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 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 depends 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 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 2023 payment dates for ODSP and Ontario Works.
|Benefit Month||ODSP Payment Dates||Ontario Works Payment Dates|
|January 2023||January 31, 2023||December 30, 2022|
|February 2023||February 28, 2023||January 31, 2023|
|March||March 31, 2023||February 28, 2023|
|April||April 28, 2023||March 31, 2023|
|May||May 31, 2023||April 28, 2023|
|June||June 30, 2023||May 31, 2023|
|July||July 31, 2023||June 30, 2023|
|August||August 31, 2023||July 31, 2023|
|September||September 29, 2023||August 31, 2023|
|October||October 31, 2023||September 29, 2023|
|November||November 30, 2023||October 31, 2023|
|December||To be determined||November 30, 2023|
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 $1,228 for basic needs and shelter.
How to apply for welfare in Ontario:
You can start the application online. For inquiries 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 2023 are:
|Benefit Month||Income Assistance Payment Dates||Disability Assistance Payment Dates|
|January 2023||December 21, 2022||December 21, 2022|
|February 2023||January 18, 2023||January 18, 2023|
|March 2023||February 15, 2023||February 15, 2023|
|April 2023||March 22, 2023||March 22, 2023|
|May 2023||April 19, 2023||April 19, 2023|
|June 2023||May 17, 2023||May 17, 2023|
|July 2023||June 21, 2023||June 21, 2023|
|August 2023||July 19, 2023||July 19, 2023|
|September 2023||August 23, 2023||August 23, 2023|
|October 2023||September 20, 2023||September 20, 2023|
|November 2023||October 25, 2023||October 25, 2023|
|December 2023||November 22, 2023||November 22, 2023|
|January 2024||December 20, 2023||December 20, 2023|
How Much is welfare in B.C.? You could get up to $935 per month in income assistance if you are single, or $1,358.50 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.
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 2023.
|Benefit month||AISH Payment Date||Income Support Payment Date|
|January 2023||December 22, 2022||December 22, 2022|
|February 2023||February 1, 2023||February 1, 2023|
|March 2023||March 1, 2023||March 1, 2023|
|April 2023||March 31, 2023||March 31, 2023|
How much is welfare in Alberta? The basic living allowance for AISH recipients is $1,787 per month. For income support, a single adult may receive up to $919 per month.
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 Month||MB EIA Payment Date|
|January 2023||January 27, 2023|
|February 2023||February 24, 2023|
|March 2023||March 29, 2023|
|April 2023||April 26, 2023|
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 several financial assistance programs:
- 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 have been phased out.
Saskatchewan Social Assistance Payout Dates
The payment dates for Saskatchewan Income Support and Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program are:
|Benefit Month||SAID Payment Dates||SIS Payment Dates|
|January 2023||December 28, 2022||December 28, 2022|
|February 2023||January 30, 2023||January 30, 2023|
|March 2023||February 27, 2023||February 27, 2023|
|April 2023||March 30||March 30|
|May 2023||April 27||April 27|
|June 2023||May 30||May 30|
|July 2023||June 29||June 29|
|August 2023||July 28||July 28|
|September 2023||August 30||August 30|
|October 2023||September 28||September 28|
|November 2023||October 30||October 30|
|December 2023||November 29||November 29|
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 apply 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 2023:
- January 4, 2023
- February 1, 2023
- March 1, 2023
- April 3, 2023
- May 1, 2023
- June 1, 2023
- July 3, 2023
- August 1, 2023
- September 1, 2023
- October 2, 2023
- November 1, 2023
- December 1, 2023
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 $770 per month. If they have a temporarily limited capacity for employment, they receive $923.
For a single adult who is eligible for the Social Solidarity Program, the total monthly benefit is $1,205.
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 Month||Cheque Delivery Dates|
|January 2023||December 28, 29, 30|
|February 2023||January 27, 30, 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 $950/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 cannot 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 $593 monthly under the Transitional Assistance Program. For a single adult with a long-term disability under the Extended Benefits Program, the amount is $732/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 living with relatives gets $339 monthly basic income support or $561 if living with non-relatives or maintaining a household.
Other monthly basic rates include up to $372 for rent or mortgage and up to $132 for fuel supplement.
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 cannot pay for basic necessities.
Residents living with disabilities may be eligible for AccessAbility Supports.
Social Assistance Payment Dates and Amounts in PEI
The 2023 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.
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.