Social Assistance Summaries


We’re updating Social Assistance Summaries with the new 2022 data.

For the most accurate data, please download the PDF version.

Last updated: July 2022

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.

Program details

Social assistance is the income program of last resort. It is intended for those 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 Manitoba, social assistance is delivered through the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) program.

EIA provides income assistance to Manitobans in need. In partnership with Training and Employment Services, it also provides employability assessments, personal job planning, work incentives, and other supports to assist Manitobans in entering, re-entering, or remaining in the labour force.


How many people claim social assistance?

On average, there were 39,700 cases (families and single adults) and 67,400 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children) in Manitoba’s Employment and Income Assistance program in 2020-21. This is the second year of decreases in both social assistance cases and beneficiaries. Previously, there was a trend of steady increases in Manitoba that dates back to 2007-08.

Figure 1MB – Yearly cases and beneficiaries of Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) in Manitoba, 1996 to 2021

What proportion of the population receives social assistance?

In 2020-21, on average, 5.8 per cent of people in Manitoba under 65 received Employment and Income Assistance (EIA), which is 1 in 17. The proportion of recipients receiving EIA has followed a similar pattern as the total number of recipients. On average, the proportion has remained stable at around 6 per cent since 1999-2000.

Note: The total population under 65 is estimated on July 1 of a given year, whereas social assistance beneficiary data is a fiscal year average (April to March).

Figure 2MB – Yearly beneficiaries of Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) as a proportion of the under-65 Manitoba population, 1996 to 2021

Who is receiving social assistance?

In 2020-21, unattached singles had the majority of cases of the Employment and Income Assistance among household types in Manitoba with 72 per cent, followed by single parents with 20 per cent. Unattached singles also made up the highest proportion of beneficiaries, with over 43 per cent, followed by single parents, with under 39 per cent.

Females made up the majority of Employment and Income Assistance beneficiaries in 2020-21, with about 53 per cent of recipients.

Figure 3MB – Cases and beneficiaries of Employment and Income Assistance by household in Manitoba, 2020-21

Figure 4MB – Beneficiaries of Employment and Income Assistance by sex in Manitoba, 2020-21


Figure 5MB – Yearly social assistance data for Manitoba, 1996 to 202

Figure 6MB – Social assistance data by household for Manitoba, 2020-22

Figure 7MB – Social assistance data by sex for Manitoba, 2020-22

Data notes

  • The data reflects the average number of cases and beneficiaries over the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
  • The numbers do not include First Nations living on reserves.
  • Statistics represent all welfare cases in Manitoba and combine municipal and provincial income assistance statistics where appropriate.