Yukon Social Assistance is a program that provides financial assistance to people who do not have enough money to live on. This program is to be used only as a last resort after all other possible sources of income have been explored.
You may be eligible if you do not have enough money to meet your basic needs and:
- you are between the ages of 19 and 64
- your partner/spouse* does not make enough money to meet your basic needs
* Someone you live with and are in a romantic relationship with
- you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
- you do not have a First Nation Status Number and/or the last working person in a relationship does not have a First Nation Status Number.
- if you have Status, seek assistance from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) or your First Nation office for service.
You are NOT likely to be eligible if
You have enough money to meet your basic needs and/or:
- you have a partner/spouse* that has enough money to meet both of your basic needs
* Someone you live with and are in a romantic relationship with
- you are not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
(i.e. you have a work visa, are sponsored to be in Canada, are not in the country legally, or are a refugee without an active file)
- you have a First Nation Status Number. If you have Status and/or the last working person in a relationship has First Nation Status Number, seek assistance from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (INAC) or your First Nation office for service.
- if you are visiting the Yukon
- you are attending a post-secondary program
- you have assets that can be quickly and easily exchanged for cash
How to apply
Outside of Whitehorse
You must have an appointment to apply for Social Assistance.
To make an intake appointment, visit the Social Assistance office closest to where you live (listed at the bottom of this page). The offices are usually open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Applying in Whitehorse
Applicants residing in Whitehorse will complete a pre-intake with a social worker.
- Pre-Intake is held from 9:00 am to 9:30 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (every day except for Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Statutory Holidays).
- A Social Worker will see if you are likely to be eligible for assistance.
- If you are likely to be eligible, you will be given an Intake appointment.
- You will also be provided with intake forms to complete.
- It is important to provide ALL information required on these forms.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 What is Intake? What do I need for my intake??
- Intake is the first meeting with your Social Worker, you can expect it to last from 1 hour to 1 ½ hours
- During this appointment your Social Worker will see if you are eligible for assistance
- You will sign some documents (including a consent) and will have a chance to tell your story.
- Please feel free to bring a support person to this appointment if you would like.
- What is needed for your appointment?
- If you are married or live with your partner, he/she must attend the appointment with you.
- Personal identification (ID) – 2 pieces per family member.
- Rental form, lease agreement or mortgage information
- Documents regarding money/assets (i.e. Notice of Assessment, Pay Stubs)
- Social Assistance Report form.
- Employment History form.
- Bank Statements from the past 90 Days (printed on the date of your intake).
2 How is eligibility for social assistance determined?
- A social worker will look at food, shelter and utility needs and any and all money you have received in the last 31 days.
- If all of the money you have received in the last 31 days is less than your need, you are likely to be eligible for assistance.
- Please see question 3 for examples of money/income.
3 What is considered income?
Examples of income are:
- Money from Employment
- Employment Insurance (EI)
- Pension money (CPP/OAS/GIS/CPPD).
- Child Support/Maintenance
- Financial assistance from other services
- Financial assistance from other locations
- E-Transfers, money transfers, gifts, or other deposits
- Loans (personal, student, payday loans, etc.)
- Grants, bursaries, scholarships
- Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Distribution Payment
- Dividends or entitlements from a First Nation
- Assets that can be quickly and easily exchanged for cash
There may be other money that must be taken that is not on this list
4 What is NOT considered income?
5 Can I receive Employment Insurance or Pensions and collect Social Assistance?
If you are receiving EI or Pensions and are not able to afford food and rent, you may be eligible for some assistance.
6 What is considered a basic need?
- Food, clothing, shelter and utilities are considered basic needs
- Transportation, television, internet, etc. are not considered basic needs.
7 I have had my intake, how do I get assistance for next month?
- Assistance is assessed each month after you submit your Assistance Application Card (ARC)
- You can apply for assistance each month by submitting your ARC along with any required documentation
- Your social worker may require the following documents:
- Utility bills
- Job search documentation, if requested
- Rent receipts
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
- Proof of Child Support/Maintenance
8 When do I submit my Assistance Application Card (ARC)?
- ARCs can be submitted close to one-month before your regular assistance cheque.
- ARCs submitted after the 15th of the month may result in a late assistance cheque.
- Please use the following guide to make sure you are submitting everything at the right time
9 How can I get housing?
- Applicants are responsible for finding their own shelter/housing, however, your Social Worker can help you find housing
- A shelter allowance is provided to cover expenses.
- The amount varies depending on family size and what community you live in.
- The actual costs of utilities are also covered, up to a maximum depending on family size and time of year.
- Emergency shelter is available in Whitehorse through the Salvation Army shelter on the corner of Black Street and 4th Avenue, open evenings and weekends.
- Youth age 17 to 23 years old can attend Skookum Jim’s Youth Emergency Shelter in Whitehorse.
- Transitional Housing is available in Whitehorse for women and children fleeing violence through Kaushee’s Place.
10 Can I work while on Social Assistance?
Yes, and you can continue to be eligible for some assistance until you are earning enough money to meet your basic needs.
11 Can I volunteer?
- Volunteer work is encouraged but is not a substitute for paid employment.
- Applicants who are employable must seek paid work.
- For help finding paid employment, talk to your Social Worker about the Employment and Training Services Program.
12 Can I go to School?
Education may be approved if it is part of your case plan with your Social Worker.
13 How do I get assistance with training and employment?
- ISS may be able to provide assistance with obtaining training and finding employment.
- Please speak with your Social Worker about the Employment and Training Services Program.
14 Can I leave the Territory?
- No, unless you are leaving on a Medical Travel that has been approved by the Medical Travel Program.
- It is expected that if you collect assistance in the Yukon, you reside in the Yukon.
15 Will Social Assistance provide funding for my medication?
- If you are not eligible for funding through other programs, you may be eligible to receive assistance for prescriptions.
- Generally speaking, ISS will approve low-cost, generic prescriptions.
16 Is there any reason that my prescription might be denied?
- If you are eligible for funding from another program, i.e.:
Non-Insured Health Benefits
Children’s Drug and Optical Program If you have a dependent aged 18 or under
- If your prescription is not approved on the Yukon Drug Formulary, it will not be funded through our office.
- Coverage may be denied because there are less expensive medications that can be used to treat the same issue.
- Approval is required before buying prescription drugs. If you buy a prescription yourself, it is unlikely that you will be reimbursed.
- Funding is not provided for Over the Counter Medication.
17 Am I required to seek child support/maintenance?
- All people owed child support must apply to the Maintenance Enforcement Program.
- Maintenance is considered a financial resource and must be reported
18 Where can I get a copy of the Social Assistance Regulations?
You can view or download a copy, or visit one of our Social Assistance offices.
Head Start Program
The Head Start Program matches participants with training or employment opportunities in the community that are well suited to their goals, skills and interests.
Yukon Regional Services Offices
Box 174, Carcross Y0B 1B0
Box 95, Carmacks YOB IC0
Box 339, Dawson City Y0B 1G0
Box 148, Faro Y0B 1K0
Haines Junction (including Destruction Bay,
Burwash Landing, Beaver Creek)
Box 5445, Haines Junction Y0B 1L0
Box 9, Mayo Y0B 1M0
Old Crow (sub-office of Dawson)
Pelly Crossing (sub-office of Carmacks)
Box 111, Ross River Y0B 1S0
Box 69, Teslin Y0A 1B0
Box 305, Watson Lake Y0A 1C0
3168 3rd Avenue, Whitehorse Y1A 1G3
Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT);