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Income Assistance

What is a Productive Choice?

A Productive Choice is the name given to any activity that will benefit the community or develop your skills to be as independent as possible. Productive Choices can include training, upgrading, part-time employment and parenting courses.

Why is my cheque different than last month's cheque?

Cheques will change from month to month depending on your income, rent, fuel bills and family size.

What are overpayments and a repayment plan?

Sometimes the amount of money given to you in a month is more than you should have received. These overpayments can happen because not all income was properly reported, a bill was paid when it should not have been or the benefits were miscalculated. Your Community Income Assistance Worker can work out a plan with you to repay any overpayments.

Why does the money I get from working get deducted from my cheque?

If you have dependents, the first $400.00 you make will not be deducted from your cheque. The program only provides assistance to make up the difference between your needs and your income. Once you make more than the $400 income exemption, your cheque will be reduced by that amount.

Why should I work when the money I make gets deducted from my Income Assistance cheque?

You have a responsibility to support yourself and your family the best you can. Working allows you to collect hours toward Employment Insurance.

Why is the National Child Benefit deducted from my cheque?

The full amount of the National Child Benefit is not deducted from your Income Assistance cheque. Only the supplement portion is deducted. This money is used to pay for other benefits that you may be entitled to.

Do I have to become involved in a productive activity?

To continue receiving benefits beyond the second application, you must begin to take advantage of training, education or work opportunities within your community, unless you are a senior or legitimately unable to work.

Can I take training?

Yes, financial assistance for training is available through the Income Assistance program or other programs. Speak with your Community Income Assistance Worker or Career Development Officer about the assistances available.

I could work but can't afford day care.

A day care subsidy may be available. Your Community Income Assistance Worker can give you more information.

I don't want to be on Income Assistance, but have no skills to get a job.

Your Community Income Assistance Worker can refer you to a Career Development Officer or help you decide how to get the skills you need.

How will I support my family when I am taking training?

If you have been approved for training under the Sivuniksaliurniq program and are living away from home, the Income Assistance program will continue to assess your family's needs.

I do not agree with my Community Income Assistance Worker's assessment. What can I do?

You can appeal your Community Income Assistance Worker's decision to the local appeal committee. Your Community Income Assistance Worker can assist you.

My daughter lives with her father, but I send money to him every month. Shouldn't she be included on my Income Assistance application?

No. Only children living with you and dependent on you are included. Your daughter can be included on her father's application.

My son is 18. Can he apply for Income Assistance on his own now?

Yes, once a child reaches the age of 18, he or she may apply on his own. Because Income Assistance is a program of last resort, your child will be expected to make a Productive Choice that will help him become financially independent.

My husband has income. Does that count against my application?

Yes, most of your family income is taken into account when you apply.

I am a pensioner, but I have to support my grandchildren. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, everyone over 18 years old is eligible to apply. If your grandchildren are dependent on you for support they will be included in your needs assessment. If you are the legal guardian of your grandchildren, you are also entitled to apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefits through your income tax return or by calling toll-free 1-800-387-1193.