The federal and provincial governments of Canada have instituted a variety of social assistance programs to help provide financial aid and support to Canadian citizens. These social assistance programs, present in different forms in each province or territory, provide income support to eligible low-income and middle-income earning Canadians who struggle to take care of and fulfill their basic and essential needs.
There are also various welfare programs in each province that enable eligible unemployed Canadians to find and retain jobs. Aside from financial assistance and employment support, there are social assistance programs that cater to Canadians living with one form of disability or another.
What is Social Assistance in Canada?
Social assistance programs in Canada offer financial assistance or income support to eligible Canadian individuals and families who do not have enough resources to provide their basic needs or meet the cost of living essentials.
The welfare programs also offer employment support to eligible individuals to enable them to get employed and also retain jobs.
There are also provisions made to cater to people with disabilities by providing them with income support and employment assistance to better their lives.
Each province and territory have social assistance programs tailored to residents of the province or territory. There are also guidelines as well as laws and legislation that govern how these programs are executed in each province or territory.
Social Assistance Programs in Alberta
The provincial government of Alberta offers financial assistance to Albertan individuals and families through its Income Support program. Alberta's Income Support program is aimed at enabling individuals and families to pay for and afford basic living expenses and other essentials.
Alberta also has the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program that provides financial aid and other health benefits to eligible Albertan individuals living with a severe and permanent disability or medical condition that prevents them from earning a living and providing for themselves.
There is also the Alberta Seniors Benefit that caters to seniors or older Alberta residents.
Social Assistance in Alberta: Payment Dates 2023
The monthly AISH and Income Support payments are made on the first day of the benefit month except on weekends and holidays.
If you're eligible for the Alberta Income Support or the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), you'll receive your payments on the following dates:
- January: December 22, 2022
- February: February 1, 2023
- March: March 1, 2023
- April: March 31, 2023
- May: May 1, 2023
- June: June 1, 2023
- July: June 30, 2023
- August: August 1, 2023
- September: September 1, 2023
- October: September 29, 2023
- November: November 1, 2023
- December: December 1, 2023
Social Assistance in Alberta: Payment Amount
The amount you receive for the Alberta Income Support is dependent on your needs, family size as well as work eligibility.
Based on your eligibility for Alberta Income Support, you may receive up to $866 per month if you are single.
If you are eligible for the AISH, you may receive up to $1,685 every month as a basic living allowance.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Alberta
You can apply for Alberta's social assistance programs online or by contacting your local Social Assistance office.
Social Assistance Programs In British Columbia
The British Columbia provincial government instituted a Disability Assistance program that offers financial aid and health benefits to individuals living with a disability. To be eligible to receive these benefits you must be a Person with Disabilities (PWD).
British Columbia also has an income assistance program that offers financial assistance to British Columbians who are in need and lack the means of providing for themselves and their families. The income assistance program also enables unemployed individuals to transition to a job and retain the job.
2023 Payment Dates For Social Assistance In British Columbia
If you are eligible for British Columbia disability assistance or income assistance, you will receive your payments on the following dates:
|Benefit Month||Payment date|
|January 2023||December 21, 2022|
|February||January 18, 2023|
|March||February 15, 2023|
|April||March 22, 2023|
|May||April 19, 2023|
|June||May 17, 2023|
|July||June 21, 2023|
|August||July 19, 2023|
|September||August 23, 2023|
|October||September 20, 2023|
|November||October 25, 2023|
|December||November 22, 2023|
|January 2024||December 20, 2023|
Social Assistance in British Columbia: How Much Can You Get?
Based on your circumstances and the size of your family unit, you can get up to $935 per month on income assistance if you are single.
If you are on disability assistance, you can receive up to $1,358.50 if you are single.
How To Apply for British Columbian Social Assistance Programs
You can apply for disability assistance by completing the Persons with Disability Designation Application or by contacting your local social assistance office.
You can also apply for income assistance online or by contacting your local office.
Social Assistance Programs in Manitoba
The social assistance program in Manitoba is the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) and is divided into three categories:
- EIA for general assistance.
- EIA for persons with disabilities.
- EIA for single parents.
The EIA provides financial assistance to cover the costs of living essentials as well as other health supports and also helps individuals find and keep jobs.
Payment Dates for Social Assistance Programs In Manitoba In 2023
If you are eligible for the Manitoba EIA, you will receive your direct deposit payments on the following dates:
|Benefit Month||EIA Payment Dates|
|January||December 29, 2021|
|February||January 27, 2023|
|March||February 24, 2023|
|April||March 29, 2023|
|May||April 28, 2023|
|June||May 29, 2023|
|July||June 28, 2023|
|August||July 28, 2023|
|September||August 29, 2023|
|October||September 28, 2023|
|November||October 27, 2023|
|December||November 27, 2023|
Social Assistance in Manitoba: How Much Can You Get?
Depending on your circumstances and the federal benefits you receive, you could get the following monthly payments if you are a single adult. You could receive up to:
- $796 per month for the EIA General Assistance.
- $1,093 per month for the EIA for Persons with Disabilities.
- $948 per month for the EIA for Single Parents.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Manitoba
You can apply for the Manitoba EIA online by contacting your local EIA office or by calling 204-948-4000 if you are in Winnipeg, or 1-855-944-8111 (toll-free).
Social Assistance Programs in New Brunswick
The province of New Brunswick provides a Social Assistance program that offers financial assistance to residents of New Brunswick who find it hard to provide for their basic needs and meet the costs of living essentials.
The Social Assistance program also provides benefits for people living with one form of disability or another.
2023 Payment Dates for Social Assistance in New Brunswick
If you choose to receive your payments via direct deposit, you will receive your payments on the first day of the benefit month.
However, if the payment date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the payment will be made on the last business day of the previous month.
Social Assistance in New Brunswick: How Much Can You Get?
If you are eligible for the Transitional Assistance Program, you can receive up to $564 per month if you are single.
Eligible individuals who have lasting disabilities may receive up to $697 per month, under the Extended Benefits program, if you are single.
How to Apply for Social Assistance in New Brunswick
You can apply for Social Assistance in New Brunswick online or by contacting your local welfare office.
Social Assistance Programs in Newfoundland and Labrador
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador provides Income Support to eligible residents by providing financial aid and other benefits to low-income earning individuals to help them meet the costs of daily living essentials.
The Income Support Program offers both basic and non-basic financial support and is governed by The Income and Employment Support Act.
Newfoundland and Labrador Social Assistance: Payment Dates 2023
Generally, the Newfoundland social assistance benefit payments are made by direct deposit twice every month, depending on your circumstances. You may also receive your payments by cheque via mail.
Social Assistance in Newfoundland and Labrador: How Much Can You Receive?
If you're single, you can receive up to $534 for the basic income support benefit and up to $372 for shelter benefits as well as other additional benefits for fuel and other allowances.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Newfoundland and Labrador
You can apply for the Newfoundland, Labrador Social Assistance Program online or by contacting your local Social Assistance Office at
- 1-877-729-7888 if you are in the Avalon region.
- 1-888-632-4555 if you are in the Central region.
- 1-866-417-4753 if you are in the Western region.
- 1-866-449-3144, if you are in Labrador.
You can also contact them at the TTY number 1-877-292-4205 for any region.
Social Assistance Program in the Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories provincial government provides income support to eligible residents to enable them to meet the costs of essentials.
The program also offers assistance for shelter and utilities and also provides allowances for eligible seniors and individuals living with disabilities.
Social Assistance Programs in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has an Income Assistance (IA) program which provides financial assistance to eligible residents of Nova Scotia who cannot support themselves and their families financially.
The program enables individuals to meet the costs of their basic needs as well as other special needs.
The program also has an Employment Support Service (ESS) which can be available to you when you become eligible for the Income Assistance (IA) program. The ESS will help you explore various employment options as well as get a job.
Nova Scotia also has a Disability Support Program (DSP) that caters to disabled individuals.
Social Assistance in Nova Scotia: Payment Dates 2023
If you are eligible for the Nova Scotia social assistance programs, you will receive your benefit payments by cheque or direct deposits on the following dates:
- July 27, 28, 29, 2023
- August 29, 30, 31, 2023
- September 27, 28, 29, 2023
- October 27, 28, 31, 2023
- November 28, 29, 30, 2023
Social Assistance in Nova Scotia: How Much Can You Get?
If you are eligible for the social assistance programs in Nova Scotia, you may get up to $686 per month if you are single.
If you're qualified for the Disability Support Program, you may get up to $850 per month if you are single.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Nova Scotia
You can apply through your local social assistance office, or by calling 1-877-424-1177.
Social Assistance Programs in Nunavut
The provincial government of Nunavut offers an income assistance program aimed at enabling eligible Nunavut individuals and families who, for reasons of disability, illness, or unemployment, could not cater for their basic needs or meet the costs of various living essentials including their personal needs.
The program is intended as a last resort meaning that you must have applied for other benefits before applying for the income assistance program.
To continue receiving these benefits, you need to file your income tax returns every year.
Social Assistance in Nunavut: Payment Amount
Based on location, eligible individuals can receive a basic allowance ranging from $682 per month to $782 per month.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Nunavut
You can apply by contacting your Income Assistance Worker to set up an appointment or by contacting your local social assistance office.
Social Assistance Programs in Ontario
The Ontario Works program provides financial assistance and employment support to eligible Ontario residents.
The ODSP provides income support as well as other health benefits to eligible Ontario residents living with disabilities.
Social Assistance Programs in Ontario: Payment Dates
If you are eligible for Ontario Works, you will receive your payments on the following dates:
|Benefit month||Payment date|
|January 2023||December 30, 2022|
|February 2023||January 31, 2023|
|March 2023||February 28, 2023|
|April 2023||March 31, 2023|
|May 2023||April 28, 2023|
|June 2023||May 31, 2023|
|July 2023||June 30, 2023|
|August 2023||July 31, 2023|
|September 2023||August 31, 2023|
|October 2023||September 29, 2023|
|November 2023||October 31, 2023|
|December 2023||November 30, 2023|
If you are eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you will receive your payments on the following dates:
- January 31, 2023
- February 28, 2023
- March 31, 2023
- April 28, 2023
- May 31, 2023
- June 30, 2023
- July 31, 2023
- August 31, 2023
- September 29, 2023
- October 31, 2023
- November 30, 2023
- December 2023 is not yet announced
Social Assistance in Ontario: How Much Can You Receive?
The amount you may be eligible to receive each month is affected by your income and family size.
If you are eligible for the Ontario Works, you may receive up to $733 for your shelter and basic needs allowance if you are single.
If you are on ODSP, you may receive up to $1,169 for basic needs and shelter if you are single.
How To Apply For Social Assistance In Ontario
You can apply for both Ontario Works and ODSP online or by contacting your local Social Assistance Office.
Social Assistance Programs On Prince Edward Island
The Social Assistance program in Prince Edward Island enables eligible residents who do not have the resources to cater to their basic needs to do so.
The amount you receive helps you cover the costs of food, shelter, and other living essentials as well as health costs.
The amount of money you get is dependent on your income, the number of children you have, and if you're renting your home or not.
Social Assistance In Prince Edward Island: Payment Dates
If you are eligible for the social assistance program, you will receive your payments on the following dates:
- June 30, 2023
- July 29, 2023
- August 31, 2023
- September 30, 2023
- October 31, 2023
- November 30, 2023
Prince Edward Island's Social Assistance Program: How To Apply
You can apply by contacting the Social Assistance Program at 1-877-569-0546 (toll-free) or by visiting the nearest welfare office in your province.
Social Assistance Program In Quebec
The provincial government of Quebec provides the following social assistance programs:
- The Social Assistance Program
- The Social Solidarity Program
- The Aim for Employment Program.
All these programs provide financial aid to eligible low-income earning Quebec residents.
The Social Assistance Program provides financial aid for unemployed individuals and then provides the means to reinstitute these individuals into the workforce.
The Social Solidarity Program provides financial assistance to individuals or family members whose ability to work or be employed is severely impaired by a disability or chronic illness.
The Aim for Employment Program provides individuals with income support tailored to their needs for them to be employed and eventually become financially stable.
Payment Dates For Social Assistance In Quebec
If you are eligible for either the Social Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity Program, you will receive your monthly payments on the following dates in 2023:
- August 1, 2023
- September 1, 2023
- September 29, 2023
- November 1, 2023
- December 1, 2023
- December 29, 2023
Social Assistance Programs in Quebec: How Much Can You Receive?
Depending on your eligibility for the Social Assistance Program, you may receive:
- $720 per month if you are single and have no limited capacity for employment.
- $870 per month if you are single and have a temporarily limited capacity for employment.
If you are eligible for the Social Solidarity Program, you may receive up to $1,138 per month together with other benefit amounts based on your situation.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Quebec
You can apply or check your eligibility status online or call the welfare office at 514-873-4000 if you're in Montreal, or 1-877-767-8773 (toll-free).
Social Assistance Programs in Saskatchewan
The social assistance programs in Saskatchewan include:
- The Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS), is a combination of the now phased-out TEA and SAP.
- The Saskatchewan Employment Support (SES).
- The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID).
2023 Payment Dates for Social Assistance Programs in Saskatchewan
If you are eligible for either the SIS or the SAID benefits, you will receive your payments on any of the same dates as follows:
|Benefit Month||SAID Cheque Mailing Dates||SAID Direct Deposit Payment Dates|
|January||December 22, 2022||December 28, 2022|
|February||January 25 , 2023||January 30, 2023|
|March||February 22, 2023||February 27, 2023|
|April||March 27, 2023||March 30, 2023|
|May||April 24, 2023||April 27, 2023|
|June||May 25, 2023||May 30, 2023|
|July||June 26, 2023||June 29, 2023|
|August||July 25, 2023||July 28, 2023|
|September||August 25, 2023||August 30, 2023|
|October||September 25, 2023||September 28, 2023|
|November||October 26, 2023||October 30, 2023|
|December||November 27, 2023||November 29, 2023|
Social Assistance in Saskatchewan: How Much Will You Receive?
If you are eligible for the SIS, you may receive up to $860 monthly in shelter and basic needs allowance if you are single.
If you are eligible for the SAID benefit, the amount you may receive ranges from $931 to $1,064, depending on your location if you are single.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Saskatchewan
You can apply online or by contacting your local welfare office. You can also call 1-866-221-5200 to find out more information about the program.
Social Assistance Programs in Yukon
Yukon provides a social assistance program that offers financial assistance to eligible individuals who do not have enough resources to provide for their basic needs.
The social assistance program is intended as a last resort and covers the cost of essentials. The program is regulated by the Social Assistance Act.
Payment Amounts for Social Assistance in Yukon
If you are eligible for the Yukon social assistance program, you may receive up to $250 monthly for the Yukon Supplementary Service.
How To Apply for Social Assistance in Yukon
You can apply by calling 867-393-5674 or by visiting the nearest local social assistance office.
Social assistance programs in Canadian provinces allow the provincial governments to cater to low-income earners and disabled individuals in each province or territory. Each province or territory has its peculiar social assistance program as well as payment dates and amounts.
To apply for any social assistance program in your province or territory, you should visit your local social assistance office to gain more information on the available programs.
Social Assistance Payment Dates in Canada FAQs
How long can you stay on welfare in BC?
You can stay on welfare in British Columbia for two years if you are single and employable. Once you reach the two-year mark, you will be cut off from the social assistance program.
Can you get a loan on welfare?
Yes, you can get a loan while on a welfare program depending on whether the lender considers welfare payments as a viable source of income. You can also apply for a loan if the amount of your benefits is up to $1,500.
Are welfare payments considered a source of income?
Yes, welfare payments can be considered a source of income if it is your sole source of cash. However, you will not need to include them on your income tax return.
Is welfare money taxed?
No, welfare money is not taxed if the welfare amount is paid to low-income or disabled individuals. However, there are some welfare programs, especially those that offer employment support, that may offer taxable welfare payments.