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Assistance for Special and Supplementary Needs

NOTE : Although supplementary and special allowances are often indicated in the basic rate schedules under provincial legislation, they are examined separately in this document in the interest of comparability.


NOTE : Assistance for items with an asterisk (*) is granted under Regulation 8, which stipulates that the aggregate of assistance granted for these items (*) shall not exceed $61 monthly.    Regulation 8(1) - maximum effective 04-92

a) Heating Supplement :  from November to April (incl.), a monthly heating supplement is payable in the amount of $90 to each household residing in Labrador and $51 to each household residing on the island portion of the province, provided that heating costs are paid separately from shelter and that the household is not already receiving a heating subsidy from the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.    Regulation 5(1)(h); S.A. Circular 39-92; rate increased 04-92

*b) Water and sewage fees may be paid on behalf of persons receiving assistance for reasons other than unemployment.

c) Assistance may be granted for rent or mortgage requirements (with the District Manager's approval) in cases where one spouse dies or leaves home or where children leave home, leaving only one parent to bear full responsibility for the rent.  The actual amount of assistance is equal to the lesser of the following:

i) the difference between the shelter allowance (rent or mortgage - see section 5.2.1) payable to a single person and that payable to a family;

ii) the difference between the shelter allowance payable to a single person and the actual cost of rent or a mortgage.    Policy 117.08(12)

*d) Arrears in light and power bills and security deposits for tenancy and electricity may be granted under extreme circumstances; these two forms of assistance are recoverable by the province at a rate of 5% of the recipient's monthly requirements.    Policy 113, 119.01

e) Building Materials :  Up to $10,000 per fiscal year (or more, with Treasury Board approval) may be granted to a household for approved building materials or emergency shelter.    Regulation 5(3)

*f) An allowance may be granted to cover union initiation fees if non-approval would mean loss of employment.    Policy 117.08

g) Assistance may be granted for housekeeper services under special circumstances at $239 monthly for a relative and $298 monthly for a non-relative (for shorter periods, daily rates must be approved by the Minister).    Regulation 5(e,f) - rates effective 04-92

h) Assistance may be granted for homemaker services under special circumstances at rates approved by the Minister.

i) Assistance may be granted for day-care services at rates approved by the Minister.

j) Transportation :  Assistance for transportation expenses of eligible clients is restricted to the following situations:

i) patients referred to St. John's or health centres in other communities for medical or psychiatric treatment (including board and lodging in designated facilities for parents or escorts if required);

ii) medical transportation to points outside the province (when treatment is not available in province);

iii) repatriation of non-residents to another province and return of Newfoundlanders to the province (in accordance with interprovincial policy);

iv) transportation of clients to Appeal Board hearings;

v) transportation to secure Maintenance Orders and Agreements;

vi) household moving and storage.

In all cases listed above, recipients must obtain prior approval (except emergency situations) and use the most reasonably priced means of transportation.  Transportation by private vehicle is reimbursed at $0.15 per kilometre with prior approval.    Policy 117

k) Additional social assistance up to $89 per month may be granted to a person (including a dependent child) who is blind as certified by an ophthalmologist and in receipt of social assistance, whether in his own right or as part of a family.    Regulation 8(2); Policy 119.02 - rate increase 04-92

l) The monthly cost of special diets (for medical reasons only) may be granted at actual cost, and diabetic allowances ($45); a mother-baby food allowance of $45 monthly is payable throughout the period of pregnancy and until the first of the month following the child's first birthday.    Circular SA-07-87; Policy 117.15 - rates increased 04-92

m) School Books :  Free text books and workbooks may be provided through the School Supplies Division of the Department of Education to children:

- whose parents are in receipt of long-term assistance;

- whose parents are in receipt of short-term assistance in August or at the time of application for free text books or workbooks; or

whose parents have had a marginal income for a period of not less than three months.    Policy 122.08

n) Burials :  A flat rate allowance for the burial or cremation of a deceased person in need may be granted in the following amounts:

- $1,550 for an adult or a child 12 years of age or older

- $1,132 for a child under 12 years of age

- $647 in the case of a still-birth


- the cost of suitable clothing up to $184;

- the cost of transporting the body up to 82˘ per kilometre (for each kilometre in excess of 8);

- the amount of cemetery charges incurred;

- the cost of a plastic pouch used for the transportation of a deceased person; and

- an additional amount for extraordinary and out-of-pocket expenses due to special circumstances.   Regulation 5(6,7); Policy 117.04 - rates increased 09-92

NOTE : When determining whether to pay burial expenses for a deceased person, an officer of the Department is required to consider any income which a deceased person is entitled to receive for the month during which death occurred, any CPP Death Benefit, or any other income or benefit to which the estate of the deceased person is entitled.    Regulation 5(9)

o) Up to $1000 per month may be granted with the Regional Director's approval to enable persons to remain in their own homes in extreme circumstances. Policy 117.08

p) Special clothing :  A social worker may grant an allowance for special clothing up to $100 per year.

q) Trade tools :  Up to $100 per year may be granted for the purchase of tools necessary to carry on a trade.

r) Legal aid :  Up to $200 per year may be granted for Civil Legal Aid.

s) Miscellaneous :  The Regional Director may grant assistance for other items of special need which are necessary for the safety, health and well-being of the family.

t) Enriched Needs (Disabled) :

In addition to regular social assistance entitlement (see section 5.2.1), disabled persons requiring supportive services to aid independent living may be granted the following special assistance:

i) flat rate special allowance of $125 per month for a single disabled person ($250 for a couple where both spouses are disabled).

ii) actual amount required for rent or mortgage payments

- fuel and utilities

- discharge of debts (Director's approval required)

- attendant care and home support services

- day care, homemaker or respite care

- items of special need, including wheelchairs, mechanical or electrical devices, and prosthetic appliances

- other special needs deemed necessary for the safety, well-being or rehabilitation of a disabled person in need.

iii) in the case of a family with a disabled child, a special allowance of up to $424 per month for the maintenance of such child.    Regulation 6; Policy 117.10 - disabled child rate effective 04-92

u) Special Age-Related Assistance ("GIS Supplement")

In the determination of eligibility for social assistance and the amount of such assistance payable to a household which includes a single person or couple receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement, a flat rate amount is added as a budgetary requirement for the household; this amount is equal to $105 monthly for a household with one GIS beneficiary or $55 monthly for a household with two married GIS beneficiaries.  The maximum GIS Supplement which may be included in the requirements of a man who receives OAS/GIS and whose spouse is less than 60 years of age is $105 monthly; when she turns 60 years of age and becomes eligible for Spouse's Allowance, the maximum GIS Supplement for the family is reduced to $55 monthly.  It should be noted that in determining entitlement of a disabled GIS recipient, the GIS Supplement is deemed to be included in the flat rate special allowance for the disabled (see "t.i" above).  This provision represents Newfoundland's method of "passing on" special GIS increases to social assistance clients who would not otherwise benefit from such increases (given that GIS is considered as non-allowable income for social assistance purposes).    Regulation 5(1)(n); Policy 119.04; Provincial contact

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