If you are facing an unexpected emergency, you can apply for emergency financial assistance.

You can get help when:

  • a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
  • it presents a severe health risk, and
  • you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque.

What’s covered

This allowance can cover costs for:

  • food
  • clothing
  • child care
  • transportation
  • damage deposit
  • temporary accommodation
  • utility arrears
    • you must repay this money if you need help with utility arrears more than once
  • eviction payments
    • you must repay this money if you need help with eviction payments more than once

Emergency Needs Allowance rates are published on page two of the Financial Benefits Summary (PDF, 228 KB).

Costs that may be covered, but must be repaid include:

  • essential home repairs
  • essential appliance repairs

Proof of need

You must provide proof of need, such as:

  • an arrears statement or eviction notice
  • a utility bill or statement for utility arrears
  • proof from a reliable source that the item is essential, like an unsafe wiring notice from the fire department


You can apply for the Emergency Needs Allowance if:

  • you are a current Income Support client
  • you are an Albertan earning an income, but you do not have enough money to cover this one-time, short-term emergency that will last no longer than a month
  • you meet the Income Support program eligibility requirements

How to apply

Income Support Clients

Contact your Income Support worker.

If you can’t contact your worker, you can call the 24-hour Contact Centre:

Phone: 780-644-5135 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-866-644-5135


If you aren’t receiving Income Support, you can still apply.

Visit your nearest Alberta Supports or Alberta Works centre or call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre.

7:30 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday

Phone: 780-644-9992 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992

TTY/TDD for the hearing impaired

Ask to speak to Alberta Supports.

Phone: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-800-232-7215

After-hours emergencies

If you are facing an emergency need for food, clothing, or housing assistance that can’t wait for regular office hours, call the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre.

Available 24/7

Phone: 780-644-5135 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-866-644-5135
Fax: 780-422-9681

Email: hs.iscc@gov.ab.ca