Welfare in Canada, 2017

Components of welfare incomes

Households that qualify for basic social assistance payments also qualify for other financial support including:

  • GST/HST credit
  • Provincial/territorial tax credits or benefits
  • Federal and provincial/territorial child benefits (for households with children)
  • Recurring additional social assistance payments (for example, an annual back-to-school allowance)

Together, these combine with basic social assistance payments to form the total welfare income of a household. Households may receive less if they have income from other sources, while some households may receive more if they have special health- or disability-related needs.

The table below shows the value and components of welfare incomes for four household types living in Whitehorse in 2017.

 Single person considered employableSingle person with a disabilitySingle parent, one childCouple, two children
Basic social assistance$16,587$16,587$23,904$33,394
Additional SA benefits$809$4,463$1,256$2,233
Federal child benefits  $6,400$10,800
Territorial child benefits  $820$1,640
GST credit$424$424$702$848
Territorial tax credits/benefits    
Total 2017 income$17,820$21,474$33,082$48,915

Download the data in a table

In the Yukon Territory, a person with a disability received the same basic needs amount as a single adult considered employable, but also received $250 per month through the Yukon Supplementary Allowance for persons with disabilities. The rates of basic social assistance for all households increased in November 2017. Households with children received $68.33 per child per month though the Yukon Child Benefit.

The table shows the total value of the additional benefits that were available to households receiving social assistance in the Yukon Territory. They included a Christmas Allowance ($30 per person), annual Winter Clothing Allowance ($75 for persons under 14 years and $125 for persons 14 years or older), Telephone Allowance ($37 per month per household), Transportation Expense ($62 per month per adult), and Laundry Service ($10 per month per person). Some households received these additional benefits instantly, while others only qualified after they had been in receipt of social assistance for six consecutive months.

Total welfare incomes in the Yukon Territory ranged from $17,820 for a single person considered employable to $48,915 for a couple with two children.

Changes to welfare incomes

There was only one substantive change that affected welfare incomes in the Yukon Territory in 2017. This was the first full year that the Canada Child Benefit was paid, resulting in higher welfare incomes for the two household types with children.

The graphs below show how the total welfare incomes for each of the four illustrative family types have changed over time. The values are in constant 2017 dollars, taking into account the effect of inflation.

Download the data in a table

  • The welfare incomes of a single person considered employable and a single person with a disability showed distinctive but similar patterns. Over the last three decades, welfare income levels were reasonably flat but saw marked increases in 1996 and 2008. There were also smaller increases between 2013 and 2014 due to the inclusion of several additional benefits (telephone, transportation, and laundry allowances).
  • In 2017, welfare incomes for a single person considered employable and a single person with a disability stood at $17,820 and $21,474, respectively.

Download the data in a table

  • The welfare income levels of households with children saw marked increases in 1996 and 2008 but were fairly flat in previous years.
  • Since 2013, households with children have seen a consistent increase in their welfare income levels. Initially this was due to the inclusion of several additional benefits (telephone, transportation, and laundry allowances). From 2015, it was the result of changes in federal child benefits.
  • In 2017, the welfare income of the single parent with one child and the couple with two children was $33,082 and $48,915, respectively, the highest over the 31-year time period.

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