Apply for money to pay for basic expenses like food, clothing and shelter.
You can apply for Income Support to cover basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
The support you may receive depends on your needs, financial resources, ability to work and the size of your family.
What you get
Depending on your circumstances, funds may be available to cover other essentials, like:
- special diets
- utility connection fees (0.01 MB)
- work-related expenses
- unexpected emergencies
- supports for fleeing violence (0.2 MB)
- school expenses for children
The Financial Benefits Summary provides a more detailed breakdown of available Income Support benefits.
Income Support recipients also receive:
- Alberta Adult Health Benefit
- Alberta Child Health Benefit
- Employment services
- Child Support Services
Working while receiving income support
Income Support recipients are encouraged and supported to work. You keep all of your wages and only a portion of your earnings are taken into account when calculating your Income Support benefits.
There are several factors that affect your eligibility for income support. If you meet these criteria, you can apply for Income Support. The process typically takes 2 weeks.
Age and residency
- live in Alberta
- be at least 18 years old
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee or refugee claimant
- be unable to pay for your basic needs
- not have income or assets that exceed these guidelines:
- $5,000 in RRSPs per adult
- $10,000 equity in vehicles
- Income or cash that exceeds what you would receive from Income Support core benefits
- be willing to apply for other income programs that you may be eligible to receive (such as Employment Insurance)
Ability to work
You must be:
- looking for work, or
- working but not earning enough, or
- unable to work for a short time, or
- need help to access training to find a job, or
- are unable to work due to chronic health problems or other concerns
Information and planning
You must be willing to:
- provide personal and financial information for all members of your household, and
- develop and follow a plan with your Income Support worker to improve your situation
For more information, see the Income Support Online Policy Manual.
How to apply
Step 1. Fill out an application
There are 3 ways to start the Income Support application process:
Fill out the form
Pick up a paper application from your nearest Alberta Supports or Alberta Works Centre, complete it, and return it to your nearest centre.
Step 2. Meet with an Income Support worker
Once you submit your application, you will get instructions explaining the next steps including how to set up a meeting with a worker to discuss your application.
Bring these documents to your meeting with the worker:
- proof of assets
- banking information
- proof of employment income
- medical forms (if you cannot work)
- immigration papers if you came to Canada in the last 10 years
The Income Support application process typically takes approximately 2 weeks, but emergency needs can be met in as little as 2 days.
Contact Income Support
Contact your Income Support worker for all related Income Support questions.
If you don’t know how to reach your worker, contact your local Alberta Supports or Alberta Works Centre.
Alberta Supports Contact Centre
You can contact the main Alberta Supports Contact Centre:
Hours: 7:30 am - 8 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre
Get help in an emergency with basic needs like shelter, food, clothing and transportation.