How to Apply for Income Assistance

  1. How to apply
  2. What to bring to your first meeting with a caseworker
  3. Finding out if you will get Income Assistance
  4. If you are eligible
  5. If you are not eligible

Who can receive Income Assistance

How to apply

To apply for Income Assistance, call the Department of Community Services Intake Team at 1-877-424-1177 or find your local office.

Tell the caseworker you speak to that you want to apply for Income Assistance. They will ask you questions about your situation. Have these things with you when you make the call:

  • bank statements for your account
  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • any other information that can help the caseworker understand your situation

What to bring to your first meeting with a caseworker

In this meeting, a caseworker will look at your information and documents to see if you are eligible for Income Assistance. You will be told what to bring to this meeting when you schedule the appointment. This may include:

  • your Social Insurance Number (also known as your SIN)
  • driver’s licence or photo ID
  • bank account statements
  • income tax assessment forms
  • a copy of your lease
  • bills or receipts that show the housing costs you pay, such as heat and electricity

The caseworker will photocopy all the documents you bring and keep the copies in a file. This information is kept confidential. Keep the original documents for your records.

Finding out if you will get Income Assistance

After your caseworker collects all the information they need, it usually takes three to seven days to find out if you are eligible for Income Assistance.

The caseworker will photocopy all the documents you bring and keep the copies in a file. This information is kept confidential. Keep the originals for your records.

Your caseworker will call you or send a letter. You may also call the office. You will be told:

  • that you are eligible, and the amount you will be getting
  • or

  • that you are not eligible and the reasons for that
  • If you are eligible

    Monthly assistance usually comes three working days before the end of the month. Check the schedule here. Depending on your situation, you may get money at a different time (for example, if you have an emergency).

    You can get Income Assistance in one of two ways:

  • have it deposited directly into your bank account
  • This is called direct deposit. We recommend direct deposit because it is safe, you get your money on time, and it is confidential. Your caseworker will help you set up direct deposit if you want to use it.

  • have your cheque mailed to you
  • The caseworker will ask where you are looking for work. They will also ask if you have looked for support from programs like Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits, or Worker’s Compensation.

    Your cheque may take longer to arrive depending on mail service. We do recommend direct deposit. If you move, make sure to tell your caseworker.

    If you are not eligible

    If you are not eligible for Income Assistance, you will get a letter from the Department of Community Services. This letter will explain the decision. You can ask the caseworker to explain the reasons for the decision. If you have new information that may change the decision, you can share it with the caseworker.

    You can also appeal the decision. Learn more about the process here.