Special Needs Allowance

The special needs allowance is intended to provide financial assistance on a one-time, exceptional basis to recipients who face emergency need they could not have planned for, to prevent imminent danger to their physical health, or for the immediate protection of a child. To qualify for the Special Needs Allowance programs  you need to  be receiving regular social assistance, PPMB, PWD, and/ or COPH.

To provide an incentive allowance for clothing, transportation and other expenses required for a recipients’ participation in a community Volunteer Program.: Incentive allowances are intended for social assistance recipients who are unable to enter an employment or training plan at the present time, but who wish to pursue a volunteer placement and engage in community service to enhance their future employability. Recipients’ eligible for Incentive allowance are: PPMB; COPH who are 15 years of age and over; PWD recipient’s and their dependents; and single parents with a child under 3 or with a physical or mental condition who precludes the parent from being employed. Incentive allowance is up to $100.00 per month.

For expectant mothers or parent’s with a child(ren) under 7 months old you may be entitled to receive an extra $45.00/month to go towards the extra costs associated with prenatal and postnatal expenses. The allowance increases to $90.00 in the case of twins or multiple births. To receive the natal allowance you need to show your worker written confirmation from a doctor or midwife.

Short-term nutritional supplements may be provided to eligible recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who need additional calories above a regular diet to recover from surgery, severe injury, serious disease, or the side effects of medical treatment.

Regular infant formula may be provided to children during the  first 12 months when breastfeeding is impossible or ill-advised. A doctor’s confirmation of the medical condition which prevents breastfeeding is required. In addition, babies with special dietary needs can receive specialized formula for an unspecified time period.

If you or your dependants have a medical condition that requires a special and sometimes expensive diet you may be entitled to receive a dietary allowance. You will need to provide proof such as a doctors letter stating you have special dietary needs. IF you are pregnant and receiving the natal allowance but your special diet isn’t pregnancy related you can recieve both benefits. The amount of the allowance is determined by the medical condition, review FNSDS website or talk to the Financial Aid Worker. You don’t qualify for this allowance if you are receiving a hardship allowance.

A monthly nutritional supplement (MNS) is provided to recipients eligible for the Person with Disabilities (PWD) designation who are in receipt of disability assistance and who have a severe medical condition causing a chronic, progressive deterioration of health with symptoms of wasting.  This supplement is intended to prevent imminent danger to the person’s life by providing essential, specified items to supplement regular nutritional needs. For information on rates of allowance refer to the FNSDS website and/or talk to the Financial Aid Worker.

IF the administering authority has the available funds in the special needs budget, adults with PWD designation and children of families on SA may get funds to attend a recognized camp once per year. Children with disabilities and children of long time SA recipients have priority.

If your family is on income assistance, excluding COPH, you may be entitled to receive additional monies to help with Christmas and holiday expenses.

  • Single person no dependants  $35.00
  • Couple with no children gets $70.00
  • Family with children gets $70.00 plus an additional $10.00/ dependent child

Available only to dependant children who are non-status and under 18 yrs old who are or may be attending kindergarten or grade school full time to help with the back-to-school costs.

To clients who are returning to work they may be eligible to receive $200.00 to cover the necessary clothing and local transportation costs for the first month of work. Providing the Administrative Authority has the available funds in the special needs budget. You will need to provide something in writing which states the start date of your employment and two different estimates for items requested.

The work force entry benefit is intended to cover the incidental expenses related to entry not the work force of a single-parent recipient who commences full time work. A work force entry benefit of up to $200 may be issued to an eligible social assistance recipient who is a single parent who commences full time work. Providing the Administrative Authority has the available funds in the special needs budget. You will need to provide something in writing which states the start date of your employment and two different estimates for items requested. You may receive BOTH the Workforce Entry Benefit and the Work Clothes/Work Transportation Benefit both of which are only available once every twelve months.

You may be eligible for up to $500.00 to assist with moving costs if:

  • you are unemployed and need to move to accept a confirmed job offer;
  • you are moving to repatriate your family to your home reserve;
  • you are forced into a local move because your home has been destroyed, unfit for habitation, about to be demolished or occupied by the owner.

You must provide in writing the reasons for your move and two estimates of the moving costs from licensed movers, truck rental agencies before receiving this allowance.

This allowance IS NOT available to people who are moving off reserve to live on reserve, UNLESS they are repatriating in the best interest of themselves and their dependent children. Nor is it available for someone to move from the reserve to a house, apartment, etc…off-reserve if other suitable on-reserve housing is available to them. People who have been evicted for their own doings are also not eligible for moving costs.

If there is monies available in the special needs budget you may be eligible for assistance with transportation costs including meals and shelter within BC to attend:

  • a rehabilitation centre
  • a family court hearing as a witness for a family member
  • a training program at a not-for-profit achievement centre for people with disabilities or
  • to visit a parent or spouse in an institution where it is requested by a physician or other institutional authority.

It is also available to someone taken to court who doesn’t have the funds to return home. NOTE: Status persons who need medical transportation will be referred to MSP branch of Health Canada as they are responsible or status individuals.

If you or a dependant member of your family use a registered guide dog, you may be eligible to receive $95.00/month to help with the costs of maintaining the dog.