Payments from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) are officially exempt from being counted for residents of the Northwest Territories who are Income Assistance (IA) clients as well. 

NWT Minister of Education, Culture and Employment says these benefits would normally be counted as unearned income and would affect a client’s IA benefit amount.

  • The IA program provides financial assistance to residents, aged 19 years or older, to assist with their basic and enhanced needs.  
  • These needs include the actual costs associated with shelter and utilities, as well as set amounts for food, clothing and additional allowances for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.  
  • Food and clothing amounts are based on family size and the location of the community.

According to R.J. Simpson this latest announcement is in addition to the changes made to the program in March to support the Northwest Territories’ most vulnerable residents.

  • All Client Services Officers continue to serve Income Assistance clients, seniors, persons with disabilities, and students.
  • Income Assistance Clients applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit are encouraged to review eligibility requirements here.
  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit is available to postsecondary students from May through August 2020.
  • Both the CERB and the CESB are taxable benefits.