Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Nova Scotia


The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia provide many programs and services to support your efforts to take care of your family, whether your children are newly born, in preschool or daycare, elementary or high school and beyond. Browse through the list below and see how your government can help.

Federal program titles are preceded by (CAN), while provincial program titles are preceded by (NS).

This listing focuses on family-related services. For a full listing of benefits, programs and services, see the websites of Benefits Canada or Service Canada.

(NS) Early Intervention Programs

Toll-Free: 1-877-424-1177 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-424-1177 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

With Early Intervention Programs, children with developmental delays and their families will find information, support, and services from birth until the child enters school.

There are 18 Early Intervention Programs in the province, addressing diagnoses such as ADD and Autism. However, your child does not have to have a diagnosed developmental concern to be eligible. The program is free to residents of Nova Scotia, and the home-based approach to delivering support and services provides the most responsive and unique aids and solutions possible.

Eligibility

Families with a child or children having or at risk of developing developmental delays, whether diagnosed, of unknown origin, or anticipated. Referral can be made by a member of the child’s family or by a representative such as physician, speech-language or early development specialist.

How To Apply

For more information about the programs, their locations and how to refer a child, locate the Community Services office nearest you.

(NS) Services for Persons with Disabilities

General Inquiries: 1-902-424-5099 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-902-424-5099 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program is for children, youth and adults with a variety of disabilities, ranging from intellectual and physical to long-term mental illness.

The programs are voluntary, designed to provide support to clients at various stages of their development and independence.

Some of the programs offered:

Alternative Family Support Program places the client in a family setting, in a private home, if this environment contributes to their developmental goals and sense of well-being.

Independent Living Support provides up to 21 hours per week of supports and services to enable a client to live independently in their own apartment or home.

Approved Community-Based Homes allow clients to live, work and socialize in the least-restrictive, most integrative circumstances available in the community.

Licensed Home for Special Care settings provide support and supervision in homes with four or more beds. These may be group homes, residential care facilities, adult residential centres, or regional rehabilitation centres.

(NS) Direct Family Support (DFSC)

The Direct Family Support program of the Department of Community Services provides supports and services to both children and adults with disabilities in an effort to help their families care for them at home, rather than be placed in a facility.

Disabilities can be classified as intellectual, developmental, or physical, but all of them incur a cost that can be hard for a lower-income family to absorb. The intent of this program is to provide an array of services and funding that takes some of the pressure off families in this situation.

Eligibility

Eligibility details differ between children and adults, but basically:

  • Children must be younger than 19, while adults are older than 19. Both must be living in the home with the family.
  • The applicant and family must be permanent Nova Scotia residents
  • Disabilities must be diagnosed by an approved physician
  • Family income falls within program guidelines

More detailed eligibility requirements can be found in the DFS Policy.

How To Apply

For application information, contact the Department of Community Services office nearest you.

Eligibility

Eligibility for each program basically consists of a functional and financial assessment performed by a

How To Apply

For more information about each program, including how to apply, contact the Community Services office nearest you.

(CAN) Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

Toll-Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax‑free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The amount of this benefit is calculated using the information you provide on your income tax returns. The benefit comprises two parts:

  1. The National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), the federal government’s contribution to the National Child Benefit.
  2. The CCTB may also include the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments.

Eligibility:

  • Child must be under age 18
  • Child must live with you and you are the child’s caregiver (there are provisions for shared and temporary custodianship)
  • You must be a resident of Canada
  • You (or your partner) must be a Canadian citizen or a recognized legal resident with a period of established residency (more information at the program website).

How To Apply:

You should apply for the CCTB as soon as possible after any of these events:

  • Your child is born
  • A child begins to live with you
  • You become a resident of Canada

Don’t assume you are ineligible because your family income seems too high. The eligibility calculations can be complex and you might be missing a detail that qualifies you. Apply regardless and see what the agency comes up with.

There are three ways to apply for the CCTB:

  1. If you consented to use the Automated Benefits Application Service (ABA) on the birth registration form when your child was born, you should have all the information you need to apply using this service. It is important to verify whether or not you provided this consent—if you apply for benefits using one of the next two methods, and you are already a registered ABA user, your benefits may be delayed. See how to use the ABA here.
  2. You can fill out a form and mail it in. For the form and address, see here.
  3. You can apply online here.

For the CDB (the benefit for families having a disabled child), see more information below.

(CAN) Child Disability Benefit (CDB)

Toll Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is a tax-free benefit, paid monthly, of up to $2470 per year ($205.83 per month) for families who care for a child under age 18 with a major disability. This could be a physical or mental impairment that can be classified as “severe and prolonged” (lasting, or expected to last, at least 12 months).

Eligibility

Families who are eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit will receive the CDB only if the child is also eligible for the disability amount, also known as the Disability Tax Credit. Determining eligibility for the disability amount is the first step, and requires a doctor’s certification that the child’s impairment meets certain conditions.

How To Apply

A special form must be completed by both you and a qualified practitioner attesting to the child’s disability. If Canada Revenue Agency approves that form, then the CDP payments will begin.

The special form to complete is called T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and can be found here.

Send the completed form to your tax centre after you have filed your taxes for the year, to avoid a delay in assessment.

(NS) Nova Scotia Child Benefit (NSCB)

Toll-Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This monthly tax-free benefit helps low- and moderate-income families with the costs of raising their dependent children. The benefit is bundled together with the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), so if you are already receiving those funds you need do nothing further except continue to file your tax returns each year.

Under this program, depending on your family income and number of children, you may be entitled to a benefit of up to:

  • $37.08 monthly for the first child
  • $53.75 monthly for the second child
  • $60.00 monthly for each additional child.

Eligibility

This is a provincial adjunct to the CCTB, so if you are eligible for that program, your benefits under this program will automatically be included.

How To Apply

There is no special application for this program. Apply to the CCTB if you are not already receiving that benefit.

(CAN) Universal Child Care Benefit

Toll-Free: 1-800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This taxable benefit is paid to parents in monthly instalments of $100 per month per child under the age of six. The benefit is available to any Canadian family with young children, no matter where you live or what your financial situation. You can use the payment for any child care-related expense, whether it be out-of-home care, to help pay for pre-school programs or educational materials, or even apply it toward an education fund (RESP or RDSP).

Payment is made monthly directly to the lower-earning parent. The “taxability” of the benefit has recently been improved so that single-parent families receive tax treatment comparable to two-parent families. Joint custody provisions will soon be added to make it easier for parents to share the amount received.

Eligibility:

  • You must be the primary caregiver of a child under 6 years of age on or after July 1, 2006
  • You must be a resident of Canada

How to Apply:

If your family is already receiving/has qualified for the Canada Child Tax Benefit then you will automatically receive the UCCB. There is no need to apply separately.

There are three ways to apply:

  1. Through the Canada Revenue Agency website.
  2. At a Service Canada Centre. Find the centre closest to you.
  3. By phoning 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

(NS) Child Care Subsidy

Toll-Free: 1-800-670-4357 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-670-4357 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This subsidy helps make quality, licensed child day care more affordable for lower-income families. You choose the facility, and the Department of Community Services submits the subsidy amount to the child care centre or family home day care on your behalf.

This subsidy “follows” your child, so even if you have to change child care providers, the care will still be subsidized.

If your application is approved, the child care facility will bill Community Services directly—you are still responsible for paying any difference between charges and the subsidy amount.

Eligibility must be re-established every 12 months, or more often if your circumstances change.

Eligibility

Children in day care must under 12 years of age and applying at a regulated facility that offers full-day care.

Other eligibility criteria will be evaluated from your application, such as household income, number of children, residency status, and liquid assets.

How To Apply

You may contact a caseworker at a local Community Services office, or download your own application and mail it to the Department of Community Services (addresses at the same download location).

(CAN) Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-267-3100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-267-3100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

An RESP is a great way to start saving early for your child’s education. For one thing, having an RESP in place makes your child eligible for various grants that can then be deposited into the RESP; for another, income generated from the contributions is not taxable as long as it remains in the RESP. Parents, relatives, and friends of a beneficiary may also contribute, up to a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child.

Funds from the RESP are disbursed for qualified educational purposes: full- or part-time studies in an apprenticeship program, a CEGEP, trade school, college or university. Students will pay taxes on income disbursed from the fund, but not on contribution amounts.

The RESP account remains open for 36 years from inception, so there’s no pressure on you or your child to start or finish school on a tight schedule. If for some reason the funds are not used for your child’s education, the contributions are returned to you as tax-free income.

Eligibility:

Both the subscriber and the beneficiary(ies) must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How To Apply:

You (the subscriber) need to choose a promoter (the entity that will administer the savings plan and disburse funds). Information on RESP application procedures is available from most financial institutions.

  • Important: research your options first. Some promoters may not offer all the programs for which you are eligible. This can mean giving up free money for your child, or embarking on a longish process of changing promoters and transferring your account. Visit this website to see what you need to know before choosing a promoter.

(CAN) Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This federal grant makes a payment of 20% on RESP contributions for an eligible beneficiary, up until the age of 17.

For families with low to middle-income, there is also an Additional CESG (A-CESG) over and above the basic CESG described above. This grant will add either 10% or 20%, depending on family income, to the first $500 contributed to the beneficiary’s RESP each calendar year, up until the end of the year in which the child turns 17. Year 2010 income limits are $41,544.00 (for the 20% grant) and $83,088 (for the 10% grant).

Eligibility:

All children up to age 17 are eligible for the basic CESG, as long as they are Canadian residents and have an RESP. There are special rules for children age 15-17. These rules and other information can be found at the link above.

How To Apply:

Your RESP provider should automatically ensure that the basic CESG grant is being deposited in your child’s RESP.

One of the considerations when choosing a provider (also known as a promoter) is to ensure they offer the A-CESG if you qualify by income. If you’ve already opened an RESP and your provider does not offer this grant, you will have to transfer the RESP to one who does, in order to apply.

(CAN) Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Another incentive program from the federal government to help make starting an RESP an easy choice for families on a limited budget.

This program will deposit $500 into your child’s RESP regardless of any contributions you do or do not make. Each year thereafter until your child reaches age 15, $100 will be deposited into the RESP. (An extra $25 will be provided to help offset any costs associated with setting up the RESP.) That’s up to $2000 plus interest provided for your child’s education after high school.

Eligibility

To qualify for this bond program:

  • · Your child must have been born after December 31, 2003
  • · You receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) as part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”).

How To Apply

Just open an RESP for your child (a SIN will be required). When selecting an RESP provider/promoter, remember to verify that they offer this bond first. If you anticipate contributing to your child’s RESP at any point in the future, make sure the RESP provider also offers the A-CESG if you believe your income will qualify you for that additional grant amount.

(CAN) Nobody’s Perfect

General Inquiries: 1-613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Nobody’s Perfect is a parenting education and support program for parents of young children. Parents who are young, single, isolated geographically or socially, or who have low income and education levels may not have had access to the kind of parenting information that will help their child thrive. This program, offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions, is designed for just such parents.

Materials are free, and trained facilitators (community workers, other parents and public health nurses) help participants work together to discover positive parenting techniques. The program is based on the principles of adult education—building on what these capable adults already know and do, then involving them in the learning process to expand on those capabilities. The network formed by this learning process provides a source of advice and support that can carry well beyond the weekly meetings.

Eligibility

Parents of children age birth to 5 years

How To Apply

Contact a provincial coordinator at this website.

(CAN) Child Rearing Drop-Out Provision (CRDP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9114 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9114 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

When you retire or become disabled, you become eligible to receive basic benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In the event of your death, these benefits transfer to your partner and/or children. Naturally, you will want this monthly benefit to be calculated to your advantage wherever possible.

The benefit amount is calculated on how much and how long you paid into the pension plan; however, certain life events cause people to “drop out” of earning at their full potential for some period of time. One of these events is child rearing. The CRDP is a provision to exclude such a period from your earnings calculations, so that your ultimate CPP benefit is not reduced

Eligibility

The CRDP can only be used for months where:

  • Your family received National Child Benefit Supplement (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”) payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit)

And

  • Your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, or worked fewer hours to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven

And

  • That child was born after December 31, 1958

How To Apply

Apply for the CRDP at the same time you apply for any CPP benefit. You should apply at least six months before you would like to start receiving the benefit.

Applications are available online here.

You may also stop at any Service Canada Centre for a kit. Find the Centre nearest you.

(CAN) Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s Benefits

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9914 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CPP Children’s Benefits provide a monthly benefit to the dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors. Your rates will vary based on your parent’s contributions, but averages and maximums can be investigated at this link.

Eligibility:

For you to be eligible for Children’s Benefits, your parent must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP. Also, if you are between 18 and 25, you must be attending school full time at a recognized institution. Children under 18 do not have to be in school to be eligible.

How To Apply

You should apply when you first become aware that your parent has applied for a disability benefit, or should your parent die.

Information and links to application forms can be found here.

(CAN) Employment Insurance (EI)

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Employment Insurance provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. There’s no way to tell in advance of application what your benefit will be, but the basic rate is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. At present, the maximum amount is $468 per week (based on the maximum yearly insurable amount of $44, 200).

Benefits are provided for a period of from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on unemployment rates in your region and the number of insurable work hours you accumulated during the 52 weeks preceding your claim. If you should find work before exhausting your benefit, the remainder can be “reactivated” for you to use again should another layoff occur.

While you are receiving benefits, you must be actively looking for work and keeping a written record of employer contacts.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for this benefit if you:

  • Have paid EI premiums (through paycheck deductions during periods of employment)
  • Lost your employment through no fault of your own
  • Have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • Have worked for the required number of insurance hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim (whichever is shorter)

How To Apply

The application for EI regular benefits is completed online (whether you do it from home, from a Service Canada Centre, or from some public internet access point) and could take up to an hour. Review the instructions beforehand to make sure you have all required information and documentation.

(CAN) Employment Insurance Family Supplement

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Family Supplement is a feature of Employment Insurance (EI) that provides additional benefits to low-income families with children when a caregiver loses his or her job.

The maximum Family Supplement will reach as high as 80% of your average insurable earnings.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.

Eligibility

If your family receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit, then you are eligible to receive the supplement on qualifying income levels.

How To Apply

No application is necessary—if you are eligible, the Family Supplement will automatically be added to your EI benefit.

(CAN) Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities

General Inquiries: 613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities Program is a community-based children’s program delivered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). It focuses on early childhood development for First Nation, Inuit and Métis children and their families living off-reserve.

The program is individually developed for each community where it exists, but typically will include the following components in a structured half-day preschool format:

  • Aboriginal culture and language
  • Education and school readiness
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Social support
  • Parental involvement

The program is free.

Eligibility

Any family from one of the populations mentioned who lives off-reserve is eligible to apply. There is a similar program in place for on-reserve families, the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve.

How To Apply

To see if programs exist in your area, and to inquire about registration and transportation, contact the PHAC regional office nearest you.

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