Welfare in Canada
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Last updated: November 2020
This resource is not intended to help individuals identify what government transfers they could be entitled to. Individuals living in Yukon seeking financial assistance should visit this page.
Components of welfare incomes
In Yukon, households that qualify for basic social assistance payments also qualify for other financial support, including:
- Recurring additional social assistance payments (for example, an annual back-to-school allowance);
- Federal and territorial child benefits (for households with children);
- The GST/HST credit and credit supplements; and
- Territorial tax credits or benefits.
Together, these combine with basic social assistance payments to form a household’s total welfare income. Households may receive less if they have income from other sources, or more if they have special health- or disability-related needs.
The table below shows the value and components of welfare incomes for four example household types in 2019. All four households are assumed to be living in Whitehorse. The child in the single parent family is aged two, and the children in the couple household are aged 10 and 15.
|Single person considered employable||Single person with a disability||Single parent, one child||Couple, two children|
|Basic social assistance||$17,217||$17,217||$24,821||$34,672|
|Additional SA benefits||$809||$4,463||$1,736||$3,193|
|Federal child benefits||$6,568||$10,328|
|Territorial child benefits||$820||$1,571|
|Territorial tax credits/benefits||$43||$43||$86||$172|
|Total 2019 income||$18,507||$22,161||$34,756||$50,813|
Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.
Total annual welfare incomes in 2019 ranged from $18,507 for the single person considered employable to $50,813 for the couple with two children.
Yukon’s basic social assistance rates are indexed to inflation and automatic increases take effect each year on November 1.
On top of basic social assistance, all households received additional social assistance benefits:
- the Yukon Supplementary Allowance of $250 per month for the person with a disability;
- the Christmas Allowance of $30 annually per person;
- the Winter Clothing Allowance of $75 annually for persons under 14 years and $125 for persons 14 years or older;
- the Telephone Allowance of $37 per month per household, paid to those who have been receiving assistance for at least six consecutive months, or paid immediately (without a six-month wait) to those who are excluded from the labour force;
- the Transportation Expense Allowance of $62 per month per adult once they have been receiving assistance for at least six consecutive months, or paid immediately (without a six-month wait) to persons who are excluded from the labour force, and $40 per month for each dependent child between the ages of two and 18 (paid immediately); and
- the Laundry Service Allowance of $10 per month per person, paid to those who have been receiving assistance for at least six consecutive months, or paid immediately (without a six-month wait) to those who are excluded from the labour force or for dependent children.
Both households with children received the Canada Child Benefit, which increased with inflation in July 2019 from $541 to $553.25 per month for a child under 6 years of age, and from $457 to $466.83 per month for a child aged 6 to 17. They also received the Yukon Child Benefit, which provides a maximum of $68.33 per child per month, reduced by 5 per cent for those with incomes in excess of $35,000.
All four households received the GST/HST credit, which increased in July 2019 with inflation. The single person considered employable and the single person with a disability both received $287, while the single parent with one child received $574 and the couple with two children received $876. The single person considered employable, the person with a disability, and the single parent also received the full GST/HST credit supplement amount of $151.
All four households received the Yukon Government Carbon Price Rebate, which was introduced in 2019 to help offset the cost of the federal carbon pollution pricing levy. In 2019, one payment of $43 per person, including children, was made in October.
Changes to welfare incomes
The graphs below show how the total welfare incomes for each of the four example household types have changed over time. The values are in constant 2019 dollars, taking into account the effect of inflation as measured by the national consumer price index.
Trends in the welfare income of a single person considered employable and a single person with a disability follow a similar pattern. Over the last three decades, welfare incomes have generally increased, with marked increases in 1997, 2008, 2009, and 2014. The 2014 increase was largely the result of the inclusion of several additional social assistance benefits. Since 2014 welfare incomes have declined.
In 2019, the welfare incomes of a single person considered employable was $18,507, and that of a single person with a disability was $22,161.
Welfare incomes of both households with children followed a similar pattern. There was a significant increase in 1997 followed by a gradual decline, and another increase in 2008. Welfare incomes for these households increased more steadily between 2013 and 2017 due to additional social assistance benefits and federal child benefit changes.
In 2019, the welfare income of a single parent with one child was $34,756, the highest level in the time series, and that of a couple with two children was $50,813.