On-reserve Income Assistance program
This program helps eligible on-reserve residents and Status Indians in the Yukon cover the costs of their daily living and provides funding to access employment supports.
COVID-19: Additional $270 million to this program to address increased demand
The Government of Canada will provide an additional $270 million to this program to address increased demand from First Nations individuals and families affected by COVID-19.
The funding will help:
- individuals and families meet their essential living expenses
- hire additional staff to meet other needs, including:
- providing referrals to mental health and addictions counselling
- helping connect families and individuals to other government programs
Visit Coronavirus and Indigenous communities to find out how to apply for COVID-19-related benefits.
As part of its Budget 2018 commitments, the Government of Canada is supporting a First Nations-led engagement process to better understand how to make the Income Assistance program more responsive to the needs of clients and communities.
Budget 2018 proposes to invest $86.9 million over 2 years to improve the current Income Assistance Program.
On this page
About the program
This is a program of last resort for eligible individuals and their families who are ordinarily resident on reserve or Status Indians who live in the Yukon.
Income assistance includes funds for:
- basic needs (such as food, clothing, and rent and utilities allowance)
- special needs (such as essential household items, personal incidentals and doctor-recommended diets)
- pre-employment and employment supports to move individuals toward self-sufficiency (such as life skills and job training)
If you have questions about this program, contact your regional office.
Who can apply?
Funding is provided to First Nations communities, organizations and other service providers, who are responsible for providing this program to their eligible on-reserve members. It is available in all provinces and the Yukon and is delivered in accordance with the income assistance rates and eligibility of the individuals' province of residence or the Yukon.
Individuals who believe they may be eligible will need to meet all of the following criteria:
- ordinarily resident on-reserve or Status Indians in the Yukon
- eligible for basic or special financial assistance
- can demonstrate they have no other source of funding to meet their basic needs
An individual who is eligible and applies for income assistance will be assessed according to the criteria of their province or the Yukon. This assessment covers the individual's:
- financial need
- family composition and age
- available financial resources in the household
To find out more consult the eligibility requirements for individuals or your community's band office.
Who qualifies as ordinarily resident on-reserve?
Ordinarily resident on reserve means that an individual lives on-reserve and does not maintain a primary residence off reserve, but may be temporarily off reserve for the purpose of seeking education or obtaining care or services not available on reserve.
There are no deadlines for this program; individuals can apply at any time.
How to apply?
The application process depends on where you reside. Contact your community's band office for more details.