(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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Delivery of Payments


Computer Pay - Cheques are produced by computer and mailed directly from headquarters twice monthly.

Manual Pay - Assistance is granted either twice monthly as for computer pay cases, or from the District Office by direct assistance or monthly mail.    Policy 100.02

Where the application for social assistance indicates a marriage or common-law union, the head of the household is always the husband.  This includes cases where the wife is the applicant and where the husband is not even included in the allowance (e.g., in hospital, penal or mental institution).  However, where the husband is unable to provide the information required on the application, or to make the required declaration concerning the accuracy of that information, or to use the assistance properly, the wife is deemed to be the applicant and any assistance will be paid in her name.    Policy 122.6, 122.5

Social assistance may be granted in cash, in kind or in any other suitable form or manner.    Act 9(1)

Where a person in receipt of social assistance remarries or dies, social assistance shall be discontinued on the date of remarriage or death, as the case may be.    Regulation 19

Manual pay benefits are payable in advance and computer pay benefits in arrears.  When computer pay benefits are granted, manual pay benefits may be paid in advance up to the end of the fifteenth of the month covered by computer pay.  This ensures continuity of assistance to the recipient.    Policy 135.631

Prince Edward Island

Assistance is paid by cheque.  Where, in the Director's opinion, payment by cheque is not feasible or advisable, assistance may be provided by an authorization for goods or services.    Regulation 22(1)

Credit/Service Authorizations are to be used only in the following situations:

1. where a delay in processing a cheque would cause hardship;

2. to restrict the type and cost of goods or services because of limits to a special need; or

3. because of the client's inability to handle money.   Policy 7 (13-7-6); effective 09-88

Where an application for assistance is made jointly by a husband and wife, payment of assistance is made to the person designated in the application or, where no such designation is made, to the husband, unless the Director is of the opinion that the purpose for which the assistance is to be provided would be more effectively realized by making payment to the wife.    Regulation 22(9)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

Family Benefits payments (by cheque or direct deposit) are issued monthly a few days in advance of the entitlement month.    Regulation 10(3,4); Policy 05-02-05

Where a recipient dies, assistance under the Family Benefits Act may be paid for the month in which death occurs to an appropriate person on behalf of the deceased recipient.    Act 11

Nova Scotia - Municipal

No specific provisions.

New Brunswick

Assistance is paid by cheque but, when the need for assistance is urgent or when for any other reason, payment by cheque is not feasible, assistance may be provided by an authorization for goods or services.    Regulation 10


Benefits under a last resort assistance program shall be paid monthly on the first day of the month, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Special benefits for medical requirements and diets (see section 5.3.5 "k") shall be paid at the same time; all other special benefits shall be paid in the normal course of applications.    Regulation 105

Benefits are paid to the spouses jointly or, at their request, to one of them.   Act 26

Ontario - Provincial

An allowance shall be paid monthly to or on behalf of a recipient, in arrears, computed from the first day of the month following the month in which eligibility is determined.  Where a Family Benefits client household residing in subsidized housing is in arrears of rent and the housing authority (Ontario Housing Corp. or other agency administering public housing) requests direct payment of rent, the case is placed on the direct rent payment system; the household stays on the pay direct system until the recipient has repaid any arrears.    Policy 0405-09; Regulation 14

Ontario - Municipal

General Assistance shall not be paid for a period of more than one month at any one time; the Director may prescribe the manner in which such assistance shall be paid.    Regulation 17


Payments are made by cheque or voucher monthly, or more frequently, in an amount sufficient to pay the cost of the basic necessities of the recipient and his dependants, if any.    Act 4(1); Provincial Policy CO-31-02

In Winnipeg, municipal social assistance may be administered on behalf of a client (i.e., vouchers for food, clothing, household, personal and special needs, direct payment to vendors for rent, fuel and utilities) where that client has demonstrated long-term problems managing his/her assistance due to substance abuse, mental health concerns or other problems.   Municipal Policy p.1


Assistance is usually paid either by cheque, by cash, by direct arrangements for goods and services, or in any other manner that the minister may approve in writing; it shall be paid in advance monthly or at intervals of less than one month when directed by the director.  Clients with bank accounts may apply to have their benefits deposited directly in their bank account, except with respect to joint-payment cheques.  Clients are responsible for payment of bank charges and overdrawn accounts.    Reg. 16; Policy 9-1-3

A separate cheque jointly payable to the client and his/her landlord is issued to clients for rental costs, although other options may be considered where a client disagrees with this manner of payment. Policy 9-1-9


Benefits are paid to clients in a number of ways:

- Central cheque processing cheques (the preferred method of payment);

- District office cheques (for payments approved after the cut-off date for central cheques or when a worker adds a need to the budget after the regular cheque has been issued);

( Note :  Third-party cheques are used only for shelter-related benefits in the case of clients who have recently misused funds and when other alternatives are not feasible);

- Purchase authorization and invoice (voucher): used for payments to vendors providing a service at rates covered in an agreement or contract, or when the dollar amount is unknown in advance (e.g., taxi), or when identified in policy (e.g., diabetic/medical/surgical supplies

- Drug authorization; and

- Medical Services card.

Policy 05-05-01

Cheques for the following month are not to be mailed out earlier than five working days before the end of the month or released for pick-up earlier than four days before the end of the month.  Cheque pick-up is allowed in difficult situations, e.g., where the client would otherwise be left without food or shelter, in case of a medical emergency or health risk which is life threatening.   Policy 05-05-02 p. 1-3

When a client requests assistance to establish banking or cheque cashing arrangements and does not have acceptable identification documents, a Signature Verification Form (SSA 2068) will be completed by the worker and forwarded by the Department to the client's bank, trust company or credit union.  The Department has signed indemnification agreements with 61 financial institutions in the province to establish the identity of clients and to provide a measure of control to reduce the number of cheques which are cashed fraudulently.    Provincial Contact; Policy 05-01-03,99-06-01

British Columbia

Except in an emergency or as otherwise provided by regulation, income assistance shall be paid by cheque to a recipient or to his or her trustee or guardian.    Regulation 11

Where temporary assistance is provided, cash, scrip, or assistance in kind may be issued. Income assistance may also be issued in scrip or in kind rather than cash or cheque at the discretion of the administering authority if a recipient has demonstrated that assistance has not been used for basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.  Efforts shall be made by the administering authority to help the recipient to assume responsibility for managing income assistance payments where income assistance is issued in scrip or in kind.    Regulation 11

In the event of the death of a member of the recipient's family or removal of a child under the Family and Child Service Act, the monthly support allowance is decreased immediately; the shelter variable may by maintained at the higher level for up to three months.    Policy p. 3.31.4


Normally, assistance is paid by cheque or cash in advance on the first day of each month. However, where assistance is granted for a period of less than one month, or where the recipient is incapable of managing his own affairs, or in circum­stances where it is deemed by the Director to be in the best interests of the applicant and his dependents, assistance may be provided:

a) by cheque or cash, on a day other than the first of the month or at intervals of less than one month; or

b) by direct arrangement for goods and services in lieu of cash or cheque.    Regulation 11  (see also trusteeship cases, section 7.7)

Northwest Territories

Assistance is paid in advance, either monthly, or on a pro-rata monthly calcula­tion, at intervals during the month deemed appropriate by the officer, having regard to the recipient's circumstances.  It may be paid in advance for up to 2 months when the recipient is able to demonstrate to a Social Welfare Officer that he and his family will be residing in a remote or inaccessible location for an extended period of time.    Regulation 12

Assistance may be paid:

a) by cheque, to the recipient or as otherwise directed by him;

b) by cheque, to a vendor and the recipient as joint payees for provision of goods or services or both to those recipients who are unable or unwilling to handle cash; but in such cases the recipient may choose the vendor;

c) by cheque, to a trustee.    Regulation 12