend or holiday, the payment is made on the last business day of the previous month.

How much does social assistance pay in New Brunswick? A single adult receives $564 monthly under the Transitional Assistance Program. For a single adult who has a long-term disability under the Extended Benefits Program, the amount is $697/month.

How to apply for welfare in New Brunswick: Contact the Department of Social Development at 1-833-733-7835.

Learn more: NB Social Assistance Program.

Related: New Brunswick Tax Brackets and Rates.

Social Assistance in Newfoundland and Labrador

Eligible residents of NL receive income support benefits including basic and non-basic financial supports.

The basic benefit caters to daily needs (food, utilities, clothing, etc.) and shelter (rent or mortgage).

Social Assistance Payment Dates and Amounts in NL

Income support benefits are generally issued twice a month and may vary depending on your circumstances.

Payments occur by direct deposit or you can receive a cheque by mail.

How much does income support pay in NL? A single individual gets up to $534 for basic income, plus up to $372 for shelter, and extra amounts for fuel supplements or any special needs.

How to apply for income support in NL: You can call the following numbers based on your location:

  • Avalon region: 1-877-729-7888
  • Central region: 1-888-632-4555
  • Western region: 1-866-417-4753
  • Labrador: 1-866-449-3144

Alternatively, you can contact 1-877-292-4205 TTY for all regions.

Learn more: Newfoundland and Labrador Income Support.

Social Assistance in Prince Edward Island

The Social Assistance Program in PEI provides income support to individuals and families who are unable to pay for basic necessities.

Residents living with disabilities may be eligible for AccessAbility Supports.

Social Assistance Payment Dates and Amounts in PEI

The 2021 payment dates for social assistance in Prince Edward Island are not available online.

The amount of money you receive depends on your financial situation, family size, and whether you own a home or are renting.

How to apply for welfare in PEI: Contact the Social Assistance Program toll-free at 1-877-569-0546.

Learn more: PEI Social Assistance Program.

Social Assistance in Nunavut

Eligible Nunavummiut can apply for Social Assistance Benefits at their local Income Assistance Office.

A single person gets a monthly basic allowance ranging from $682 to $782 depending on their location.

For inquiries, call:

  • Qikiqtani: 867-473-2615 (1-800-567-1514)
  • Kivalliq: 867-645-5040 (1-800-953-8516)
  • Kitikmeot: 867-983-4032 (1-800-661-0845)

Learn more: Nunavut Income Assistance.

Social Assistance in Yukon

Yukon Social Assistance program is governed by the Social Assistance Act.

To apply, you must set up an intake appointment with a social worker at a Social Assistance Office.

Individuals who are eligible for social assistance may also be eligible for the Yukon Supplementary Allowance which is $250 per month.

For inquiries, call 867-393-5674.

Learn more: Yukon Legal and Social Supports.

Social Assistance in the Northwest Territories

Northerners can apply for the Income Assistance Program if they are 19 years or older, have a serious financial need, and participate in productive choices (unless exempt).

You can submit an application at an ECE Service Centre in your region (Beaufort Delta, Dehco, North Slave, South Slave, and Salitu).

For general inquiries about Income Security Programs, call 867-767-9355 or 1-866-973-7252 toll-free.

Learn more: NWT Income Assistance Program.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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