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.
For the total incomes available to those relying on social assistance, visit the Welfare in Canada report.
Last updated: April 2019
In the Northwest Territories, the Income Assistance Program provides financial assistance to residents to help meet basic living needs, such as food, shelter, and utilities. In combination with developmental opportunities, it aims to help recipients become self-reliant as individual capacity allows, to participate fully in community life, and to share in the opportunities available to them.
Alongside financial assistance for basic living needs, recipients may also qualify for enhanced benefits depending on their circumstances (such as clothing, educational assistance, child care, furniture, incidentals, and allowances for seniors and persons with a disability).
How many people claim social assistance?
On average, there were 2,000 cases (families and single adults) in the Northwest Territories’ Income Assistance Program in 2017/18, and 3,000 beneficiaries (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children). In 2017/18, the number of cases was 200 higher than in the previous year, and the number of beneficiaries was 370 higher – these were the largest year-on-year increases since at least 2001/02.
- The data reflects the average number of cases and beneficiaries over the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
- Fiscal year averages prior to 2001 are not available due to changes in the gathering and reporting of case and beneficiary data
- These income assistance numbers only represent clients served by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment of the Government of Northwest Territories. First Nations on reserve are included in these data
- Click here for more information about how the data is gathered