The Income and Social Supports Division leads in policy and program development and support for the delivery of the Income Support program, and the associated legislative requirements.
The division plans, develops, monitors and evaluates program policy and procedures within the Income Support program and provides support and consultative services to the regional offices to support consistent delivery practices. The division undertakes monitoring and analysis of caseload data and trends, budget expenditures, and emerging issues identified by the service delivery branch and other departments. The division consults within the department, as well as other government departments and jurisdictions on social policy.
Guidance in the operation of the computerized client payment system is provided by the division.
The division negotiates contracts and distributes funding to community agencies providing homeless shelter services in the province.
The Income Support program provides basic financial benefits and other services to eligible low income individuals and families to assist in meeting daily living expenses. The Income Support Program is governed by the Income and Employment Support Act and Regulations.
- Basic financial benefits for food, clothing, shelter and other personal needs.
- Additional financial assistance for things such as: medical transportation, vision care, municipal taxes, fuel supplement, special food allowances, blind persons allowance, funeral expenses, and comforts allowance for those in residential settings.
- Determination of financial eligibility for certain benefits and services offered by other provincial departments, such as: hearing aids and orthotics and prosthetics.
- Financial supplements and other supports for Income Support recipients entering the workforce, such as: a job start benefit; a 30 day overlap of earnings and Income Support benefits; an ongoing earnings supplement; a one year extended drug card; and, a supplement for private child care.
- Benefits under the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit.
- Supports to single parents to obtain support orders or agreements on behalf of dependent children.
- Emergency supports for victims of violence, including: transportation to a shelter or other safe location; accommodations at a safe location; and a financial contribution towards new clothing and household items where it is not safe to return home for these things.
- A Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement, which is a monthly financial benefit for any low income expectant mothers and families with children under age one, to assist with additional nutritional requirements.
- Shelter services and supports for homeless individuals through financial arrangements with homeless shelters.
- Social Work services: on a referral basis to assist clients with system navigation; and, outreach and liaison with community partner agencies.
- Referrals to other divisions, departments or agencies when clients are identified as having a specific need.
To receive financial benefits through the Income Support program, an individual or family must be residents of the province, at least 18 years of age, and determined to be eligible according to a financial assessment. Other social supports are provided to individuals with an assessed need on a referral basis.