Text Size

Income Support FAQ

  1. How do I apply for Income Support (Social Assistance)?
  2. How will my application be assessed?
  3. How do I apply for a drug card?
  4. What are the Income Support rates?
  5. Why is there no amount for children included in basic benefits?
  6. What do I do if I do not receive the maximum child benefits and may not have enough money to care for my children?
  7. Why were benefits for children moved out of the Income Support program and into the CCTB/NLCB?
  8. When and how are Income Support cheques issued?
  9. I am looking for the telephone number of an employee of the department. How can I obtain this number?
  10. How old must you be to qualify for benefits?
  11. I am a single adult. What assistance will the income support program provide for my living accommodations?
  12. I am a single parent with dependent child/children. Can I receive support?
  13. I did not receive my cheque. Who can I call?
  14. My cheque amount has changed. Why?
  15. How may I appeal a decision from a District Office?
  16. Does the Income Support Program pay tuition costs for post-secondary students?
  17. Does the Income Support Program pay for child care expenses?
  18. Does the Income Support Program pay for medical transportation?

 

1. How do I apply for Income Support (Social Assistance)?

The fastest way to apply for Income Support is by contacting the toll-free number for your region and having an application completed over the telephone; however you may also apply by printing an Income Support Application PDF (342 KB) and once completed, send it to the address indicated on the form. You can also request an application be mailed to you for completion.

^ Top

2. How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed by a Client Services Officer who will take into consideration your needs, as defined in policy, and compare them with your resources. When determining your needs, consideration will be made regarding the needs of you or your family based on the number of adults in your family, living accommodations and other special needs which may exist. These needs are then compared with all the resources of you and your family. In addition, the Client Services Officer will also consider any resources you or your family may be entitled to at some time in the future. You and your family may be eligible for full Income Support benefits or partial benefits based on you or your family’s income.

^ Top

3. How do I apply for a drug card?

If you are eligible to receive Income Support benefits you are automatically entitled to a drug card, which covers prescription drugs and dispensing fees. If you have a private health insurance plan, the drug card will cover any eligible costs not covered under your own plan. This card can be used as long as there is eligibility for prescription drug benefits under any program area covered by the NLPDP. Also, each member of your family will receive their own prescription drug card.

If you lose your card or if you have any questions about your eligibility under the program you can call the Department of Health and Community Services at 1-888-859-3535 or e-mail LIDPinfo@gov.nl.ca. They also offer a Low Income Drug Program PDF (110 KB) which is a program based on income levels and available to all eligible residents of the province.

^ Top

4. What are the Income Support rates?

Income Support Rates vary depending on the number of adults in the family and the living arrangements of the family. For an assessment of your circumstances and to find out the amount of financial assistance you may be eligible to receive, contact the toll free-number for your region.

^ Top

5. Why is there no amount for children included in basic benefits?

Basic assistance for children is now provided through the combined federal/provincial child benefits (CCTB/NLCB) which families are entitled to receive through Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

^ Top

6. What do I do if I do not receive the maximum child benefits and may not have enough money to care for my children?

If you do not get the maximum CCTB or NLCB, you may be entitled to a Child Benefit Adjustment. The Child Benefit Adjustment is a benefit added to your Income Support benefits to help you care for your children until such time as you start receiving the maximum CCTB and NLCB.

^ Top

7. Why were benefits for children moved out of the Income Support program and into the CCTB/NLCB?

Moving benefits into the CCTB/NLCB protects these benefits from being clawed back as you move from Income Support to independence. The CCTB/NLCB is calculated only once a year based on your previous year’s family income. If your family's income increases this year due to employment and ineligibility for Income Support, your child benefits will continue uninterrupted until June when they are recalculated again.

^ Top

8. When and how are Income Support cheques issued?

Income Support cheques may be issued in two ways. Recurring pay cheques are distributed to you by mail and are received on the banking day closest to the 1st and the 16th of each month. Direct deposit of Income Support benefits is also available as another option for payment. Non-recurring or one-time only cheques are issued after an application for Income Support has been approved. These are mailed directly to the client.

^ Top

9. I am looking for the telephone number of an employee of the department. How can I obtain this number?

You can access staff contact information by referring to the blue pages of a local telephone directory for the listing of the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. A list of telephone numbers is also included on our site.

General enquiries are directed to contact the Department of Advanced Education and Skills Provincial Office by calling (709) 729-2480.

^ Top

10. How old must you be to qualify for benefits?

The Income Support program requires that you be at least 18 years old to be eligible to apply for benefits.

^ Top

11. I am a single adult. What assistance will the Income Support program provide for my living accommodations?

If you are a single individual, you may be provided with assistance to live in a board and lodging arrangement either with your relatives or non relatives. In special circumstances, rental assistance may be considered after an assessment is completed. If you are a single applicant between 18 and 21 years of age and are applying for Income Support because of unemployment, you must also provide information on the income and resources of your parents.

^ Top

12. I am a single parent with dependent child/children.  Can I receive support?

An assessment will be completed taking into consideration your requirements and financial resources. The department requires that single parents seek child support from the child's other parent. Should you require help in securing child support, you will be referred to a local Family Justice Services office where trained staff will provide assistance.

^ Top

13. I did not receive my cheque. Who can I call?

For missing cheques, you can speak with a representative by contacting the toll free number for your region.

^ Top

14. My cheque amount has changed. Why?

Cheque amounts can change because of adjustments to your requirements or income. For an explanation of any change to benefits, you can contact the toll free number for your region.

A review of the printed cheque stub attached to the cheques may also explain the change.

^ Top

15. How may I appeal a decision from a District Office?

If you are not satisfied with a decision made by a Client Services Officer, you may request that the decision be reviewed by a manager. If you are still not satisfied you may go through the appeal process. The first level of appeal is an Internal Review Committee and the second level is with the Income and Employment Support Appeal Board.

^ Top

16. Does the Income Support Program pay tuition costs for post-secondary students?

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills does provide funding to eligible clients interested in obtaining their High School Diploma through the Adult Basic Education program. To find out more information you may contact the toll free number for your region, visit a Career/Work Centre or by calling the Labour Market Career Information Hotline. Information on financial assistance for post secondary students is also available online at LMIworks.nl.ca opens new window

^ Top

17. Does the Income Support Program pay for child care expenses?

If you are employed and require child care you may be eligible for a child care subsidy to help with the cost. The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services has a Child Care Subsidy program available to low-income families. The amount that you would be required to contribute depends on your income. In order to qualify for a child care subsidy, your child(ren) must be enrolled in a licensed child care facility. To apply for or to obtain information relating to the Child Care Subsidy Program, please contact the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

If you are receiving Income Support benefits and are employed or are enrolled in a post-secondary educational program, you may be eligible for a child care subsidy, assuming your child is enrolled in a licensed child care facility. You would likely be eligible for a full subsidy given your eligibility for Income Support benefits. If there is no licensed child care facility in your area, no spaces available in a licensed facility, or if you are unable to use a licensed child care center for your child, you may be eligible for private child care benefits through the Income Support Program.

^ Top

18. Does the Income Support Program pay for medical transportation?

Some types of medical transportation may be provided by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills such as out of province medical transportation.

Assistance is provided towards the cost of transportation for medical reasons depending upon how often you have medical appointments and the distance from your home to a medical centre. You can contact a Client Services Officer at the office in your region.

^ Top

All material copyright of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.

Adobe® Acrobat® Reader software can be used for viewing PDF documents. Download Acrobat® Reader for free opens in new window

 
Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.