New Brunswick

Emergency Fuel Benefit

Complex application

Tax filing not required

The Emergency Fuel Benefit is to help New Brunswick households in an emergency who cannot afford the cost of heating their home.  The Emergency Fuel Benefit can be used for any type of heat. The Benefit is not guaranteed, and you must show that you have exhausted all your other options and are still unable to pay your heating bill.

An emergency fuel benefit of up to $550 per calendar year may be given if you qualify. This benefit is open to all New Brunswickers including those who get social assistance.

How do I know if my situation is an emergency?

Examples of an emergency can include:

  • An unexpected cost has led to your heat source being disconnected or a notice of disconnection;
  • You have to choose between feeding your family and paying your winter heating bill; or;
  • You got sick and had unexpected high medical costs, that have made it hard to pay your heating bill.

You may qualify for the Emergency Fuel Benefit if you are in an emergency and you are not able to pay to heat your home. The Department of Social Development will assess eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

  • You must show that you’ve exhausted other options to pay your heating bill.
  • An assessment of your monthly income and expenses will determine if you qualify for the benefit. Your household will qualify if your expenses are more than what you earn each month.
  • A benefit of up to $550 per calendar year could be provided to help you, depending on the size of the household deficit.
  • You are not required to spend all your assets to get the Emergency Fuel Benefit, such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), Guaranteed Income Certificates (GICs), life insurance value and cash-in-hand and bank account.

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 income

For example:

Pay stubs, pension statements (Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security), rental property income, income tax returns, income tax notice of assessment, business/rental/farming income, disability or veterans affairs pension, child and spousal support payments, GST credit.

Proof of Expenses / cost estimates

For example:

Receipts, fuel, electricity or oil consumption bills, services and equipment estimates, medical expenses, student loans, property taxes, mortgage payments, all others.

  1. Call Social Development at 1-833-733-7835. Press 1 for English or 2 for French. Then press 2. Tell the team member you would like to apply for the Emergency Fuel Benefit. To help determine if you may be eligible, the agent will ask you some questions about your situation. They will also ask about your monthly income and expenses (rent/mortgage, transportation, food, bills, etc.). If the agent thinks you may be eligible for the benefit, they will book you an in-person appointment with a Needs Assessor at your local Social Development office.
    They may also tell you that you do not qualify. You have the right to ask for a review of this decision. If your circumstances change you are welcome to apply again in the future.
  2. If you meet with the Needs Assessor, you will need to provide information about your household income and expenses. See the complete list of documents you may need in the “What do I need to apply?” section below. If you don’t have the required documents during your appointment, you can drop them off later. The Needs Assessor cannot complete your application without the requested documents.
  3. Once your application is complete, the Needs Assessor will tell you if you have been approved or not. If you are approved, a cheque will be mailed out to you. It usually takes a couple days for the cheque to be processed and then put in the mail.
  4. After you receive the cheque, you can use it to cover your heating costs. You are not required to provide a receipt to the Department of Social Development.

Last updated: August 24, 2023