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Receiving Support

It is important to understand how your benefits are calculated and paid. You should also know your ongoing obligations while receiving support. This can help you avoid issues with your benefits.

Service Level Screening

If your application is approved, you must complete a Service Level Screening to receive ongoing benefits. The screening determines the appropriate services to help individuals become as self-sufficient as possible. You have 30 days after your application is approved to complete the screening.


Medical Needs

Medical costs are not covered by SIS. You may be able to receive additional health benefits from Saskatchewan Health. Talk to your worker or call 1-800-266-0695 to ask about assistance with prescription drugs, dental and optical services, the hearing aid plan and other medical services. Individuals registered under The Indian Act receive coverage through Health Canada.

If eligible, the amount of assistance you receive will depend on your situation. Your family size, income and housing arrangements will be considered. If you live in a remote northern community you may be eligible for additional benefits.

Benefits include…

  • Adult Basic Benefit – a flat monthly amount for each eligible adult in the household. This benefit provides for basic necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and personal items.
  • Children’s Benefits for Parents not Eligible for the Canada Child Benefit – a monthly benefit intended to cover some child-related expenses. These expenses include things like food, clothing, household items, and transportation.
  • Shelter Benefit – a monthly housing benefit based on the size of the household (single, couple, family with children). Money required for a security deposit can also be advanced once every two years and paid back in monthly instalment.
  • Change of Circumstances Benefits – available to individuals who are entering the workforce or starting a training program, need short-term childcare to secure employment, or are required to relocate.

Other benefits may be available, including health and safety benefits (to cover things like prescribed diet, travel, childcare, and emergencies). Complete information about benefits is available from your nearest Social Service office.

The amount of your monthly benefit is determined by first looking at the total amount of SIS benefits you are eligible to receive. That amount is then reduced by the amount of any non-exempt income or non-exempt assets received in the previous month.

Income Exemptions

All income received from any source must be reported by all applicants. Some income will not, however, affect your benefit amount. Monthly earned income is exempted up to:

  • $325 for a single individual
  • $425 for a couple
  • $500 for a household with at least one dependent child

Exempt income also includes things like income tax refunds, tax credits, rebates and benefits, as well as insurance payments used to repair or replace an insured item.

You must report any assets you acquire. If an asset is not exempt the value of the asset is considered income. Exempt assets include personal assets (furniture, appliances jewellery etc.), your primary residence and one vehicle per household.


Payment schedules are determined with input from you and are based on your needs. Unless you pick a flexible schedule, you will receive SIS benefits in a single monthly instalment. Payments are usually deposited directly to your bank account. They are not paid in cash. If you cannot get a bank account or you live in a remote area where there are no banks, other arrangements can be made. Other arrangements can also be made if someone is garnishing money from your account for an unpaid debt.


If your situation changes, notify your worker of the change as soon as possible. You must notify your worker if, for example, your income changes or you move. Other changes that must be reported include if you marry, start to live common law with a partner, separate, have a baby or have other changes to your household.

If the change means you should get more money, the increase may only start when your worker has the information. If the change means you should get less money, you may have to pay back the amount you should not have received.


Social services may review your situation at any time. Reviews are used to confirm that you are still eligible for benefits. At the review the worker looks at your current financial and personal situation, and changes in your particular needs. Your case plan, including job searches and plans for future training, will also be reviewed.

Keeping a file will help you be prepared for a review. It can also be helpful if you have a disagreement with a decision made by your worker. The file could include:

  • details of any income you earn
  • notes on telephone calls and visits with your worker
  • receipts for rent, special needs, utilities and drugs
  • copies of letters you send or receive
  • cheque stubs
  • any other information you think might be important

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PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.