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Eligibility for Hardship Assistance

Overview: October 1, 2012

Effective: October 01, 2012

Hardship assistance is intended to meet the essential needs of persons or families who are not eligible for income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act or disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, for a number of reasons specified by regulation.

Hardship assistance is not an entitlement, but may be provided at the discretion of the Minister according to legislative and regulatory criteria. It is provided on a temporary basis, for only one month at a time. Eligibility for hardship assistance must be re-established each month.

Hardship assistance issued for Immediate Needs – Work Search Required is limited to three consecutive months during which time the family unit is required to complete a reasonable three- or five-week work search as directed by the minister. If the family unit fails to complete the required work search within 3 months or ceases to take the steps to satisfy the work search requirement, they are ineligible for continued hardship assistance and their case will be closed. After the recipient's case has been closed, they are able to reapply for assistance if still in need. If they reapply for assistance, they will begin at Stage 1 of the application process and will be required to meet the work search requirements.

Hardship assistance issued for Income in Excess, Assets in Excess, Awaiting Other Income and After Hours is limited to three consecutive months during which time the family unit is expected to resolve the situation which makes them ineligible for regular assistance. Once a family unit has received hardship assistance for three consecutive months and does still not meet eligibility requirements for income assistance, they are not eligible for any additional hardship assistance in any of the duration limited categories for a period of three consecutive months.

Hardship assistance issued for no identification (Identity Not Established), no Social Insurance Number (SIN Required) is limited to six months.

Clients are responsible for meeting the conditions under which hardship assistance is provided, including signing and complying with an Employment Plan, and agreeing to repay hardship assistance, when required.