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According to statistics, approximately 14% of the population in Quebec is classified as low-income. Given the high cost of living, skyrocketing real estate prices, and wages not keeping up with inflation, it’s easy to see how some Canadians might find it difficult to cover all their expenses with the income they earn. 

Luckily, there are some financial assistance programs available to those who may find it challenging to meet their basic needs. If you live in Quebec and are experiencing financial woes, the Social Assistance Program may be able to help.

Article Key Points You Need To Know 

  • Quebec has many social assistance programs including Social Assistance Program, Social Solidarity Program, Aim for Employment Program, and Basic Income Program. 
  • To be eligible for the Social Assistance Program in Quebec, you must be a Quebec resident who is at least 18 years of age. You must also meet certain financial conditions.
  • Payments are paid every month at the beginning of the month. 
  • Amounts you can receive under the program vary based on several factors. A single individual with no limited capacity for employment can get up to $770 a month.
  • You can apply for the program online or by visiting an Employment Centre or Services Québec office.

What Does The Quebec Social Assistance Program Cover?

The Social Assistance Program is administered by the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS). This program is meant to help low-income Quebecers who meet specific criteria and offer a certain amount of benefits. The money paid out can be used to cover the cost of food, shelter, and other necessities.

Are You Eligible For The Social Assistance Program In Quebec?

To be eligible for the Social Assistance Program in Quebec, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a Quebec resident

Additionally, you must meet certain financial requirements to be eligible for the program. These include thresholds on the amount of money you can have in your bank account and the value of your assets at the time of application. 

For the exact limits, please visit Quebec.ca

How Much Can You Get Through Quebec’s Social Assistance Program?

The amount that you can get through the Social Assistance Program will depend on your classification:

Basic benefit Temporarily limited capacity allowanceAdjustmentTotal benefit
1 adult with no limited capacity for employment$725N/A$45$770
1 adult with a temporarily limited capacity for employment$725$153$45$923
Spouse of a student with no limited capacity for employment$200N/A$45$245
Spouse of a student with a temporarily limited capacity for employment$200$153$45$398
2 adults with no limited capacity for employment$1,122N/A$45$1,167
2 adults with a temporarily limited capacity for employment$1,122$264$45$1,431
1 with no temporarily limited capacity for employment and 1 with a temporarily limited capacity for employment$1,122$153$45$1,320

Note: Those undergoing social reintegration, living in shelters or receiving addiction services must visit the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) for information. 

Quebec Social Assistance Payment Dates 2024

Payments are issued every month and can either be directly deposited into your bank account or mailed out as a cheque. The dates for Social Assistance Program benefit payments are as follows:

  • February 1
  • March 1
  • March 31
  • May 1
  • June 1
  • June 29
  • August 1
  • September 1
  • September 29
  • November 1
  • December 1
  • December 28

Can You Work And Receive Social Assistance In Quebec?

Yes, you can still work and continue to receive payments from the Social Assistance Program in Quebec. A portion of your wages will be exempt when your benefit is calculated. For instance, if you are an adult receiving social assistance benefits, you are still allowed to earn as much as $200 a month without having your benefit reduced. 

Money from a job, pension, EI, parental benefits and other benefits are all considered income. However, certain benefits and assets may be exempt during the calculation of your benefit.

Process Of Applying For Social Assistance In Quebec

To apply for the Social Assistance Program in Quebec, you’ll need to follow these 4 steps:

1. Determine If You’re Eligible

You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for benefits under the Social Assistance Program. 

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must:

  • Live in Quebec
  • Prove that all your resources (including money, income, property, and benefits) are equal to or less than what has been set by regulation.

2. Fill Out Your Application And Submit Forms

Find out which forms and documents you’ll need to apply for financial help by calling 1-877-767-8773. You can pick up your forms at an Employment Centre or Services Québec office or request to have them mailed to you. When applying in person, you’ll need to provide a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or health card. 

You can apply by completing the following forms:

You may also use the Simplified application (3004A) for last-resort financial assistance if you hold a claim slip.

For asylum seekers and their family members, you can apply for financial assistance by first using the First application form for last-resort financial assistance – Refugee protection claimants (3002A)

You can also apply online by following this link.

3. Wait For Your Application To Be Processed

You may be contacted by a financial assistance officer if more information is needed while your application is being processed. Once all information is received, your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility for benefits. If you are approved, your benefits will be calculated from the date your forms are received.

4. Receive A Decision

You should receive the decision about whether or not you are approved for financial assistance within 5 business days of receipt of your application and all the relevant documents. If you are approved, you’ll be notified of how much benefit you will receive. If you are denied, you’ll be notified of the reason why. 

You can submit an Application for Review (0023A) if you wish to argue your denied application. 

Other Financial Assistance Programs In Quebec

The Aim For Employment Program

The Aim For Employment Program is a 12-month program that is designed to provide financial and personal support to individuals looking to enter the labour market. Its goal is to help Quebecers find employment and become self-sufficient. 

Those eligible can receive an employment assistance allowance of $70 plus the basic social assistance benefit amount. If you participate in their Skills development activity, you could receive an allowance that is equal to 35 hours of minimum wage work. 

Social Solidarity Program

The Social Solidarity Program is meant for single adults or families where at least one person has a significantly limited capacity for employment. The program offers financial help to those who fall under this category and promotes employment integration and social participation. 

Like the Social Assistance Program, the amount that individuals receive under this program is based on their family composition, as well as other criteria, such as their income, type of accommodation, or assets.

Basic Income Program

The Basic Income Program is a new program in Quebec that was introduced in 2023. This program is designed to financially support those who have a severely limited capacity for employment due to health issues, such as mental disorders, chronic illness and hearing impairment. Those receiving assistance through the Social Solidarity program will automatically be eligible and considered for the program. 

Essentially, this program provides a higher basic benefit and allows you to work more without affecting your benefit payment.  

Final Thoughts

Any individuals or families living in Quebec who are finding it hard to make ends meet have some program options available to them. Social Assistance Program is one such government-backed program available to those who are classified as low-income to help cover the costs of life’s necessities. 

Social Assistance Quebec FAQs

How much money can you get through social assistance in Quebec?

The amount that individuals receive under this program is based on their family composition, as well as other criteria, such as their income, type of accommodation, or assets.

How will I receive my social assistance benefit?

You can get your payment by mailed cheque or direct deposit into your bank account.

Are there any other income assistance programs in Quebec?

Yes. You can look into the Social Solidarity Program to see if you qualify.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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