The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, R.J. Simpson, announced the extension of all Income Assistance COVID-19 relief measures currently in place. Under Income Security Programs, the IA program provides financial assistance to residents, including seniors and persons with disabilities, aged 19 years or older, to assist with their basic and enhanced needs.

In March, the IA program modified its suite of benefits to assist the NWT’s most vulnerable families and individuals. As the GNWT continued to monitor actions from jurisdictions across Canada, the decision was made to further support the territory’s most vulnerable residents by exempting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the calculation of IA benefits.

Simpson noted that over the last several months, ECE have made numerous changes to provide further support to the people of the north during these rapidly changing times.

“I am pleased to announce that we are not only making sure these changes continue, we are enhancing them to better serve our residents. The last thing we want to do is add any additional stress as residents they keep their families safe and navigate the challenges of this pandemic.”

The IA COVID-19 relief measures includes:

  • Exempted the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.
  • “Payrolled” all clients so that they do not have to report each month; ensuring they receive their payments consistently, and avoids in-person reporting.
  • Directed that all clients will engage in only one Productive Choice: taking care of themselves and their families. They are not required to report on this productive choice.
  • Exempted monetary donations from being counted as income in their IA benefits, as of April. These may be in the form of gifts from friends, family, benevolent organizations or Indigenous governments.

All IA COVID-19 relief measures will continue to be in place until the end of September, and will be reviewed again at that time.