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welfare and benefits

Canada offers a wide range of social programs to help Canadians with their financial, personal, social and emotional well-being. Permanent residents and some refugees also have access to some of Canada’s social programs.

Social Programs

three levels of government fund and run many of these programs. These levels are federal, provincial/territorial and municipal. Some social programs are the same across Canada, while others have different names and structures in each province and territory.

The Employment Insurance (EI) program provides temporary financial support to citizens in case of unexpected job loss, illness or injury. If workers lose their job through no fault of their own, they are eligible to apply for regular benefits. If workers cannot work due to illness or injury, they are eligible for sickness benefits

Income Assistance Programs Employment Insurance Benefits

Income support programs provide financial assistance and employment assistance to people in financial need. They are a last-resort source of income if all other sources are not enough for a person to support themself. The provinces and territories run these programs.

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a monthly payment made to Canadians and their families to partially replace their income after retirement, disability or death.

The Employment Insurance (EI) program provides financial support to workers who leave work due to pregnancy or the birth of a child, also provides Caregiving Benefits to workers who leave work to take care of a family member who is critically injured, ill or in need of end-of-life care.

These agencies provide insurance coverage to workers who suffer from work-related injury or illness. They are funded entirely by employers.

Worker's compensation

Family benefits

Public pension

Income support

Health Canada is a federal institution that helps Canadians live healthy lives. It has different branches that provide health services and information. Citizens and permanent residents need provincial or territorial health cards, to access health services. The federal government directly provides health support to certain groups of people, including members of the Canadian Armed Forces and inmates in federal prisons.

Health in Canada

Child welfare programs in Canada provide services whose main goal is the protection of children from abuse and neglect. They also support family stability to keep children with their birth families whenever possible.

Students pay tuition for post-secondary education. Canada Student Grants and Loans helps post-secondary students with the cost of tuition. The federal government offers apprenticeship loans for training in the trades and tuition support for student athletes.



The federal government offers special benefits to current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. These programs include income support, compensation for injury or illness, prisoner-of-war benefits, death benefits and emergency funds.

Regional support programs foster inclusion and healthy living for people with disabilities. These programs help participants work, volunteer, exercise and improve their daily living skills.

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Services Canada, a department of the federal government established in 2019, works to improve access to social programs for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Indigenous Services Canada aims to support Indigenous peoples in independently delivering social programs within their communities.

People with disabilities