SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
AND
RELATED PROGRAMS

("SARP")

1994

(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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ELIGIBILITY

Unwed Parents

NOTE : This section contains information on social assistance eligibility policy specifically for parents who were never married. readers should also refer to section 2.9 concerning single parent policies in general.

Newfoundland

Social Assistance may be granted to an unmarried mother for a period of 30 days without requiring her to take action for support against the father of the child or children if, before further assistance is granted, she has made every reasonable effort to obtain support from the father.    Act 6; Regulation 16

Requests for assistance from unmarried mothers under 18 years of age will take into account the resources of the applicant's immediate family.  If that family is in receipt of (or eligible for) social assistance, the applicant and any child(ren) may be included in the family's budgetary requirements.  If the applicant's family is not eligible for social assistance, she will also be considered ineligible unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g, forced to leave home, no other resources); the District Manager's approval is required in such cases.    Policy 105(j)

Prince Edward Island

An application for welfare assistance by a young parent should involve the client in an assessment of his/her strengths and needs for support to successfully manage his/her new role.  This assessment should lead to a case plan that is mutually agreed to by the client and the Department.  The case plan might include such measures as completing basic education, job-readiness training and work experience programs, in addition to supports needed for successful parenting.  Assistance may be provided in the young parent's own right where he/she is 18 years of age or older.  A young parent living in the home of his/her parent(s) is eligible for financial assistance only if the family is found to be in need.  A young parent under 18 living independently is eligible only where "his/her home is found to be unsuitable for the care, training and development of the minor".   Regulation 3(2), 8(1); Policy 13-2-5, 13-3-4

Nova Scotia - Provincial

Assistance under the Family Benefits Act may be granted to a father or a mother whose dependent child was born out of wedlock, provided that the parent

- is not married or cohabiting with a person as man and wife

- has care and custody of the child

- undertakes any legal action and enforces any court order concerning an obligation of any other person to provide financial support for the parent and child

- has attained 19 years of age.    Regulation 7, 21

Family Benefits may be granted to an unwed parent 16 to 18 years of age under "extraordinary and compelling circumstances" where financial support is not available from other sources.  These sources include assets or earnings of the applicant and maintenance payments from the child's other parent or the applicant's grandparents (under the Family Maintenance Act).  As a further condition of eligibility, an unwed parent 16 to 18 years of age may be required to accept any employment opportunity, educational program or rehabilitation program approved by the Director.    Regulation 3(2), 8, 18(2),

Where the unwed parent and child are living with the child's grandparent(s), the Director may grant benefits to the unwed parent for food, clothing and miscellaneous essentials only (on behalf of the parent and child), or he may grant benefits to the parent(s) of the unwed parent on behalf of the parent and child.    Regulation 21(2,4)

Nova Scotia - Municipal

An applicant for Halifax Municipal Assistance who is an unmarried parent or expectant parent 19 years of age or over may be considered for assistance in her own right if she is:

- not employed at the time of application

- willing to initiate action for maintenance payments in Family Court

- taking action to obtain any other source of income or support for which she may be eligible

- willing to adhere to an acceptable plan including pre-natal and post-natal care and steps towards self-sufficiency.    Policy 1.2.5.5

The eligibility of an unwed parent or expectant parent who is 16 to 18 years of age depends on the applicant's circumstances:

i) living at home, family on assistance

- unwed parent/expectant parent included in family budget, special assistance provided for pregnancy or new grandchild of family head.

ii) living at home, family not on assistance

- eligibility of parent/expectant parent is contingent upon eligibility of applicant's parent(s); if the family has no budget deficit, special needs related to the pregnancy or new child may be considered as budgetary requirements to create eligibility for the new child only in an amount up to $84 monthly.

iii) not living at home

- assistance may be granted where the applicant has undertaken court action for support from the putative father and the applicant's parent(s), unless such action is not advisable.    Policy 1.2.5.3

An unmarried mother under 16 years of age applying for municipal social assistance in Halifax shall be referred to a children's services agency operating under the authority of the Children's Services Act for an assessment and recommendation regarding assistance.  To determine whether assistance should be granted, the children's services agency shall apply the following criteria:

1. that the unwed mother lives with her parents or an approved parent substitute;

2. that the parent or substitute is agreeable to providing supervision and alternate child care while the mother is not at home;

3. that the mother's parents or approved parent substitute have a stable, secure family life; and

4. that the unmarried mother continue to attend school or some type of job training.    Policy 1.2.5.3

New Brunswick

A person in need under 19 years of age who does not have a spouse and who is pregnant or who has assumed the care and control of one or more dependants may be eligible for assistance under the UT&P program in her own right only in extenuating circumstances. Application for or enforcement of maintenance orders is also a condition of eligibility for single adolescent parents. The single adolescent parent may participate in approved training and rehabilitation programs.  Single parents 19 years of age and over may receive assistance under the "Interim Assistance Program" (see section 5.2.4) if they meet social and financial requirements.    Regulation 2, 5(2)

Quebec

A person less than 18 years of age may be considered an adult forming a family only if he or she is the father or mother of a dependent child or if he or she is married to another person.    Act 3(1)

Ontario - Provincial

An unwed mother or father, at least 16 years old, whose child is at least 3 months old, may be eligible for assistance.    Act 7(1)(d)(vii); Regulation 2(8)

A mother with a dependent child born out of wedlock who is otherwise eligible must make every reasonable effort to avail herself of other income to which she might have entitlement.    Regulation 8; Policy 0502-02

No person is eligible for assistance as a single parent where that person is living with a spouse (see definition, section 8.4) or person who provides an economic contribution to the applicant, recipient or his or her dependent children that exceeds the amount of the allowance to which the applicant or recipient would otherwise have been entitled.    Regulation 5(b) Eff. 11-87

NOTE:  See section 5.2.6 for special benefit levels which apply to a single parent under 18 whose eligibility for an allowance is determined on or after August 1, 1993 and who is residing with his or her parent who is (are) not on FBA or GWA.   Editorial Comment.

Ontario - Municipal

An unmarried mother may be eligible for assistance if she is a head of a family whose spouse is absent and provided she is making all reasonable efforts to obtain assistance from other sources, including the putative father.    Regulation (1(4), 4(3)(b); Policy 0303-09

No person is eligible for assistance as a single parent where that person is living with a spouse (see definition, section 8.4) or person who provides an economic contribution to the applicant, recipient or his or her dependent children that exceeds the amount of the allowance to which the applicant or recipient would otherwise have been entitled.    Regulation 7(6) Eff. 11-87

A pregnant girl under the age of 16 is not eligible for assistance in her own right (other than as a foster child); if she is 16 or older and living at home, she may be eligible for assistance in her own right only when her pregnancy makes her unemployable.  In both cases, the girl's parents have an obligation to provide support for a child who is unmarried and under the age of 18.  As soon as the child is born, the sole-support parent can be eligible for Family Benefits, regardless of age.    Policy 0303-09

NOTE:  See section 5.2.6 for special benefit levels which apply to a single parent under 18 whose eligibility for an allowance is determined on or after August 1, 1993 and who is residing with his or her parent who is (are) not on FBA or GWA.   Editorial Comment.

Manitoba - Provincial

A parent with a dependent child or children, who has never been married, may apply for assistance.    Act 5(1)(c)

Only in very exceptional cases approved by the local Child Welfare Authority and involving a board and room situation as opposed to a private living arrangement will girls 16-18 years of age who are requesting assistance in their own right as mothers or expectant mothers be considered for Special Case enrolment under the Social Allowances Program.    Policy D1-41-02

Where medical evidence is provided regarding an expectant mother's inability to work during the first six months of her pregnancy, she may be deemed eligible during that period as a physically incapacitated ("disabled") person.  During the seventh, eighth and ninth months of pregnancy, an expectant mother may be granted assistance under the "Parent's Allowance" (sole-support parent) category.    Policy D1-31-01

Where the mother does not keep her child, eligibility without further testing may be continued on an unemployability basis for up to sixty days following the birth of the child; this is to allow for a period of recovery as well as a period of employment leading to first pay.    Policy D1-31-01

Manitoba - Municipal

The City of Winnipeg Social Planning Department may grant assistance to employable unmarried expectant mothers who are Winnipeg residents up to and including the sixth month of pregnancy.  After that time, the recipient is eligible for provincial assistance under the Social Allowances Act.    Editorial Comment

Saskatchewan

For the purposes of determining eligibility, a single expectant mother (medical certificate required) is classified as "not fully employable".    Policy 3-1-4

An unmarried mother may apply as the head of a family unit at the age of 18 years or over.  Unmarried mothers under 18 years should usually be considered as dependents and assistance granted only if need exists for the total family.   Policy 2-1-3

An exception may be made where the unmarried mother has been fully or partially self-supporting in or outside the parental home or is resident in a home for unmarried mothers.    Policy 2-1-3

As a condition of eligibility, an unmarried mother must endeavour to obtain financial support from the putative father.    Policy 3-1-3

Alberta

An unwed mother over the age of 18 years will be considered according to policies which apply to all single parents (see section 2.9).

The section of the Supports for Independence policy manual which covers eligibility of persons 16 or 17 years of age applying as the head of a household is still under development.

British Columbia

No specific provision concerning eligibility of unwed parents; however, an unwed mother would be required to pursue maintenance from the putative father in the same manner as divorced or separated parents.    Editorial Comment

Yukon

No specific provision made.

Northwest Territories

An unmarried mother may apply as the head of a family at the age of 16 years providing she has charge of a household and has one or more dependents therein.    Provincial Contact

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