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Programs for Families and the Disabled


See "Enriched Needs - Disabled" (section 5.3.1, "t")


No specific provision made.


Until September 30, 1993, the needs test of a diabetic person applying for Family Benefits included imputed monthly requirements for (special) health services and diabetic foods; at the time, these amounts were $97 and $115 respectively.  Effective October 1, 1993, assistance for diabetes-related expenses is available only to those clients already in receipt of diabetic assistance on that date and who remain otherwise eligible for Family Benefits.


Assistance for the Payment of Rent or Board and Lodging Expenses (footnote: 1)

Rental assistance on a self-contained residence (including a mobile home) may be granted to a household which includes at least one person who is blind or disabled (see definitions, section 2.8) and 19 years of age and over, or at least one person who is 60 to 64 years of age; prior to March 1992, there was no upper age limit for persons over 60.  Since September 1990, financial assistance may also be granted to a blind or disabled household living in a board and lodging situation.

As of February 1992, eligibility is determined using the budget deficit method (see section 5.2.4) for all applicants. Assistance levels are based on actual rent or (for disabled clients) on actual board and lodging expenses (up to maximum claimable levels) and the monthly income of the household, as calculated for social assistance purposes.

Maximum assistance levels are $150 per month for a single person whose gross monthly income does not exceed $300 and whose rent is $275 (maximum claimable rent) or more, or $169 per month for a couple whose combined gross monthly income does not exceed $300 and whose rent is $300 or more.  Minimum assistance of $10 monthly is payable to a single person paying maximum claimable rent whose income is $900, or to a couple paying maximum claimable rent whose income is $990.  Any assistance received under this program is exempted in the calculation of a household's income for social assistance purposes.

This program is administered under the Social Welfare Act by the provincial Department of Human Resources Development.  Clients of this program are not eligible for the Income Supplement Benefit (see section 5.2.4); if the ISB is to the advantage of the families who are eligible for it, they are given the opportunity to transfer from this program to ISB. Regulation 16.1; Provincial Contact


Family Allowance (footnote: 2)

Quebec is one of two Canadian provinces (see also Alberta, section 6.3) which have elected to vary the Child Tax Benefit rates in their jurisdiction according to the age or number of children in a family (provided that the average monthly payment equals the federal rate).  The province of Quebec finances and administers a non-taxable family allowance which also appears in the following chart of monthly benefits.    Quebec F.A.A.Regulation7



Federal Child Tax Benefit*

July 1994 to June 1995

Provincial Family Allowance

January 1993**

First child

Second child

Third child

Each additional child

$ 72.41




$ 10.91




* Add $8.58 to the federal Child Tax Benefit for each child 12 years of age and over.
** Allowance levels are frozen for 1994.

Allowance for Handicapped Children

Since January 1980, the Québec Family Assistance Allowances Act provides for a non-taxable allowance for children under 18 years of age having severe and permanent impairments. This monthly allowance, which is paid in addition to the regular provincial family allowance, was raised to $119.22 in January 1993.    Family Assistance Allowances Regulation 7 (Decree 1797-92)

This program benefits handicapped children affected by hearing, visual or motor impairment, mental retardation, psychopathology or a chronic illness.

The allowance is designed to encourage families to keep their handicapped children at home by providing financial assistance where special needs must be met.  It also allows parents or guardians of children who have been placed in a hospital or reception centre to qualify for the allowance if they pay the amount fixed by the social service centre responsible for placing the child.

Payment of the allowance is authorized where the applicant proves that he/she is wholly supporting the child.  A duly completed application must be submitted on the prescribed form to the Régie des rentes du Québec.  The form includes a report to be filled out by a physician or other appropriate professional with respect to the severity and duration of the child's impairment.

Allowance for Young Children

Since January 1989, a monthly non-taxable allowance for children under six years of age has replaced the provincial Availability Allowance.  This allowance is payable in the form of a tax credit and added to the household's monthly Québec Family Allowance cheque.

The amount of the monthly allowance varies according to the rank* of the child in the family as established for the purposes of the Québec Family Allowance.  It is equal to $9.77 for the first child under six years of age, $19.53 for the second such child and $48.83 for each additional child under six in the family.  The Allowance for Young Children is administered by the Quebec Pension Board (Régie des rentes du Québec) under an amendment to the Quebec Family Assistance Allowances Act.    Rates in eff. since 01-93

* NOTE : Allowance levels are based on each child's rank in the family among all siblings under the age of 18 years ( not upon the number of children under six years of age, as was the case with the Availability Allowance).

Allowances for Newborn Children

Since July 1988, the Quebec Pension Board (Régie des rentes du Québec) pays a non-taxable allowance in respect of each child in a family who was born or adopted on or after May 1st 1988.  This allowance was increased by subsequent provincial Budget Speeches to the following levels:

- $500 for the birth or adoption of a child of the first rank in the family;

- $1,000 for the birth or adoption of a child of second rank, payable in two instalments of $500;

- $8,000 for the birth or adoption of a child of third or subsequent rank, payable in quarterly instalments of $400 until the child reaches the age of five years.

The legislative authority for the program is the Québec Family Assistance Allowances Act.    Quebec Budget Speech May 14,1992

Parental Wage Assistance Program (PWA) (Aide aux parents pour leurs revenus de travail - APPORT)

This program was implemented in May 1988 and made retroactive to January of that year.  The financial assistance provided by the PWA program contains three components:  a supplement to employment income, reimbursement of a portion of eligible daycare expenses, where applicable, and a special benefit toward housing costs.  In addition, families eligible for the PWA program do not have to pay provincial income tax.

There are two major target groups for PWA.  Workers with modest incomes and with dependent children will be encouraged by PWA to remain in the work force; recipients of Unemployment Insurance or welfare benefits with dependent children will have an incentive for joining or rejoining the work force.

Applicants to the PWA program must meet the following criteria.

i) They must be residents of Quebec: assistance will be paid only for those months in which the applicant (and spouse, where applicable) lives in Quebec.

ii) They must have at least one dependent child, i.e., an unmarried child under the age of 18, or over 18 if in full-time attendance in a recognized educational institution.  A maximum of two dependent children may be designated for calculation of benefits, although all dependent children are taken into account for reimbursement of a portion of child care expenses and for payment of the housing allowance.

iii) They must have limited assets: the value of all assets with the    exception of the principal residence must be under $45,000; if the applicant or spouse owns the property in which the household resides, the net value of the principal residence when added to the other assets must not exceed $90,000.

iv) They must expect to earn work income within certain limits.  In the    case of parents with child care expenses, minimum and maximum employment earnings are adjusted to reflect these, and vary from family to family.  It must be pointed out that all other household income, including interest income, pensions, annuities, and so on, is  also taken into consideration when the PWA benefit is being calculated.

Applicants meeting the PWA eligibility criteria come under the program for each month in which they have earned at least $100 in employment income.  The assistance is calculated according to the applicant's estimated employment income for the year.  It is paid in monthly instalments equivalent to 75% of the expected annual benefit calculated on a monthly basis; these instalments are paid only for those months in which the applicant earns an employment income.  The balance will be paid by the Ministry of Revenue at the end of the year, when a reconciliation is made between the instalments paid and the benefit actually due, taking into account the predominant family situation and the actual earnings during the year.  Applicants are required to report any change during the year in their family or financial situation.  Any overpayments that might occur during the year, where applicable, will be recovered at the time of the annual reconciliation.  Enrolment in the program takes place once a year.

The family's eligible daycare expenses are equal to the lowest of the three following amounts:

i) actual expenses,

ii) 100% of the lowest gross work income of the two parents, or

iii) $5,000 for a child under 7 years of age or a handicapped child age 0-17, and $3,000 for a child age 7-13.

Daycare expenses may be claimed only by single-parent families or two-parent families in which the spouse works, is handicapped or is a full-time student.  All daycare expenses must be supported by receipts when the client files his income tax return.

For each month of eligibility for PWA, a special housing allowance may be paid to the client to cover additional housing costs incurred by the presence of at least one minor dependent child ( or one child 18years of age or over attending secondary school) in the family; the amount granted varies according to the number of family members and actual housing costs.  The special housing allowance is not payable to a client who is residing in a subsidized housing situation.

Assistance payable under PWA takes the following factors into account:

- Family composition (one-parent or two-parent);

- Number of children (maximum of two - the third child and each additional child receive higher allowances under the Family Allowance program of Quebec);

- Work income (including self-employment income and commissions);

- Total income (interest, alimony and support, grants, capital gains, pensions, Old age Security benefits, etc.);

- Amounts received as work income replacement

- Unemployment Insurance (regular, fishing or sickness) benefits

- compensation for lost wages from the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (Workers' Compensation) or the Société d'assurance-automobile du Québec (Auto Insurance)

- assistance for ordinary needs received by the parent(s) from a program of last resort (Financial Support or Work and Employment Incentives Program);

- Day care costs;

- Number of months worked (i.e., at least $100) and eligible months (i.e., where all other criteria are met);

- Housing costs;

- Shared accommodation.


Gross Annual Work Income

One Adult

One Child

One Adult

Two Children

Two Adults

One Child

Two Adults

Two Children





































NOTE : The above amounts do not include partial reimbursement of day care costs (e.g., $1,700 reimbursement where actual cost is $2,500 per year) or the special housing allowance (max. $1,080 per year).  Also, they are based on the assumption that the client has no income from sources other than work.

The PWA program is administered by the Quebec Ministry of Income Security (Ministère de de la Sécurité du revenu) under the terms of the Income Security Act (Loi sur la sécurité du revenu).


GAINS-D (for the Disabled)

People who qualify for Family Benefits and who are certified by the Medical Advisory Board as disabled or blind are eligible for GAINS-D payments.  GAINS-D may also be paid to permanently unemployable persons (see section 2.8), persons age 60 to 64 years (see section 2.7), persons over 65 years of age who are not eligible for a pension under the Old Age Security Act, and participants of vocational rehabilitation programs provided they are otherwise eligible for GAINS-D.  The amount of the GAINS-D payment depends on the number of persons in the family who are eligible for GAINS-D, the size of the family, the ages of dependent children, and the type of accommodation.

FBA Regulation 31


JUNE 1994

Number of Dependent Children

13 years 0-12

and over Years

One Adult


Two Adult

Persons -


Two Adult

Persons -

Both GAINS-D**


0  0

$ 516

$   765



0  1

1 0








0 2

1 1

2 0










Source:   FBA Regulation 31(5); Schedule F

* EXCLUDING shelter allowances - see section 5.2.6

For each additional dependent child, add:

a)  13 years and over - $174

b)  0-12 years - 127

** For a household which comprises two adults , both of whom are eligible for GAINS-D,

i) the basic monthly shelter allowance is increased by $55;

ii) the total amount paid to that household for basic allowance, basic shelter, variable shelter and the special shelter benefit noted in "i" shall not exceed $1,560.    Regulation 12(19),31(10) - max. benefit amended 01-94


APRIL 1993

Family Size


13 years +

0 - 12 years

Single Persons

1st Dependent Child

Each Additional Dep. Child

Married Couple

One Spouse Eligible

Both Spouses Eligible

Each Dependent Child

$ 658



$ 384



$ 332



Source: FBA Regulations 31(6);  Schedule E
*  As of August 1, 1991, a special boarder allowance of $50 per month is payable to every household (single persons and families) in a boarding situation; this amount is in addition to the amounts in the above table .

NOTE : Shelter allowances described in section 5.2.6 do not apply to GAINS-D households in board and lodging situations.

Handicapped Children's Benefits

Where a recipient of Family Benefits has a severely handicapped dependent child (including a foster child) under 18 years of age residing at home and who is a beneficiary, the recipient may be paid a supplementary benefit between $25 and $375 monthly in respect of each such child; the actual amount is based on the severity of the handicap and the expenses related solely to the handicap.     FBA Regulation32; Policy 0202-04 - maximum rate increased 01-92

A similar benefit may be granted where the parent(s) is (are) not eligible for an allowance under the Family Benefits Act; in such cases, family income is another factor in the determination of the actual amount of the benefit.    FBAReg. 38


Child Related Income Support Program (CRISP)

CRISP is an income-tested program which provides non-taxable cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children under 18 years of age and eligible for the federal Child Tax Benefit.  The maximum benefit of $30 per month per child is available to a family whose net income is $12,384 per year or less effective July 1990.  In determining financial eligibility, the calculation is based on total family income for the tax year immediately prior to the benefit year for which an application is made.

CRISP benefits are not payable to an applicant who has assets with a total net (current market value less any debts owed on the asset) value greater than $200,000 as of the date the application for benefits is made.  "Assets" includes:

i) cash and savings and checking deposits (including retirement savings plans and annuities);

ii) stocks, bonds, shares and other investments;

iii) real estate (other than the principal residence and its furnishings);

iv) family vehicles other than the one used most often;

v) land and buildings used for farm or business purposes;

vi) capital equipment and motor vehicles used for farm or business purposes;

vii) business inventories and accounts receivable.

In determining net income levels, the following deductions are allowed:

a) 6% of total gross annual family income;

b) $952 for each eligible dependent child as of July 1990;

(i.e., eligible for the Child Tax Benefit);

c) $100 for each dependant at the time of application who is eight years of age or younger;

d) the amount of maintenance or alimony payments made.

Benefits are reduced by $12 for each income increment of $48 or part thereof above a net annual income of $12,384.

Retroactive benefits are not provided for any period prior to the start of the benefit year (July 1) in which application was made.

The eligibility of persons in receipt of social allowances shall be based on current needs pursuant to The Social Allowances Act and regulations, and any CRISP benefits shall be deemed to be a social allowances payment.    SocialServices Administration Act; CRISP Regulations


Family Income Plan

Under the Family Income Plan (FIP), financial benefits may be granted to family units with unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age.  Starting in July 1993, maximum benefits payable are $105 permonth for each of the first 3 children and $95 per month for the fourth and each subsequent child.  FIP benefits are not considered as taxable income for income tax purposes.  Maximum benefits are payable to families where income is at or below $725 per month; benefits are reduced by $1.00 for each $2.00 of family income over this amount.  Benefits shall not be paid to applicants whose gross assets exceed the current market value of $150,000.  Persons who have been receiving Saskatchewan Assistance Plan (regular social assistance) benefits for a period of six consecutive months or more are also technically ineligible for FIP benefits; in practice, the client's social assistance cheque is increased by the amount of his FIP entitlement and a separate FIP cheque is no longer produced. This provision is for administrative convenience only, i.e., to combine regular social assistance and FIP entitlement in one cheque where the client is likely to remain on social assistance for a prolonged period (longer than six months) and to qualify for FIP during that period.    Regulation 26

A specific list of asset and income exemptions for the purposes of the Family Income Plan is included in the regulations.

FIP benefits are paid to all families in Saskatchewan on the basis of a gross asset and income test regardless of whether they are employed, unemployed, students, etc.  This means that for families in receipt of SAP benefits, FIP is the "first payer" with SAP supplementing the FIP payment up to the budget deficit level.  Due to the nature of the needs test (payments cannot exceed the budget deficit), families in receipt of SAP do not actually benefit from applying for FIP.  Nevertheless, it is the policy of the Department that all families with dependants who are in receipt of a SAP allowance must apply for FIP benefits.

All Family Income Plan payments made in any specific month whether current or retroactive are considered part of the current month's Saskatchewan Assistance Plan benefits.

If a retroactive adjustment lump sum payment of FIP is in excess of the SAP entitlement for the month of payment, the remaining portion is added to the liquid assets of the recipient and the asset exemption rules should be applied in determining subsequent months' eligibility for SAP benefits.   Regulation 26; policy 14-1-1



Alberta is one of two Canadian provinces (see also Quebec, section 6.3) which have elected to vary the Child Tax Benefit rates in their jurisdiction according to the age or number of children in a family (provided that the average monthly payment equals the federal rate).  Current monthly Child Tax Benefit rates in Alberta appear below.    Social Development Act; Family Allowance Regulation

Age of Child

Child Tax Benefit

July 1994 to June 1995

0 - 6 years

7 - 11 years

12 - 15 years

16 - 17 years

$ 77.92




Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Program

Implemented in December 1979, the AISH program is designed to enhance the financial security of severely handicapped Albertans aged 18 and over who are not receiving benefits under the Old Age Security Act (excluding Extended Spouse's Allowance) and who are not resident in certain institutions; for severely handicapped persons living in designated facilities, a modified benefit level is available.  The program also provides coverage for drugs, ambulance service, optical and dental care, and the medical and hospital benefits available under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.   Policy02-01, 02-02

If severely handicapped persons cannot meet their needs through the AISH program, they may apply for social allowance and, if eligible, receive an additional handicap benefit (see "SALL/AISH").

A severe handicap is one which, in the AISH administrator's opinion after considering any relevant medical reports, so severely limits the applicant that it substantially impairs his ability to earn a livelihood.  The condition must be permanent and the applicant must have accepted any available medical treatment that would substantially lessen the condition.  The applicant must also demonstrate that he is at the maximum of his employment potential and has fully utilized all rehabilitative resources available within the province of Alberta. Multiple handicaps may be viewed collectively when each handicap in itself is not considered severe (age is not considered a handicap for AISH purposes).    Policy 02-02-01

Handicap benefits are available through the following methods:

a) AISH - for anyone who is eligible for handicapped benefits and whose needs do not exceed the maximum AISH benefit ($810 monthly less any unexempted income of the applicant or spouse); (rate effective 02-93)

b) Modified AISH - for anyone who is eligible for handicapped benefits and who is residing in a nursing home, auxiliary hospital, active treatment hospital or specifically designated facility; the maximum monthly benefit is the appropriate social allowance for continuous needs (comforts allowance, co-insurance fee, laundry and transportation, as applicable) plus $175 handicap benefit less unexempted income;

c) Social Allowance Plus Handicap Benefit ("SALL/AISH") -for anyone who is eligible for handicapped benefits and whose needs exceed the maximum AISH benefit; these persons must also meet social allowance eligibility requirements (i.e., needs test, including assets); procedures and benefits are the same as for social allowance except for the addition of a $175 monthly handicap benefit (less any unexempted income) as a continuous need.


The income policy that applies to AISH and Modified AISH allows for a total exemption of income from specified sources (such as the Federal Child Tax Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax Credit and the Property Tax Reduction Benefit) and a partial exemption on other types of income.  This partial exemption is equal to $165 monthly for a single person and $775 monthly for a couple.  Any eligible income exceeding these levels is exempted at the rate of 25% for a single person or 37.5% for a couple.


It should be noted that there is no asset test for determining eligibility for AISH and Modified AISH cases; however, SALL/AISH cases are subject to an asset test in accordance with current social allowance policies (see section4).


GAIN Handicapped Benefits

GAIN Handicapped Benefits are provided to eligible applicants (see section 2.8) between the ages of 18 and 64 years who meet financial eligibility requirements (see sections 3, 4).  Regardless of actual shelter costs, the minimum monthly shelter variable for handicapped persons is $75 (single) or $150 (family with two handicapped persons).    Regulations Sched. "A" No. 2(4); Policy 4.2.1; Editorial Comment

NOTE : see rates table (section 5.2.10)


No specific provision made.


1: NOTE: This program is no longer available to new or re-opened cases as of May 14, 1993 (Regulation 16.1(1)

2: In 1989, the Family Allowances Act (R.S.Q. ch. A-17) was renamed the Family Assistance Allowances Act, with retroactive effect to May 1988.

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