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Social Development

Jenn Robinson

Hardship Assistance

Hardship assistance is a distinct category of social assistance with its own eligibility criteria.  Assessment of hardship assistance is undertaken only after an eligibility test for basic social assistance has been applied, and the applicant has been determined to be ineligible for regular social assistance benefits.

Hardship assistance is intended to meet basic needs only, up the maximum rates.  Hardship assistance assistance may be provided only where no other alternatives are available to meet basic needs.

Applicants are expected to use any and all resources available to them before hardship assistance is issued.


Applicants who are not eligible for regular social assistance benefits may be assessed for hardship assistance which will be issued one month at a time and eligibility must be re-established each month by the completion of a new Budget and Decision form.

If available income or assets have been used for purposes other than meeting basic needs, there is no eligibility for hardship assistance.  Any available income or assetes will be deducted from hardship assistance issued.

Basic support is to be pro-rated to arraive at the correct benefit.

If shelter costs have already been paid for the month, no shelter allowance may be issued.

Hardship Eligibility:

Hardship assistance may be considered only when all alternatives to assistance have been exhausted and where:

  • Awaiting Other Benefits

  • Income in Excess of Allowable Limits

  • Assets in Excess of Allowable Limits

  • Quit Education/Training Program or Quit Work or Fired for Just Cause

  • Sponsorship Breakdown

  • Strike or Lockout

  • Identification Not Established

  • Transient Applicants

Application Process:

Packages are available at the Gitanmaax Band Office.  The package includes a checklist of all items required to determine eligibility.  It also includes an application sheet, consent to release of information forms (Ministry of Social Development, Service Canada, other First Nation Bands, employers, institutions etc.)


Social Assistance

Individuals and families are responsible for managing their own affairs and maintaining themselves to the extent that their resources permit.  The Social Development Program provides financial support to eligible adults and their dependants that are unable to meet their basic needs.

The Gitanmaax Band Social Development Program offers a wide range of support and services.  Services include issuing of social assistance basic allowance, shelter allowance payments, guardian financial assistance, hardship assistance, special needs, incentive, employment support, diet allowance, health benefits for clients who are non-status, family bonus top-up, comfort allowance, December allowance, bus passes, burial and Transition to Employment Programs which includes the Training and Employment Support Initiative (TESI), Work Opportunity Program (WOP) and Aboriginal Social Assistance Recipient Employment Training Initiative (ASARET).

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