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Receiving Support

Understanding how your benefits are calculated and paid, as well as your ongoing obligations while receiving support can help you avoid any issues.

Service Level Screening

If your application is approved you must complete a Service Level Screening (SLS) in order to receive ongoing benefits. The screening is used to help determine appropriate services to help individuals become self-sufficient, as much as possible.

Amount

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 is intended to provide for basic necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and personal items.
  • Children’s Benefits for Parents not Eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) – a monthly benefit intended to cover some child-related expenses. These expenses include things like food, clothing, household items, transportation, and some short-term child care.
  • 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, 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

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.

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 family

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.

Schedule

Payment schedules are determined with input from you and are based on your needs. Unless a flexible schedule is selected, SIS benefits are paid 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 garnisheeing money from your account.

Changes

If your situation changes notify your worker of the change as soon as possible. Your worker must be notified 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.

Reviews

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 special 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.