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Part of Income Support

Emergency financial assistance

Financial assistance for unexpected emergencies is available through the Emergency Needs Allowance.


If you are facing an unexpected emergency, you can apply for emergency financial assistance through the Emergency Needs Allowance program.

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

The Emergency Needs Allowance can cover costs for:

  • food
  • clothing
  • child care*
  • transportation
  • damage deposit*
  • temporary shelter
  • 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

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

  • essential home repairs*
  • essential appliance repairs*

*If you require these emergency benefits, please call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 for more information on how to apply.

Allowance rates are published on page 2 of the Financial Benefits Summary.

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, or
  • 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, and
  • you meet the Income Support program eligibility requirements

How to apply

During regular business hours

If you are currently receiving Income Support or AISH benefits, contact your caseworker. If you do not know how to reach your caseworker, contact your local Alberta Supports Centre, otherwise, call the Income Support Contact Centre at 1-866-644-5135 to request an assessment.

Note: the Income Support Contact Centre can only issue select emergency benefits including food, medication, temporary shelter, transportation and emergency basic dental services. To apply for assistance with emergency eviction or utility disconnection, apply online at Income Support or at How to apply. For more information on assistance on how to apply for other emergency assistance, call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992, 7:30 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays. Email: [email protected].

Outside of regular business hours

If you are facing an emergent need for food, medication, temporary shelter or emergency basic dental services, call the Income Support Contact Centre (available 24/7) toll free at 1-866-644-5135 for an assessment.

Email: [email protected] (responses may take 1 to 3 business days)

You can now apply online to the Income Support Contact Centre to receive emergency food benefits via Interac e-Transfer. Apply at MyAlberta Emergency Benefits to start the online application process.

Once you have completed your application, you will be asked to call the Income Support Contact Centre to confirm your eligibility.