News

Income Assistance Reviews Complete

July 31, 2017

The Ministry of Social Services has reviewed some of its income assistance benefits, as announced on Budget Day.  Government has made the following decisions regarding certain benefits in the Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP), the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program, and the Transitional Employment Allowance (TEA):

  • Overpayment recovery rates will be increased. SAP recovery rates have not been changed since 1989;
  • Benefits for high-calorie diets more than 2,999 calories will be updated to focus on clients’ specific medical conditions and dietary needs as identified by a health professional rather than the existing 3,000-plus calorie diet benefit, which currently applies only to diabetes, weight reduction and modified fats (low cholesterol); and
  • To streamline services, clients requiring major home repairs will be directed to the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation’s Emergency Repair Program rather than the home repair benefit which is being wrapped up.

“Social Services is focusing our resources on meeting people’s basic needs for food, shelter and clothing both now and into the future,” Social Services Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “Social Services received among the largest increase of any government ministry and we have to ensure those dollars are being spent where they are most needed.”

In 2017-18, the budget for income assistance programs increased by more than 13 per cent, or $67 million, to address growing caseloads and higher average costs per client.  That investment brings the income assistance budget to more than $561 million.

The changes described above will come into effect on October 1, 2017.  Clients who are impacted by these changes may contact their income assistance worker or assured income specialist for more information. 

Support may be available through other existing programs: for example, clients may access the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation’s Emergency Repair Program for major home repairs.  Clients who require high-calorie diets for specific medical conditions, as prescribed by a health professional, will continue to be eligible for special diet benefits under the updated policy.

The ministry also reviewed asset exemptions in SAP and TEA, as well as the school supply benefit and no changes are being made to these benefits.

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For more information, contact:

Trish Alcorn
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0916
Email: trish.alcorn@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-536-1479

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