- How do I apply for Income Support (Social Assistance)?
- How will my application be assessed?
- How do I apply for a drug card?
- What are the Income Support rates?
- Why is there no amount for children included in basic benefits?
- What do I do if I do not receive the maximum child benefits and may not have enough money to care for my children?
- Why were benefits for children moved out of the Income Support program and into the CCB/NLCB??
- When and how are Income Support cheques issued?
- I am looking for the telephone number of an employee of the department. How can I obtain this number?
- How old must you be to qualify for benefits?
- I am a single adult. What assistance will the income support program provide for my living accommodations?
- I am a single parent with dependent child/children. Can I receive support?
- I did not receive my cheque. Who can I call?
- My cheque amount has changed. Why?
- How may I appeal a decision from a District Office?
- Does the Income Support Program pay tuition costs for post-secondary students?
- Does the Income Support Program pay for child care expenses?
- Does the Income Support Program pay for medical transportation?
- If I file an income tax return and qualify for various tax credits and benefits (including an income tax refund), will the department deduct these amounts from my Income Support entitlement?
- What do I do if I have been overpaid Income or Employment Support benefits?
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 (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.
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.
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 which is a
program based on income levels and available to all eligible residents of the province.
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.
Basic assistance for children is now provided through the combined federal/provincial child benefits (CCB/NLCB) which families are entitled to receive through Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
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 CCB 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 CCB and NLCB.
Moving benefits into the CCB/NLCB protects these benefits from being clawed back as you move from Income Support to independence. The CCB/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.
Income Support payments may be issued in two ways. Recurring payments are directly deposited into the recipient’s bank account on the 1st and 16th of each month or if for some reason direct deposit is not an option, cheques will be mailed to ensure receipt by the 1st and 16th. Non-recurring or one-time only cheques can be directly deposited or mailed once benefits have been approved.
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, Skills and Labour, 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, Skills and Labour Provincial Office by calling (709) 729-2480.
The Income Support program requires that you be at least 18 years old to be eligible to apply for benefits.
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.
An assessment will be completed taking into consideration your requirements and financial resources. Child Support with a covering period of June 1, 2019 onward is not considered when determining eligibility for Income Support. Although the department does not requires single parents to seek child support, a departmental social worker may assist you with this process.
For missing cheques, you can speak with a representative by contacting the toll free number for your region.
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.
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.
The Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour 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.
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 Education and Early Childhood Development has a Child Care Services 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 Education and Early Childhood Development.
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.
The Income Support program no longer covers medical transportation. This service is now provided by the Department of Health and Community Services. Income Support recipients may be eligible for medical transportation assistance and information relating to eligibility can be obtained by calling 1-833-729-6106 or faxing the required information to 729-1918.
19. If I file an income tax return and qualify for various tax credits and benefits (including an income tax refund), will the department deduct these amounts from my Income Support entitlement?
All applicants and recipients of income support should file an income tax return each year to ensure they are receiving all the federal benefits for which they are entitled. These benefits are not deducted from Income Support payments.
If you have dependent children under 18 years of age living with you, you must file an income tax return each year to receive the Canada Child Benefit and the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit.
Clients who worked throughout the tax year may be entitled to the Working Income Tax Benefit. This benefit is a refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low income individuals and families. You may also qualify for an income tax refund.
Depending on your circumstances, there are other tax credits/benefits to which you may be entitled. Examples of such benefits are GST/HST credit, Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement, Disability Tax Credit, Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement and Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors Benefit. All these income sources are considered “exempt” income and will not be deducted from your Income Support entitlement.
The Canada Revenue Agency, in association with various community groups, offers a Community Volunteer Tax Program which provides assistance for eligible individuals who need help preparing their income tax returns. The service is offered free of charge. To find a tax clinic in your area, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency toll free at 1-800-959-8281 or visit www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
If you continue to receive Income Support benefits, your overpayment will automatically be recovered at a rate of 5% from your Family/Individual benefits. If you are no longer in receipt of benefits, you can pay for any outstanding Income and Employment Support overpayments by visiting an Advanced Education, Skills and Labour office, mailing to the address below or paying directly online. Please visit www.gov.nl.ca/pay-online.html and select Income and Employment Support Overpayments from the list. Please contact us at (709)729-4165 or toll free at 1-866-729-4165 with any questions.
Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
PO Box 8700
St. John’s, NL
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