Social Assistance Summaries

New Brunswick
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 New Brunswick, social assistance is delivered under two programs:

  1. Transitional Assistance Program (TAP); and
  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; and
  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.

Statistics

How many people claim social assistance?

On average, there were 20,455 cases (families and single adults) in New Brunswick’s social assistance programs during 2020-21. Seventy per cent (14,345) of cases received support through the Transitional Assistance Program, and 30 per cent (6,110) received support through the Extended Benefits Program.

Transitional Assistance Program (TAP)

On average, there were over 14,300 cases and just under 24,900 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children) in the TAP in 2020-21. Both of these numbers have seen a decreasing trend since 2011-12.

In the 2000s, the TAP operated alongside the Interim Assistance Program, which had between 1,300 and 1,800 cases until it was terminated in 2011.

Figure 1NB – Yearly cases and beneficiaries of the Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) and the Interim Assistance Program (IAP) in New Brunswick, 2000 to 2021



Extended Benefits Program (EBP)

In 2020-21, there were an average of about 6,100 cases and just under 6,800 beneficiaries in New Brunswick’s EBP. These numbers have remained steady over the last 15 years.

Figure 2NB – Yearly cases and beneficiaries of the Extended Benefits Program (EBP) in New Brunswick, 2000 to 2021


What proportion of the population receives social assistance?

In 2020-21, on average, 5 per cent of people in New Brunswick under 65 received the Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) or the Extended Benefits Program (EBP), which is 1 in 20. The proportion of recipients receiving social assistance has followed a similar pattern as the total number of recipients.

The proportion of people under 65 receiving TAP has generally decreased, from 6.7 per cent in 2000-01 to 4.1 per cent in 2020-21.

The proportion of people under 65 receiving EBP has remained stable at 1.1 per cent.

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 3NB – Yearly beneficiaries by social assistance program as a proportion of the under-65 population of New Brunswick, 2000 to 2021

Who is receiving social assistance?

In 2020-21, unattached singles consisted of the majority of social assistance cases among households for both programs, comprising almost 63 per cent of the Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) and over 92 per cent of the Extended Benefits Program (EBP). For TAP, single parents had the second highest percentage of cases, with nearly 26 per cent. Couples without children had the second highest percentage of cases of EBP, with under 4 per cent.

For TAP, single-parent households had the highest proportion of beneficiaries, at over 40 per cent, followed by unattached singles, at 36 per cent. Unattached singles consisted of the significant majority of EBP beneficiaries with just under 84 per cent, followed by couples without children, with over 7 per cent.

TAP beneficiaries were almost equally split between female and male recipients, with slightly more females. However, EBP had more male beneficiaries with just over 56 per cent.

Transitional Assistance Program (TAP)

Figure 4NB – Cases and beneficiaries of Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) by household in New Brunswick, 2020-21

Figure 5NB – Beneficiaries of Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) by sex in New Brunswick, 2020-21


Extended Benefits Program (EBP)

Figure 6NB – Cases and beneficiaries of Extended Benefits Program (EBP) by household in New Brunswick, 2020-21

Figure 7NB – Beneficiaries of Extended Benefits Program (EBP) by sex in New Brunswick, 2020-21

Data

Figure 8NB – Yearly social assistance data for New Brunswick, 1997 to 2021


Figure 9NB – Social assistance data by household for New Brunswick, 2020-21

Figure 10NB – Social assistance data by sex for New Brunswick, 2020-21

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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