Income Assistance - Regular

Regular, temporary income assistance is available to persons who, for a variety of reasons, are unemployed and have few financial resources, but who are capable of eventual  financial independence through employment.

In some circumstances, where there is immediate or emergency need, a person may be eligible for Hardship Assistance. As well, when a person finds it difficult, or is not able, to work, they may be eligible for either Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment or Persons with Disabilities assistance.

To receive income assistance (welfare), a person must call the toll-free number, complete an on-line Enquiry Form, go through an orientation session and look for work for several weeks before an 'intake interview'.

There are some exceptions which will allow applicants to go immediately to the application and interview stage: Immediate Needs Process

Following the orientation and job search time period, the applicant (enquirer) may then be allowed to fill out an application form and be interviewed regarding their job search and financial situation and other circumstances. Ministry staff will need to see bank records, tax returns, employment history and other information.

Regular Income Assistance is time limited, but there are many circumstances which allow the assistance to continue without penalty.

Local libraries, some Service BC offices and various community agencies have free internet access services.

The Ministry is encouraging applicants and recipients of income assistance who have access to the internet to use the online website  My Self Serve which has information about applying for income assistance as well as allowing recipients to submit monthly reports online, upload supporting documents, and so on.

For more information on Income Assistance go to the website. For specific information on the application process go to:

There are Income Assistance offices in Grand Forks, Nakusp, Nelson and Trail.

A Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation Program.

Address / Contact Info

BC Employment and Income Assistance Services

Phone Numbers

Toll-free : 1-866-866-0800


Web Links

Other Programs from This Organization

Income Assistance - Hardship Assistance Time limited, generally repayable, assistance available to those who are not eligible for income assistance due to a variety of circumstances and who have proven that all other funding sources have been exhausted.
Income Assistance - Immediate Needs Process The 3 week waiting period before getting an appointment to apply for income assistance may be waived under certain circumstances that would cause the person, or the person's family, undue hardship.
Income Assistance - Persistent Multiple Barriers to Employment: (PPMB) Available to individuals who have received income assistance for 12 of the last 15 months and have severe multiple barriers to employment and meet other criteria.
Income Assistance - Persons with Disabilities Available to eligible persons with serious, long-term mental or physical disabilities who are not expected to gain complete financial independence through employment.
Special Transportation Subsidy Provided to recipients of disability assistance who live in areas where the Bus Pass program is available, but are unable to use public transportation due to their disability or because it would make their disability worse.
Supplementary Assistance A variety of supplementary benefits and supports are available depending on category of income assistance being received.

This program was last updated on 06 May 2015.