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Social Development - Major Project Initiatives

Income Assistanceplayground

“The purpose of income assistance is to ensure that recipients receive the necessary support to become independent. To assist in this, applicants’ or recipients’ circumstances may be reviewed at any time to ensure that:

  • All eligibility requirements are met
  • When required, applicants or recipients seek alternative sources of income

Person with Disability level one and two

INAC Persons with Disabilities provides disability assistance and supplements to provide greater independence for people with disabilities, including security or income, enhances well-being, and participation in the community.

To be eligible for disability assistance, a person must meet the criteria for the PWD designation and be designated as such by the First Nations Social Development Society on behalf of INAC.  PWD is not a permanent designation and INAC has the authority to rescind an individual’s designation in exceptional circumstances.

Eligibility:  A person may be designated as a PWD if they have reached 18 years of age and have a severe mental or physical impairment that meets all of the following criteria:

  • In the opinion of a medical practitioner, the impairment is likely to continue for at least two years
  • In the opinion of a prescribed professional, the impairment directly and significantly restricts the person’s ability to perform daily living activities either continuously or periodically for extended periods
  • As a result of those restrictions, the person requires an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person or the services of an assistance animal to perform daily living activities.

Annual reviews must be completed once every 12 month for both Income Assistance and PWD. 

The only exception is annual reviews must be completed at least every two years for residents of specialized adult care setting or special care facilities.  Cheam doesn’t have either, yet, so everyone has to renew on an Annual basis. 

Special Needs

“The special needs allowance is intended to provide financial assistance on a one-time, exceptional basis to recipients who face emergency needs they could not have planned for, to prevent imminent danger to their physical health, or for the immediate protection of a child. 


  • Special needs allowances are not intended to supplement monthly benefits
  • Applicants for special needs allowances must be eligible to receive social assistance
  • The existence of the special need must be established to the satisfaction of the administering authority
  • Recipients must exhaust all resources including liquid assets and the assistance of community agencies before eligibility can be determined.
  • Where eligibility is determined, the least costly way to meet the need may be authorized.


Special needs allowances may be issued to qualified applicants for the purposes in this section, and subject to the noted special conditions:

  • Rent arrears:  May not exceed one month’s rental arrears to prevent eviction that will cause serious harm to an individual or family.
  • Utility arrears:  May only be issued once for any individual or family, to a maximum of $200 to prevent discontinuance of an essential utility service.
  • Debt arrears:  The social development program is NOT responsible for debts incurred by an individual or family, and social assistance allowances may not be pledged or otherwise encumbered to secure loans.  Special needs allowances may not be issued to cover debt arrears except as identified in Rent arrears, and utility arrear earlier in this section.
  • Essential Household furnishings and appliances:
    • Repair or replacement - A Recipient of social assistance may be granted an allowance to repair or replace essential household appliances or furniture.
    • Essential appliances are defined as:  Stove, refrigerator, washer.
    • Essential household furniture is defined as:  box spring, mattress, and bedding, kitchen table and chairs, sofa, lamps (where no overhead lighting is present), dressers (where no built-in bedroom cupboards/closets are present), essential cooking utensils.

Child out of Parental home

Administering authorities provide assistance to children out of the parental home (COPH) if:

The child resides in the relative’s home; the child’s parent placed the child with the relative; the child’s parent does not reside with the relative and the Ministry of Children and Family Development determines that there is no evidence of a level of risk to the child in the home that compromises the home as an appropriate place for the child. Therefore, a screening check authorization must be signed, as well.

April 2012 these files will all be transferred to MCFD

Adult in Home Care

“Homemaker services: means the minimum set of household tasks required to maintain a safe and supportive environment for the client. Services may include: cleaning, laundry and meal preparation and by exception, transportation, banking or shopping. Services do not include major home repairs.

The objective of the homemaker services program is to support and enhance the dignity and independence of physically disabled, mentally disabled or elderly adults, and assist them to remain in their own communities with family and friends, thereby avoiding institutionalization. 

Homemaker services are intended to:

  • Assist clients to live in their own homes as long as it is practical and in the best interests of the clients and their families;
  • Supplement, but not replace, the care provided by families, other unpaid caregivers and communities;
  • Promote the independence and well-being of clients, their families and other unpaid caregivers; and,
  • Provide respite care to the family member or other caregiver ordinarily caring for the person in the person’s home.

Training and Employment Support Initiative

TESI is intended to assist income assistance recipients in developing the skills they need in order to enter vocational training, educational programs, or employment.

Client benefits:

  • Tuition costs for eligible program or project
  • Per Diem participation fees for eligible program or project
  • Fee for service costs for individual clients
  • Actual cost of materials, books, and transportation to and from program
  • Other expenses not provided elsewhere but necessary for the client to participate in the program or initiative
  • Basic income assistance may continue as long as the client remains eligible under income assistance terms and conditions

National Child Benefit Reinvestment

NCBR refers to the community-based programs and services designed by First Nations to meet the needs of low-income families in their communities. These programs and initiatives are aimed at reducing the depth of child poverty and providing opportunities for transition to workplace for families with children. 

The funding is based on the amount of dependent children of Parents on Income Assistance receiving a child tax benefit.  The amount reported is reinvested back into the community based on the approved proposals the BSDW is required to submit on an annual basis.

Family Violence Prevention

The Family Violence prevention program aims to reduce family violence and create a more secure family environment for children on-reserve, by providing abuse prevention and protection services for children and their families.

The program is proposal driven and based on an annual allocation. 


WOP---within the framework of the Income Assistance program, First Nation Administering Authorities have the ability to transfer income assistance allowances to employment projects which are supported by their First Nation C&C.

The WOP is intended to enhance the independence and employability of on-reserve individuals in receipt of income assistance.  Individuals’ income assistance entitlements are transferred and added to other sources of funding to create time-limited on-reserve employment and work experience opportunities for income assistance clients that would otherwise be unemployed.