(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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A dependent child is one who has not reached his eighteenth birthday. Act 2(c)

Prince Edward Island

"Dependent" means a person who wholly or substantially relies on an applicant or beneficiary to supply him with items of basic need necessary for his sustenance. Regulation 1(g)

A minor is a person who is under the age of eighteen years. Regulation 1(p)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

"Dependent child" means a person who resides in the province and who:
a) is dependent for support upon his mother or father or a person who stands in loco parentis to him; and
b) is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age and over attending an approved education program. Act 4(d); Regulation 3(e)
A dependent child of an applicant or recipient must reside with the applicant or recipient for purposes of the budget deficit calculation. Regulation 16(6)
Where a dependent child eighteen years of age or over has not returned for the school year commencing in September, benefits shall not be paid on behalf of the child after the preceding thirty-first day of July, unless the child has indicated an intent to continue attending an approved educational program by registering to attend the program and the Director deems that the child has a bona fide intent to return to school. Regulation 16(7); Policy 05-04-09

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Although the term "dependent" is not defined in the Halifax Municipal Assistance Manual, persons under the age of 19 years are generally considered as part of the household of their parents. The Social Assistance Regulations (section 1h) define a dependent as "a person defined by the municipal social services policy as being dependent upon the applicant for the provision of food, clothing and shelter". Policy

New Brunswick

"Dependent" means a person for whom the unit head has responsibility, and includes:
a) a spouse;
b) a person under 19 years of age; or
c) a person 19 to 54 years of age who resides with the unit head and who is assessed by the designated officer as having high employment potential. Regulation 2


Except in cases prescribed by regulation, a person is deemed to be a dependant of his father, his mother or, in cases prescribed by regulation, of another adult designated therein, if he is dependent on one of such persons for his subsistence and if he is:

1. a minor child who is neither married nor the father or mother or a dependent child;

2. a child of full age who attends an educational institution, and who is neither the spouse of another person nor the father or mother of a dependent child.
For the purposes of the Parental Wage Assistance Program, a child who is a dependant in the first month of an adult's eligibility in the year or any subsequent month of the same year is deemed to be a dependent child for that year. Act 3

A Child

1. who is a dependant of a brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent or an adult where that adult has custody of the child under a court order, except in the case of a foster family within the meaning of subparagraph o of the first paragraph of section 1 of the Act respecting health services and social services (R.S.Q. C. s-5), is deemed to be a dependant of an adult other than his father or mother,

2. whose income from work or from a public income security plan would reduce his family's benefits below the amount to which it would be entitled if he were not part of the family is deemed, for the purposes of last resort assistance programs, not to be a dependant of a person if that person so applies to the Minister of Manpower, Income Security and Skills Development, and

3. who does not reside in Quebec or who is not legally authorized to live in Canada is deemed not to be a dependant. Regulation 1

Ontario - Provincial

"Dependent Child" means a person residing in Ontario who is supported by his mother, dependent father or a guardian and:
a) who is under 21 years of age and attends an educational institution as defined below and, if 16 years of age or over, is making satisfactory progress with his studies; or
b) who is under 18 years of age and is not attending school because he is of pre-school age, or is unable to attend school by reason of mental or physical disability. Act 1(f)
The educational institutions defined for purposes of determining eligibility of dependent children are the following:
a) elementary and secondary schools, schools for trainable retarded children, private schools operated in accordance with section 15 of the Education Act, Ontario Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, and other acceptable courses at a similar level;
b) any school at the post-secondary level whose students are eligible for Ontario Student Loans or Canada Student Loans;
c) a child's own home, where that child has been excused from attendance at school under the Education Act because he or she is receiving satisfactory instruction at home. Regulation 1(2); Policy 36("c" added eff. 10-91)

Ontario - Municipal

"Dependent Child" means a child who is under 16 years and who:
a) lives with a head of a family or a parent or a person who has demonstrated an intention to treat the child as a child of his or her family;
b) is dependent for support and maintenance upon the head of the family or parent or person; and
c) is of pre-school age, is attending school, is unable to attend school because of physical or mental disability, is attending school on a part-time basis or is excused from attending school. Regulation 1(1)

"Dependent Adult" means a person 16 years of age and over (other than a single person) who:
a) lives with a head of a family or a parent or a person who has demonstrated an intention to treat the adult as a member of his or her family, and
b) is dependent for support and maintenance on the head of the family or the parent or the person in "a",
and includes a spouse. Regulation 1(1)

Manitoba - Provincial

"Dependant", with respect to any person, means the person's spouse and includes any child who is dependent upon the person for support but does not include the spouse of any child to whom this definition applies. Act 1

Manitoba - Municipal

No specific definition of "dependant".


"Child" means an unmarried person under 18 years of age or, if over 18, in full-time attendance at a secondary educational institution, and includes a stepchild, an adopted child or a child in a guardianship situation. Regulation 2

"Dependant" means
i) the spouse of a recipient, unless that spouse is living separate and apart from the recipient; and
ii) any child of a recipient or of his spouse, unless that child is living separate and apart from the recipient or unless that child is not dependent on the recipient and his spouse for support. Regulation 2

In general, persons under 18 years of age are considered as dependants included in the application of their parent(s), except where the parent(s) is(are) unwilling or unable to provide for such children or under other special circumstances. Policy 2-1-3

A youth reaching the age of 18 years, living with his parents (in receipt of Saskatchewan Assistance Plan benefits), and continuing his secondary education without interruption may remain on the family budget as a dependant (this is to his advantage since all of his earnings are exempt). Policy 2-1-1

In the case of persons who are 16-17 years of age, the decision as to whether a youth should apply in his own right or be considered a dependant depends primarily on the extent to which he has or should be expected or entitled to commence assuming adult responsibility.


A dependant is:

i) a spouse who is dependent for support upon a person in need of assistance;
ii) a child who is dependent for support upon a person in need of assistance and who:
a) is not over the age of 16 years; or
b) is over 16 but under 18 years and is attending an educational institution when authorized by the Director; or
c) is over 16 but under 18 years and is incapable of attending an educational institution by reason of mental or physical incapacity; or
d) is over 16 but under 18 years of age, is not attending school, and is, in the opinion of the Director, unemployable. Act 1(c)

Children of 16 and 17 years, who are not in school and reside with their parents who are in receipt of social allowance, may be considered as dependants until they obtain suitable employment. Such children are expected to take employment or training as soon as possible and should be assisted to do so. Policy 03-01-06 p.2

British Columbia

A dependent may be any one of the following:

a) a spouse of a recipient, provided they reside in the same building or on the same property; or
b) an individual who lives as a member of a commune or organization where income and responsibilities associated with living are shared; or
c) a child who is residing in his parent's place of residence and who relies on that parent for the necessities of life; or
d) an individual who resides with another individual, sharing with that person income and household responsibilities associated with family living; or
e) an individual who resides with another individual not related to him or her by blood, and who financially maintains or has assumed responsibility for financially supporting that person, regardless of the amount of that financial support or maintenance; or
f) an individual who represents to another person that the individual with whom he or she is residing is a dependent; or
g) an individual who resides with another individual where the two jointly own property or co-sign loan agreements in order to obtain accommodation, or household furniture, or clothing, or other necessities of life. Regulation 2(8)

NOTE: Where a high school student who is a member of a family unit in receipt of income assistance turns 19 years of age during the school year, the student may be maintained as a dependent child of the family unit for the duration of the school year. Policy 3.12.6


A dependent is a member of an applicant's family who resides with the applicant and who is wholly, or in part, dependent on the income of the applicant. This includes the spouse living with the applicant but does not include a child in the home who is in the care of the Director of Child Welfare. Regulation 2(e)

Northwest Territories

A dependant is defined as a member of the applicant's family who resides with him and who is wholly or in part dependent upon the applicant's income. This includes a spouse living with the applicant, but does not include a foster child living in the applicant's home or an adult in the home who is maintained by the Director. Regulation 2

"Child" means a person under 18 years of age. Regulation 2

Assistance shall not be granted to a child in his/her own right where the child is residing with his/her parent or guardian. Regulation 5(4)

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