Nova Scotia Income Assistance Dates 2023, Amounts and Increases

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This guide details how income assistance works in Nova Scotia, payment dates, eligibility requirements, and how much you can get in financial assistance.

Income Assistance (IA) programs, also known as “Welfare” exist in various forms in all provinces in Canada.

These financial support programs are designed to help individuals with financial difficulties meet their basic needs.

Read on to learn about Nova Scotia’s income assistance payment dates and how it works.

2023 Nova Scotia Income Assistance Payment Dates

Income Assistance DateBenefit Month
December 28, 29, 30January 2023
January 27, 30, 31February 2023
February 24, 27, 28March 2023
March 29, 30, 31April 2023
April 26, 27, 28May 2023
May 29, 30, 31June 2023
June 28, 29, 30July 2023
July 27, 28, 31August 2023
August 29, 30, 31September 2023
September 27, 28, 29October 2023
October 27, 30, 31November 2023
November 28, 29, 30December 2023
December 27, 28, 29January 2024
January 29, 30, 31February 2024

Income Assistance payments are deposited in your bank account on these dates (typically the last 3 working days of the month).

If you are not set up for a direct deposit, a cheque is mailed to your address and may take longer to arrive.

You can find out how to register for direct deposit payments here.

Nova Scotia Income Assistance Dates

What is Income Assistance in Nova Scotia?

Like the Social Assistance Payments in other provinces, the income assistance program in Nova Scotia is aimed at helping residents who need financial support to pay for basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter).

In addition to basic needs assistance, recipients may also be eligible for “special needs assistance” which includes coverage for expenses like childcare, medical equipment, special diets, and more.

Eligibility for Nova Scotia Income Assistance

You may be eligible for income assistance if you can’t afford food, clothing, shelter, or other necessities like childcare, transportation, and medical care.

Individuals who are also looking for training so they can find employment are also covered.

To apply, you must be a resident of Nova Scotia who is 19 years of age or older. In some situations, individuals who are 16-18 years of age may also be able to apply (e.g. you don’t have a parent or guardian).

You must also show that you have tried or are trying to find work.

When considering your application, your caseworker will assess whether you have enough income or assets to provide for yourself.

How Much is Nova Scotia Income Assistance in 2023

For Basic Needs Assistance, you receive a standard household rate which varies with the number of people in your household and whether you rent, board, or own a home.

The standard household rate is currently:

Number of RecipientsNumber of DependentsMonthly Rate (Rent/Own)Monthly Rate (Board)

If you have dependents between ages 18 and 20 living with you or a family member has a physical disability or illness, you may qualify for additional funds.

There are two other “Standard Household” rates: Enhanced and Essentials.

The Enhanced rate is $950 per month, and it is for eligible single recipients who either:

  • Has a disability or chronic mental, cognitive, or physical condition that limits their inability to work
  • 55 years of age or older
  • 16 to 18 years of age
  • Fleeing an abusive situation

The Essential rate is applicable if you do not board, rent, or own a home, and are temporarily residing in a homeless shelter, hospital, transition house, or rehabilitation program.

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This rate pays $380 per month to each adult in the household.

You can continue to receive income assistance while working and earning income.

The more you earn, the less IA you receive, but overall, you can end up with more money each month by working.

Net Monthly EarningsTotal Amount You Keep
$0 – $250100%
$250 – $750$250 + 75% of any money earned over $250
$500 – $750$437.50 + 50% of any money earned over $500
Over $750$562.50 + 25% of any money earned over $750

If your employment is “supported” (i.e. due to physical, mental, or cognitive abilities), you get to keep a higher amount every month.

When you take part in employment-related training that includes an allowance, you keep the first $150 of that allowance each month.

Nova Scotia IA Special Need Assistance

Special need assistance is available to help recipients find work and manage their health and safety.

Coverage is provided for various needs, including:

  • Ambulance costs
  • Unpaid debts (mortgage, rent, property tax, utilities)
  • Childcare
  • Dental and vision care
  • Employment support
  • Guide or service dogs
  • Home repairs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Special diets and more

You can view the full list of special needs covered here.

Nova Scotia Low Income Benefits

In addition to income assistance, low-income individuals and families in Nova Scotia may qualify for other benefits:

  • Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP)
  • Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax Credit (NSALTC)
  • Nova Scotia Child Benefit (NSCB)
  • Poverty Reduction Credit (PRC)

Recipients of Income assistance may also be able to keep up to $3,000 of income they earn working as seasonal harvesters each fiscal year (April 1 to March 31 of the following year).

This benefit is available through the Harvest Connection Program.

How To Apply For Nova Scotia Income Assistance

You can apply for Income Assistance in Nova Scotia by calling 1-877-424-1177 from 8:30 am to 7 pm (Monday to Friday) or 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.

Applications can also be submitted in person at a Community Services office.

You should bring along your SIN, government-issued photo ID, bank account statements, tax return documents, bills showing your expenses, and other documents that will help a caseworker understand your financial situation.

If your application is not approved, you can request a decision review within 30 business days. This is then followed by an appeal hearing.

Will Nova Scotia Income Assistance Increase in 2023?

Income Assistance was increased in Nova Scotia in 2021 by $100. The standard household rate was boosted by $100 for each adult in a household.

There is currently no information on whether the rates are going to increase in 2023 as well.


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SnappyRates Team

The SnappyRates Team comprises personal finance writers who have reviewed and personally tested hundreds of financial products in the Canadian space. With over 20 years of combined experience to draw from and expertise in all things credit cards, banking, insurance, and mortgages, our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive guides and resources to help you on your financial journey.

8 thoughts on “Nova Scotia Income Assistance Dates 2023, Amounts and Increases”

  1. People on social assistance should have a extra 100.00 on top of what you guys already have we thank you for what you have done but we could use extra should be more then that.were still unable to get by we’re still struggling.

    • I could manage if grocery stores like Superstore weren’t gouging people to death..healthy eating doesn’t exist on I.A. Last 3 months i haven’t paid my power bill because i need to eat and i’m still eating hot dogs and can meats on my grocery vegetable be it fresh or canned! Dollarama is no longer a dollar store..their prices now match grocery store no more savings there per month..i’m not greedy by no means but store gouging is being allowed by government. When is the last time you saw a sales flyer that really had sale prices? 2-years?

  2. All income assistance people should be able at least have an income from the government should be at least have a thousand dollars a month income to live on rental is increasing, power going up, food, based on the government increaseing you should at least increase social assistance and EI bennifets as well

  3. We the People who are on social services disability and regular social services immediately needs a raise because of the inflation rate…. I myself can’t afford good food to eat… groceries prises are going up every day… I can’t buy meats, fruits, salads, etc. It’s not fair that other provinces got something but not us. Premier Houston needs to help up asap not 3 months time. Please do something for us.

  4. The rents are so bad these days know one is able to live properly we all need to eat with the inflation as bad as it is we need more.please do do something to help us all were all not getting enough to live on.

  5. I can’t believe how the prices are getting worse and were all getting hungry and barely enough to get by on how we all wish to have plenty of money to get by on this is awful I’m sorry to say.


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