Social Assistance Summaries
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The Social Assistance Summaries series tracks the number of recipients of social assistance (welfare payments) in each province and territory.
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 Newfoundland and Labrador, social assistance is referred to as Employment and Income Assistance (EIA).
EIA provides financial benefits and other services to eligible low-income people to assist in meeting daily living expenses. Basic benefits include a family and individual benefit (to assist with expenses such as food, clothing, personal care, household maintenance, and utilities) and a shelter benefit (to assist with rent and mortgage costs).
Depending on individual circumstances, recipients may also qualify for non-basic benefits such as municipal tax payments, prescription glasses, and medical transportation. Recipients can also receive further benefits outside of EIA by other departments and agencies such as a prescription drug card and medical equipment.
How many people claim social assistance?
On average, there were 22,800 cases (families and single adults) in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Employment and Income Assistance program in 2017, and 33,200 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children). These numbers are similar to the previous year (2016), but over the longer term they fell consistently during the 2000s and have fallen at a slower pace since.
- The data reflects the average number of cases and beneficiaries over the calendar year (January 1 to December 31)
- There are three First Nations reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador. Conne River is self-governed and operates its own social services programs. Its case and beneficiary numbers are not included in the data. There are two other reserves in Labrador – Natuashish and Sheshatshiu. From April 1, 2016, the delivery of Income Support was devolved to the Innu and statistics for these communities are no longer included in the data.
- Click here for more information about how the data is gathered
- Download the Newfoundland and Labrador summary as a PDF
- Download the all-Canada report as a PDF
- Download the data for Newfoundland and Labrador
- Download the data for all of Canada
- Further breakdowns on social assistance data in Newfoundland and Labrador can be found on the province’s website