The Social Assistance Summaries series tracks the number of recipients of social assistance (welfare payments) in each province and territory.
For the total incomes available to those relying on social assistance, visit the Welfare in Canada report.
Social assistance is the income program of last resort. It is intended for households who have exhausted all other means of financial support. Every province and territory has its own social assistance program(s), and no two are the same.
In the Yukon, the Social Assistance (SA) program provides benefits to eligible adults and children. General assistance includes amounts provided for items of basic maintenance and items of supplementary need. Discretionary aid over and above general assistance may be provided to SA recipients to meet unexpected, short-term, or emergency needs, or to non-recipients to prevent or alleviate an immediate health or safety risk.
- Items of basic maintenance consist of a basic allowance (for the cost of food, clothing, and personal and household items) and a shelter allowance (for the cost of shelter and utilities, up to a maximum allowance). The amount of support available is based on the size, composition, and geographical location of the household. Recipients may also qualify for the Yukon Supplementary Allowance (YSA)—a benefit for those excluded from the workforce due to disability or age.
- Items of supplementary need are available to recipients after six consecutive months on SA or immediately to children and YSA recipients. These items consist of allowances for needs such as transportation, telephone, laundry, winter clothing, furniture and a Christmas allowance, among others.
- Discretionary aid may be provided at the Director’s discretion for needs such as necessary health care services (for example prescriptions, medical travel, dental services, optical services, medical equipment and supplies), shelter security deposits, moving expenses, storage, employment expenses or education expenses.
How many people claim social assistance?
In 2021-22, there were, on average, about 900 cases (families and single adults) and just over 1,260 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children) in the Yukon’s social assistance program. These numbers fell from the previous year by, on average, 100 cases and 130 beneficiaries. This is the second year of decreases, after a previous period of generally increasing numbers going back to 2012.
Figure 1YT – Yearly cases and beneficiaries of Social Assistance in the Yukon, 1997 to 2022
What proportion of the population receives social assistance?
On average, 3.4 per cent of people in the Yukon under 65 received Social Assistance in 2021-22, which is about one in 29. The proportion of recipients receiving social assistance has followed a similar pattern as the total number of recipients. Since March 2002, the proportion of recipients receiving the program has generally fluctuated between 2.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent.
Note: The total population under 65 is estimated on July 1 of a given year, whereas social assistance beneficiary data is for fiscal year average from 2018-19 onward, and for March 31 of a given year from 1997 to 2018.
Figure 2YT – Yearly beneficiaries of Social Assistance as a proportion of the under-65 population of the Yukon, 1997 to 2022
Who is receiving social assistance?
On average, in 2021-22, unattached singles were the majority household of both cases and beneficiaries of the Yukon’s Social Assistance program, with about 79 per cent of cases and just under 57 per cent of beneficiaries. Single parents were second, with around 15 per cent of cases and just under 31 per cent of beneficiaries.
The majority of the Yukon’s Social Assistance heads of households were male, with, on average, 58 per cent in 2021-22.
Figure 3YT – Cases and beneficiaries of Social Assistance by household in the the Yukon, 2020-21 and 2021-22
Figure 4YT – Beneficiaries of the Social Assistance by gender of primary applicant in the Yukon, 2020-21 and 2021-2022
Figure 5YT – Yearly social assistance data for the Yukon, 1997 to 2022
Figure 6YT – Social assistance data by household for the Yukon, 2020-21 and 2021-22
Figure 7YT – Social assistance data by gender for the Yukon, 2020-21 and 2021-22
- These numbers represent only clients served by the Yukon Government. They do not include clients served by the Government of Canada (Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada) or the self-governing First Nations that administer their own social assistance programs.
- The data for 2018-19 to 2021-22 reflects the average number of cases and beneficiaries over the fiscal year. The data for 1997 to 2018 reflects the number of cases and beneficiaries on March 31 of each year.
- Household type for 2020-21 and 2021-22 is reported as an average for the fiscal year based on monthly data. However, data from August 2021 was not included in the calculations for household type due to data quality concerns.
- Sex data for 2020-21 and 2021-22 was only available at the level of head of household, not at the level of beneficiaries (individuals). It is reported as an average for the fiscal year. In addition to female and male, in 2020-21 there was, on average, one case and in 2021-22 there were, on average five cases where the head of household's sex was recorded as "other" or "prefer not to report."
- Click here for more information about how the data is gathered