Common Questions & Concerns

These questions were developed by people receiving assistance. The answers to these questions will fit most , but not all situations. Rules sometimes change and every welfare situation is different. If you want to find out about your own specific case, talk to your case worker or one of the organizations listed in Section IV.


Q: How do I apply for assistance?

A: There are several basic steps to applying for assistance.

STEP 1: Call, write or go to the nearest EIA or Municipal Assistance office. Tell the worker that you wish to apply for assistance (a list of EIA offices in Manitoba is included in Section IV).

STEP 2: The worker will ask you questions about yourself and your financial situation. This information will be put on an Application Form. You will be asked to show some I.D (identification) and any other documents that show your financial situation.

STEP 3: You will then be asked to read and sign the Application Form. If you are married or living common law, your partner may have to cosign the Application Form. You will be asked to give the worker permission to confirm the information you have provided.

Note: The Application Form for assistance is a legal document. It is very important that you look over the form before you sign it. If some information is incorrect, ask the worker to change it. If there is anything you do not understand, ask him or her to explain it before you sign.

STEP 4: Your worker will now review your Application Form. He or she will decide if you are eligible to receive assistance.

STEP 5: If you are required to look for work, you may be asked to attend an Orientation Session. You will also prepare a Personal Job Plan with your worker.

Q: What I.D do I have to show?

A: You will be asked to show two of the following pieces of identification when you apply for assistance:
  • Birth certificate
  • Manitoba Health Services card
  • Social Insurance number
  • Old Age Security number, if you're over 65
  • Drivers license
  • Marriage certificate
  • Passport

Q: I don't have any I.D. Can I still apply for assistance?

A: Yes. If you don't have ID, ask someone who knows you to write a letter on your behalf until you can get some I.D. It is best if this person is someone who has a position of responsibility, say a doctor, lawyer, minister or a social worker. They should write the letter on office letterhead.

Q: What other documents will I need to bring?

A: You will need to give the worker any documents that show your financial position. For example:
Assets: anything of value that belongs to a person and can be turned into cash. For example: bonds, RRSPs, and other investments.
  • A copy of your lease or rent receipts;
  • If you own your home, your mortgage and property tax bill, or a bank statement that shows your monthly payment;
  • Utility bills for hydro, heat, and water;
  • Receipts for regular prescriptions and other medical supplies;
  • Receipts for Employment Insurance (E.I) payments, pension benefits, family maintenance, disability benefits, workers compensation, or any other payments you receive on a regular basis;
  • Your bank book or bank statements showing how much money you have;
  • A list of any assets you own.

Q: I can't get to a welfare office. How do I apply?

A: If you're unable to get to an office in your area, call the government switchboard (1-800-282-8069) and ask for the EIA department. An Application Form can be mailed to you, or a worker may arrange to meet with you in your community or in your home.

Q: Help! I need assistance in a hurry. Is there anything I can do?

A: In an emergency situation (meaning you have completely run out of food and/or money), you can often get assistance the same day you apply. Call your nearest welfare office, and be sure to tell the receptionist that you need emergency assistance. In Winnipeg, you can call the After Hours Line at 945-0183. Outside of Winnipeg, go to your local RCMP detachment.

Q: I've just moved to Manitoba from another province. Can I receive assistance?

A: Yes, you can apply for financial assistance if you've just moved to Manitoba. If you recently received assistance from another province, you may have to prove that you are currently in need of assistance.

Q: I am an immigrant. Can I apply for assistance ?

Yes. Landed immigrants can apply for financial assistance. Sponsored immigrants may be asked to seek assistance from their sponsor. If the sponsor is unable or unwilling to provide assistance, welfare will provide assistance if you can show that you are in need.

Note: The sponsor will not be contacted if there is reason to believe that this would harm you in any way. Talk to your worker about your situation.


Q: How much money will I get?

A: Every persons case is different. When determining your rate, your worker will look at things like: family size, age of children, and the group category you fit under. The basic formula however, is very simple:

What your basic needs are
(-) What you have (your financial resources)
= What you get

Q: What are basic needs?

A: The government sets rate guidelines for basic needs. Basic needs fall into several categories:
  1. Food, clothing, personal needs and household supplies - (May include coin laundry for certain categories of applicants: Persons With A Disability, Aged, Persons in a Crisis Facility and Special Dependent Care). If you require a special diet for medical reasons (including pregnancies beyond the fourth month), you may also qualify for a special diet allowance. Ask your your case worker.

  2. Shelter – Mortgage payments (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance), rent, or room and board (up to the maximum guidelines). Homeowners may receive monies to pay for home repairs. Ask your worker for details.

  3. Utilities – heat, water and hydro

  4. Health care expenses – including glasses, dental care, prescription drugs, transportation for health reasons, and a housekeeper or attendant during illness or emergency.

  5. Employment related expenses – special work clothing, tools, childcare, transportation, basic telephone and parking may be covered upon approval.

  6. Funeral costs – basic funeral expenses up to a maximum set guideline.

Q: What about Special needs?

A: EIA may provide additional assistance in the following areas:

Newborn Allowance – Up to $250 in additional assistance for your first-born child, and up to $75 for each additional newborn child.

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