Income Support

Complex application

Tax filing not required

The Alberta Income Support program provides financial assistance to lower-income individuals.

Depending on your needs, ability to work and the size of your family, you may get money for:

  • Basic expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter.
  • Childcare.
  • Special diets.
  • Utility connection fees.
  • Work-related expenses.
  • Unexpected emergencies.
  • Costs to leave family violence.
  • School expenses for children.

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

If you are getting Income Support you also get health benefits as well as:

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.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee, or refugee claimant.


  • You must be unable to pay for your basic needs.
  • You must not have income or assets that exceed:
    • $5,000 in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) per adult.
    • $10,000 equity in vehicles.
  • not have income that exceeds what you would receive from Income Support core benefits
  • You must not have cash or savings that exceed the liquid asset limit (the limit is generally 3 times the Income Support core benefit amount you would be eligible to receive).
  • You must be willing to apply for other income programs that you may be eligible to receive (such as Employment Insurance).

Ability to work:

You must fit into one of the following groups.

  • You are looking for work.
  • You are working but not earning enough.
  • You are unable to work for a short time.
  • You need help to access training to find a job.
  • You are unable to work due to chronic health problems or other concerns.

Social Insurance Number

For example:

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

Proof of housing situation

For example:

  • letter from landlord about your housing situation
  • eviction notice
  • disconnection notice
  • police report about an incident involving your housing
  • moving company quote or invoice
  • list of repairs needed in home
  • list of expenses for renovations needed for independence in the home
  • proof of home ownership (mortgage, property ownership)

Health card

For example:

  • valid health card with no photo, name and address
  • valid health card with photo, name and address
  • MCP (Medical Care Plan) number
  • Valid ambulance/dental services card
  • Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour identification number
  • Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour file number (Income Support Card).

Notice of Assessment

A statement from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to each taxpayer, every year, after you have filed a tax return. It tells you the amount of income tax you owe, or the amount of the refund you will get.

Proof of marital/common-law status

For example:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union

Photo ID

For example:

  • driver’s license
  • passport
  • other government-issued photo ID, such as a non-driver photo ID (Saskatchewan), British Columbia Services Card, Ontario photo card, General identification card (Nunavut), Voluntary ID (PEI), etc.

Record of Employment

This is an official form, filled out by your employer, that says how long you worked and how much you earned when you worked for that employer. When you leave your job for whatever reason, your employer must give you a Record of Employment within 5 days after your last day of employment.

Proof of  residency in Province

For example:

  • lease agreement
  • rent receipt
  • household bill
    • gas
    • electricity
    • cable television
    • telephone
  • driver's license
  • vehicle registration or car insurance
  • membership in social or professional organization
  • Other:
    • bank information
    • employment information

  1. Step 1: Fill out the application
  2. 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 an Income Support worker to discuss your application.
    • Bring these documents to your meeting with the worker:
      • Proof of assets.
    • Banking information. 2 bank statement for 60days prior to the date of application and direct deposit 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.

Last updated: January 10, 2024