(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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Alimony, Maintenance, Foster Payments,
Inheritances, Investments, etc.


In the calculation of the financial resources of a household, any payments which are monetary in nature or which are quantifiable in monetary terms (including payments which are by way of arrears) and which are received as child and/or spousal maintenance or support by the applicant or the applicant's spouse pursuant to a private agreement, a domestic contract or a court order are considered as "non-allowable income", i.e., no exemption is allowed against this income. Regulation 2(g)(xv) - retroactive eff. to 10-90

Court orders respecting maintenance are registered with the Support Enforcement Agency, which sets up individual accounts for each of its clients, receives maintenance payments and forwards them to those clients, and initiates collection procedures in cases of arrears. Where an Agency client does not receive maintenance payments at scheduled times, that person may qualify for social assistance, provided that other eligibility requirements are met. In such cases, the social assistance applicant should sign an agreement to reimburse the Department of Social Services, out of any subsequent retroactive lump sums of maintenance, for any amount of social assistance for which there was no entitlement.

EXAMPLE : Client's social assistance entitlement is $580/month; monthly court-ordered maintenance received via Support Enforcement Agency is $300. Where maintenance payments are not received, social assistance will cover the $300 in addition to the $280 (for which there is entitlement), subject to reimbursement by the client of the (non-allowable) $300 if this amount covering the same period is received at a later date. Policy 120.04(a), (b)

- see also section 3.1 ("Lump Sum Payments") concerning interest or dividends from a financial institution.

Prince Edward Island

Income or moneys received by an applicant or beneficiary for providing foster home care under a foster home program sponsored by the Department or by a provincially approved agency is excluded from the computation of financial resources; however, there is no exemption allowed for retainer fees paid by the Department for bed space. Regulation 12(1)(i); Policy 13-4-4 no. 15

In the calculation of financial resources, the whole of any regular support payments is considered as available for current maintenance. Provincial contact

Nova Scotia - Provincial

"Unearned income", which is totally included in the calculation of a household's financial resources, includes:

a) income maintenance payments (including U.I. benefits);

b) insurance payments;

c) alimony and maintenance payments; and

d) income from mortgages. Regulation 3(p)

NOTE : Current policies regarding lump sum or retroactive payments of "unearned income" are covered in section 3.1

Assistance granted to a foster parent by an approved child welfare agency shall not be considered as income for Family Benefits purposes; in such cases, the child shall not be included in the client's budget as a dependant. Policy 05-06-10

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Maintenance payments, alimony and child support payments are considered as income under the Halifax Municipal Assistance program. Policy 1.1.8

New Brunswick

The following contributions are considered as income:

a) alimony payments;

b) child support payments;

c) payments from a putative father.

Maintenance payments on behalf of children under the Child Welfare Act are not considered as income for the family. Policy p. 58-59

100% of net income from investments, trust funds, bank accounts or insurance is considered as income. (Net income is equal to gross less taxes, legal fees, bank charges, commissions, etc.) Policy p. 57


Income from alimony or support payments is considered a financial resource in determining eligibility for a last resort assistance program, except for that portion which exceeds $305 per month, where those payments are made towards the shelter costs of the household and that household is residing in accommodation which is owned by the debtor (supporting spouse). Act 8(2)(a), 13(2)(a); Regulation 52(20) - amount changed 01-93

The following are not included in computing income:

- amounts received for custody of a child or adult placed in a foster family within the meaning of the Act respecting health services and social services, and amounts received by such foster family under the Regulation respecting financial assistance to facilitate adoptions;

- amounts received by a recipient who operates a foster home under a service contract entered into with the Minister of Public Security to facilitate the reintegration into society of the persons required to live therein;

- income from a succession, trust or donation for the benefit of a dependent child, before the establishment of the right to dispose thereof for his maintenance. Regulation 52(3, 7,17)

Parental Contribution

According to section 633 of the Quebec Civil Code, an adult 18 years of age or over who has not yet declared his independence is generally considered as dependent on his parents, and they are required to contribute to that adult's support and maintenance. The Work and Employment Incentives Program (see section 5.1) introduces the concept of parental contribution, which may affect the eligibility of an adult who is considered dependent or the amount of assistance to which that adult may be entitled.

An adult who applies for assistance under the Work and Employment Incentives Program (WEIP) is deemed to receive a parental contribution except if:

1) he has provided for his own needs and resided elsewhere than at the place of residence of his father or mother for at least two years, excluding any period during which he attended an educational institution on a full-time basis;

2) he has, for at least two years, held remunerated full-time employment or received, for such employment, benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1971;

3) he is or was married;

4) he has been living with another person as husband and wife and has, at one time, cohabited with that person for a period of not less than one year;

5) he has or has had a dependent child;

6) he holds a bachelor's degree from a university;

7) she is in her twentieth week of pregnancy and her condition has been attested by a medical certificate.

However, an adult who establishes that his father and mother cannot be traced or that they have persistently refused to contribute to providing for his needs is not deemed to be receiving a parental contribution. Act 14

In the case of an adult who is not deemed to receive a parental contribution under the second paragraph of section 14 (see above), the Minister is subrogated by law in the rights of the adult in proceedings to fix or vary support payments, unless the adult has elected to exercise his remedy for support. Act 30

The amount of the deemed parental contribution is subtracted from the monthly WEIP benefit for a period of three years from the date of the first cheque or the date on which the adult would have been declared eligible but for the imputed parental contribution, whichever of these two dates occurs first. Act 13(2)(g)

The income of the father and mother for the purposes of calculating the parental contribution shall comprise the following types of income for the previous taxation year or for the current year where the income for the current year is less by 10% or more than that of the previous year:

- net income within the meaning of the Quebec Taxation Act

- amounts received as benefits under a Quebec program of last resort (Financial Support or WEIP) or an equivalent social assistance program in another province or territory

- amounts received under the following legislation:

- the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases or similar legislation from another province or territory

- the Crime Victims Compensation Act

- the Old Age Security Act (Guaranteed Income Supplement and Spouse's Allowance only) and any provincial or territorial legislation providing for similar benefits (see section 6.1)

- the Automobile Insurance Act

- the Act respecting real estate refund

- amounts received as federal and provincial Family Allowances and the Child Tax Credit.

- amounts received under section IX of the Quebec Housing Corporation Act for subsidized housing. Regulation 74

The gross income of the parent(s) is then reduced by the following amounts:

i) two-parent family

- for both parents $ 11,800

- for each dependent child living at home

and attending college or university on a full-time basis 1,200

- for the first dependent child 2,600

- for each subsequent dependent child 2,400

ii) one-parent family

- for the parent 9,862

- for the dependent children: same amounts as for two-parent families. Regulation 75 (amounts in effect 01-93)

The income of the father and mother for the purpose of calculating the parental contribution shall be 40% of the amount resulting from the above steps; the parental contribution is determined by dividing the resulting amount by 12, and further dividing by the number of adults deemed to have received a parental contribution from the same parent(s). Regulation 76, 77

In the case of divorced or separated parents, the parental contribution shall be calculated by taking into account only the income and the situation of the parent who had custody of that adult when the adult ceased to be a dependent child. Regulation 78

It should be noted that the parental contribution applies only in the calculation of the benefit payable to a client of the Work and Employment Incentives Program.

Ontario - Provincial

Income shall include:

a) all interest and dividends earned (except certain amounts received by reason of a beneficial interest in assets held in trust - see "Trust Funds" in section 4.1);

b) any payments for support and maintenance received under an order made by a court of competent jurisdiction or received under a domestic contract or an agreement, or an agreement with the putative father for a child born out of wedlock;

c) the net income of the spouse of the applicant or recipient or of the putative father of a beneficiary available to the applicant or recipient as determined by the Director where the spouse or putative father, as the case may be, is living apart from the applicant or recipient. Regulation 13(2)(7,9), 16.1

Notwithstanding paragraph "a" above, each household in receipt of FBA is allowed a threshold of $30 of accrued interest and dividend income per year of assistance starting April 1, 1994; this means that $30 per year is exempted from the calculation of income from interest and dividends. Policy 0303-02 p.3

Where moneys are due to an applicant, recipient or beneficiary for maintenance, that would if received be included as income in establishing the entitlement to a benefit, the Director may require, as a condition of eligibility, that the applicant or beneficiary agree in writing to reimburse Ontario out of such moneys when they are received for all or any part of a benefit paid or to be paid covering the same period of time to which such moneys apply. Regulation 10(1)

The written agreement referred to in the previous paragraph may include an assignment to Ontario by the applicant, recipient or beneficiary of the right to be paid the money by the person or agency by whom the money is payable. Regulation 10(4)(b)

The determination of income from interest and dividends on assets includes income generated by an asset which is exempted from the client's liquid assets (see section 4.1). Policy 0304-02 p.4

Since April 1987, support orders issued by any court in Ontario are automatically filed with and enforced by the Family Support Plan (FSP). Where support payments are in arrears for at least one calendar month, or where support payments are irregular and it appears this situation is likely to continue, or where there are other extenuating circumstances, the client's right to support under a court order or separation agreement may be subrogated to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Subrogation is terminated when the support payments are no longer in arrears or when the reason for subrogation ceases to exist. Subrogation is portable between Family Benefits and General Welfare Assistance. Regulation 0203-04

Lump sum payments of arrears on orders (whether assigned or not) or support agreements should be charged as income for the months intended. Where a support order or agreement includes provision for direct payment of shelter costs on behalf of the applicant or recipient, this amount is deemed income and chargeable as other support payments. Policy 0303-02

Income shall not include:

a) payments approved by the Director received from any agency or governmental source approved by the Director on behalf of a child who is not a beneficiary;

b) inheritances and windfalls of less than $1,000. (See section 4.1 concerning larger inheritances). Regulation 13(2)

Ontario - Municipal

Income shall include any payments for support or maintenance received under an order made by a court of competent jurisdiction or under a domestic contract, or an agreement with the putative father of a child born out of wedlock. Regulation 15(2)

Income shall not include payments made by Children's Aid Societies on behalf of a child in care under the Child Welfare Act.

The calculation of income shall include all interest and dividends earned (except for interest earned on a locked-in RRSP), as well as proceeds of any loan except (with the welfare administrator's approval) any portion that is applied or will be applied to the operation of a business. Regulation 15(2)(15.1,15.2); Policy 0402-08

Manitoba - Provincial

Foster home maintenance payments are excluded from the calculation of financial resources. Policy E1-21-01

"Unearned income", which is totally included in the computation of financial resources, includes monies received under terms of maintenance orders, parents' maintenance orders, filiation orders, separation orders, court orders, divorce decrees, inheritance settlements, life insurance, net amount of Unemployment Insurance or EIC Training Allowance, etc. Policy E1-11-01

ny money received by a Social Allowances client as unearned income under maintenance agreements and orders is considered totally available to reduce benefits or totally available to be assigned to the provincial government. Policy D1-21-01

All financial resources of an unmarried mother are considered in processing her application. Legal entitlement to support from the putative father must be pursued. However, payments are not withheld in order to pressure an applicant or recipient to sue for maintenance. Policy D1-41-03

Manitoba - Municipal

Most single parents in the province who are in need of assistance apply directly to the Social Allowances Program (see section 2.9). For those who do apply to a municipality under the Municipal Assistance Program, the Municipal Assistance Regulation stipulates that the client is required, as a condition of eligibility, to make all reasonable efforts on behalf of herself and any dependants to obtain the maximum amount of compensation, benefits or contribution to support and maintenance that may be available under another Act or program. No exemption is allowed against maintenance payments received by a single parent. Municipal Assistance Regulation 12(2)

Under the Municipal Assistance Regulation, payments for foster home maintenance received by an applicant or recipient on behalf of a child in the care of an agency as defined in The Child and Family Services Act are not included in the determination of the financial resources of an applicant or a recipient. Mun. Assist. Reg 7


Maintenance payments made by the Department on behalf of a child in the care of the Minister, or made by the Department of Indian Affairs for foster care of children, are not calculated as income. Regulation 28(2)(k)

Monies received under terms of maintenance orders, parents' maintenance orders, filiation orders and agreements, separation agreements, court orders, divorce decrees, and other settlements are counted as income. Where there is a fluctuation in monthly maintenance payments, a monthly income average should be established and the recipient placed on payroll; the situation should be reviewed regularly (max. two months) so that the allowance may be adjusted in accordance with actual income during the period. Where the income fluctuates too greatly to establish a monthly average, the recipient may be required to report monthly income just prior to payroll cut-off so that each month's allowance may be adjusted or the clothing allowance may be paid quarterly with any necessary adjustments based on income during the quarter. Regulation 29(A)(6); Policy 18-1-1

Where mortgage payments are made directly to the mortgage holder through a separation agreement, court order, divorce decree or private agreement, no income is assessed to the client. The shelter allowance is determined using actual cost to the client excluding the amount of the direct payment made by the absent spouse. Policy 13-1-11

Maintenance payments from monies held in trust for children and available for distribution are considered as income. Negotiations should be conducted on an individual case basis so that:

i) monies are released on a monthly basis;

ii) monthly amounts released do not exceed the budget requirements of the child(ren) involved; and

iii) monthly amounts released are not unreasonably low, taking into consideration the budget requirements of the child(ren) involved and the amount of the trust. Regulation 29(A)(8)

- See section 4.1 concerning inheritances


In cases of marital separation when a spouse is providing continuous needs such as rent, utilities, etc., the amounts of these continuous needs are to be shown and the absent spouse's contributions are entered under income as voluntary maintenance. Editorial Comment

Child Welfare payments for normal room and board and Guardian Social Allowance rates are not considered as income for social allowance purposes; retainer fees and special rates exceeding regular room and board are considered as income, and the standard earnings exemptions (see section 3.2) may be applied to that income. Regulation 7(n); Policy 01-05-04

Moneys withdrawn from the principal of estates, inheritances or trust funds are considered as assets when withdrawn. Policy 03-01-05(p.2)

British Columbia

The definition of "unearned income" includes amounts payable, or services obtained, pursuant to an Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction, a separation agreement or a financial support agreement for the recipient. Although unearned income is generally considered as a financial resource in the determination of eligibility for social assistance, the Director may authorize an exemption on family maintenance payments, provided the combined value of such exemption and any earnings exemption (see section 3.2) does not exceed the appropriate exemption levels. Regulation 2(20)(n); Regs. Sched. "B" No. 14; Provincial contact

A lump sum settlement under the Child Paternity and Support Act received by an applicant or recipient may be considered as an asset if the total assets do not exceed allowable levels (see section 4.1). Where the settlement causes total family assets to exceed the levels specified, the child(ren) mentioned in the settlement is (are) to be excluded from the family unit for the purpose of calculating Income Assistance benefits until such time as total family assets, including any remaining amount from the settlement, are within the allowable asset levels for that family size. Policy 3.16.2

No deduction is made for foster home maintenance payments, but they are taken into account in determining eligibility for assistance for special needs. Regs. Sched. "B" No. 19


Moneys received under the terms of maintenance orders, parents' maintenance orders, contributory orders, affiliation orders or agreements, separation agreements, courts orders, divorce decrees, inheritance settlements or other types of settlements or agreements are counted as income. Also counted are maintenance payments from moneys held in trust for children and available for distribution. Not counted as income are maintenance payments made by the Director of Child Welfare to the applicant on behalf of a child in the care and custody of the Director, who is being maintained in the home of the applicant. Regulation 18(2)(e,f), 18(3)(b)

Northwest Territories

Considered as income are any monies received under the terms of maintenance orders, parents' maintenance orders, affiliation or contribution orders or agreements, separation agreements, court orders, divorce decrees, inheritance settlements or other types of settlements or agreements. Also counted as income are monies held in trust for a child and available for distribution. Payments made by the Superintendent of Child Welfare on behalf of a child or by the Director for maintenance of a dependent adult are not counted as income nor are monies held in trust for a child that are not available for distribution. Regulation 20(4,5)

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