News release

Income Assistance Changes Help Nova Scotians Connect to Workforce, Keep More Money

Community Services

Changes to the income assistance program will help people reconnect to the workforce and ensure those who are working keep more of their earned income.

“I’m focused on helping vulnerable Nova Scotians during these challenging financial times,” said Brendan Maguire, Minister of Community Services. “Through this investment, we are supporting income assistance clients, we are helping people receive training to find work and we are making changes to allow clients who are working to keep more of their salaries.”

The government will provide a one-time $150 payment for each income assistance client who does not qualify for the new disability supplement announced in November. Beginning in April, the new disability supplement will provide $300 per month more to those who cannot work and who are not currently in the Disability Support Program.

The Province is also increasing the earned income exemption threshold by $100 for all wage earners receiving income support through Community Services. This means that some clients receiving income assistance while working will be able to keep more of their monthly income.

Training allowances will also be treated as earned income under this new structure, creating an incentive for people to participate in career and job programs.

The earned income updates require regulatory changes and will take effect this fall.

Quick Facts:

  • the disability supplement is a $53-million investment and will benefit more than 60 per cent of recipients of the Employment Support and Income Assistance program – likely more than 15,000 people; eligibility will be recognized through existing medical documentation and clients will begin receiving the increase automatically
  • the $150 one-time payment is a $2-million investment benefitting about 40 per cent of recipients and their adult dependents
  • the earned income changes will cost about $850,000

Additional Resources:

News release – More Support for Income Assistance Recipients with Disabilities, Work Underway on Human Rights Remedy: