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

General information

For general information on Income Support benefits, you can call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

Hours: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992
Email: css.ascc@gov.ab.ca

Income Support clients

Contact your Income Support worker.

If an emergency occurs outside regular hours, you can call the 24-hour Contact Centre toll free at 1-866-644-5135. See below for the items that can be issued by the 24-hour Income Support Contact Centre.


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

Visit your nearest Alberta Supports or Alberta Works centre.

There are some benefits that the 24-hour Income Support Contact Centre can assist with by phone — see details below.

Income Support Contact Centre

If you are facing an emergency need for the following:

  • food
  • medication
  • clothing
  • temporary shelter
  • emergency basic dental

Call the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre (available 24/7):

Toll free: 1-866-644-5135
TTY toll free: 1-800-232-7215 (ask to speak to Alberta Supports)
Fax: 780-422-9681
Email: hs.iscc@gov.ab.ca (responses may take 1-3 business days)