Income Support

Apply for money to pay for basic expenses like food, clothing and shelter.

Overview

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:

The Financial Benefits Summary provides a more detailed breakdown of available Income Support benefits.

Income Support recipients also receive:

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.

Eligibility

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

You must:

  • live in Alberta
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee or refugee claimant

Financial

You must:

  • 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:

Online application

Apply online

Fill out the form

Fill out the Income Support Application Form (0.2 MB), print it, and bring it to your nearest Alberta Supports or Alberta Works Centre.

Paper application

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:

  • identification
  • 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)

Hs.ascc@gov.ab.ca

780-644-9992 (Edmonton)
1-877-644-9992 (toll-free)

24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre

Get help in an emergency with basic needs like shelter, food, clothing and transportation.

Hours: 24/7

Hs.iscc@gov.ab.ca

780-644-5135 (Edmonton area)
1-866-644-5135 (toll-free)
780-422-9681 (Fax)