Social Assistance Summaries

The Social Assistance Summaries series tracks the number of recipients of social assistance (welfare payments) in each province and territory.

New Brunswick

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 New Brunswick, social assistance is delivered under two programs:

  1. Transitional Assistance Program (TAP)
  2. Extended Benefits Program (EBP).

A third program, the Interim Assistance Program, was terminated in 2010.

Transitional Assistance Program (TAP)

Transitional assistance is intended for individuals who are employable as well as those requiring support and intervention to become employable. Within TAP, two rate categories exist:

  1. Transitional Assistance Program is paid to those who are employable, as well as those requiring support and intervention to become employable. Most families are provided assistance under this program along with single adults who have a designated need;
  2. Transitional Assistance Program – Single Employable is paid to those who do not have a designation and are not certified as blind, deaf, or having a disability.

Extended Benefits Program (EBP)

EBP benefits are intended for individuals who are certified by the Medical Advisory Board as blind, deaf, or having a disability. It also includes some individuals who have been on assistance for many years and have a special designation.

How many people claim social assistance?

On average, there were 23,160 cases (families and single adults) in New Brunswick’s social assistance program during 2016/17. Around three quarters (16,930) received support through the Transitional Assistance Program and a quarter (6,230) received support through the Extended Benefits Program.

Transitional Assistance Program (TAP)

On average there were 16,930 cases in New Brunswick’s Transitional Assistance Program in 2016/17, and 29,660 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners and dependent children). These numbers have fallen steadily over the previous five years.

In the 2000s the Transitional Assistance Program operated alongside the Interim Assistance Program which had between 1,000 and 2,000 cases until it was terminated in 2011.



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Extended Benefits Program (EBP)

In 2016/17 there were an average of 6,230 cases in New Brunswick’s Extended Benefits Program, and 7,000 beneficiaries. These numbers have remained steady over the last 15 years.



Download the data in a spreadsheet

New Brunswick data

Data notes

  • The data reflects the average number of cases and beneficiaries over the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
  • The numbers do not include First Nations living on reserves
  • In the late 1990s, the province’s statistical agency was in the early stages of publishing data and provincial figures for 1997 to 2000 cannot be verified
  • The Transitional Assistance Program operated alongside the Interim Assistance Program through the 2000s until it was terminated in 2011
  • Click here for more information about how the data is gathered
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