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Overview of the Saskatchewan Income Support Program

Written by Stephen Hoenig
In Canada, there are different income support programs at both the provincial and federal levels. These programs offer financial help to assist Canadians in making ends meet until they’re able to get back on their feet. In Saskatchewan, this program is known as the Saskatchewan Income Support Program or SIS.
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    Unlike some other programs, SIS takes a whole income approach. This means that Canadians who receive this income supplement get their monthly payment in one full payment every month instead of biweekly or semi-monthly. This program also offers other benefits, including a Saskatchewan Social Support Worker who’ll help you build up your skills in order to achieve your financial goals and support yourself.

    Who Qualifies in Saskatchewan for Income Support

    Pretty much anyone who’s low-income in Saskatchewan can apply for income support. That said, there are some qualifications that you need to meet in order to be approved. These qualifications are:

    • You must be at least 18 years old
    • You must like in Saskatchewan
    • You must either be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident, have refugee status or be in the country under the Canada Ukraine authorization for emergency travel
    • You must have no or low-income
    • You must have exhausted all other options to support yourself with income

    If you’re applying for more than yourself, they must meet these requirements as well. 

    Before we dive too much into what’s required in your appreciation and how to apply, you should first verify that you’re considered low-income. What does it mean in Saskatchewan, and who is considered to be low-income?

    Low Income in Saskatchewan

    In Canada, you’re considered low income based on your annual income compared to the size of your family. If you’re supporting more than just yourself, your annual household income will be taken instead of your single annual income. 

    Whether you’re considered low-income or not is based on which province you live in and which tax credits and programs you're applying for. In order to qualify for a full Saskatchewan tax credit that is available from June 2023 to July 2024, your adjusted household income must sit under $35,902. The amount then gets reduced on adjusted net incomes from $35,902 to $74,446 based on the size of the household. 

    Since this income tax credit is given by the government of Saskatchewan, we know this is what they consider to be low-income. 

    Applying for Social Assistance

    If you're looking to apply for SIS, there are a few different ways you can apply:

    • Online 
    • Over the phone
    • At your local social services office (client services centre)

    No matter how you choose to apply, though, the information that you need to provide is the same. You’ll need to provide:

    • A completed application form
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Saskatchewan Health Services Number (HSN)
    • Information for your spouse/dependants
    • Pay stubs
    • Income information
    • Mortgage or rental agreement
    • Bank account information
    • Direct deposit information
    • How much money you have (including investments)
    • Information or assets you own
    • Info on benefits and pensions you receive

    Applying online is the easiest way to apply for SIS benefits. Not only because you can apply from anywhere but because you can update your contact information whenever you like. You can also upload new documents as needed. With this method, more of the process is in the client’s control. No matter how you apply though, you’ll have to do a telephone screening within 30 days of submitting your application. 

    Applying over the phone isn’t much more difficult to use than doing so online, but you can’t log in to keep track of your application or update your information. You’ll need to contact social services every time you need to make a change. 

    If you go into a social services branch in order to apply, you’ll still have to apply online or over the phone, but there will be someone there to support clients and help you complete your application. They also have phones and computers you can use to complete your application if you don’t have your own. 

    SIS Payment Amounts

    The payment amounts given for the SIS benefit ranges based on your financial situation, where you live, and how many are in the household. Let’s take a look at those differences and what categories of the SIS you could qualify for. 

    Basic Benefit

    The basic benefit is one of the main benefits you’ll receive if you’re on SIS. How much you’ll receive is mainly based on whether or not you live in a remote northern community. Those who live outside the Northern Administration District will receive $345. Those who live within the district get $410 per month with another $65 per child. While this benefit doesn’t seem like a lot of money, it’s not meant to cover shelter costs. It’s meant to cover the cost of food, clothing, travel, as well as personal and household expenses. 

    Shelter Benefit

    How much you’ll receive to cover the cost of shelter also depends on where you live and how many people live in your household. Here are the shelter benefit rates:

    RegionSingleCoupleFamilies with 1-2 ChildrenFamilies with 3 or more children
    Everywhere Else$570$695$795$895

    Just like the basic benefit, the shelter benefit is paid once per month. It’s meant to cover the cost of things like rent payments, mortgage payments, utilities and taxes. Really, any other shelter-related costs would be included as well.

    Employment Incentive

    If you’re working while on income assistance, there are some monthly earned income exemptions you could receive. These are:

    • $325 for a single person
    • $425 for a couple( no dependent children)
    • $500 for a family

    Whether or not you receive these will be decided on a month-to-month basis.

    Health and Safety

    Once you’ve received your standard benefits, there are also some additional health and safety benefits you could be eligible to receive. These are:

    1. Household Health and Safety Benefit: This benefit will provide up to $500 to replace household items or set up a new place to live. It will only provide this in situations due to a natural disaster or interpersonal violence. 
    2. Stabilization Benefit: The additional shelter stabilization benefit is available to those who have difficulty maintaining stable housing. 
    3. Short-Term Emergency Assistance: The amount of this benefit is situational. It’s only given out to address emergency situations.
    4. Prescribed Diet Benefit - If you have medical conditions that require additional nutritional supplements or specific foods, you can get between $50 and $150 to cover those expenses. 
    5. Travel Benefit: How much you receive for a travel benefit is also situational. This benefit is given if you’re required to travel for medical purposes or because of work. The amount you’ll receive is meant to cover mileage, meals and accommodations. While this amount will differ for everyone, pre-determined rates are used. 
    6. Alternate Heating Benefit: If you’re unable to heat your home using natural gas and have to use an alternate heat source, you might be eligible to receive $160/month to help cover these costs. 

    With each additional benefit you can only receive it if you qualify and meet the allotted requirements.

    Change in Circumstance

    The Change in Circumstance benefits are also available to those who qualify. Each of these benefits is situationally dependent and isn’t necessarily to be received every month. Some of these are one-time benefit payments, just like some of the additional benefits available. 

    1. Employment and Training Benefit: If you need to take training courses or a training program or need some funds to start your career, you could be provided with up to $140 to help cover these. 
    2. Children’s Benefit: Parents who don’t receive the Canada Child Benefit could be eligible to receive up to $400 to cover child-related costs. 
    3. Child Care Benefit: If you’re attending job interviews or looking for a new job, you could be supplied with $30/day to help cover the costs of child care. 
    4. Relocation Benefit: If you’re required to look for a new place to live for an indisputable reason, you could receive $200 -$300 to help with these costs. 
    5. Travel Benefit: If you’re required to travel while looking for a new job or in order to start working, you could be supplied with funds to cover meals, accommodations and mileage. 
    6. Security Deposit: This can be provided to you if needed, up to the amount of the shelter benefit.
    7. Funeral Benefits: If needed, funds can be supplied to help with the costs of a funeral. 

    SIS Payment Dates

    No matter which SIS payments you receive, they’ll be deposited into your account on the same day. If you’re receiving a cheque, though, the dates are different.

    Direct Deposit Payment Dates

    If you’ve signed up for direct deposit, these are the dates you’ll notice the money being deposited into your account in 2023.

    Payment MonthPayment Date
    JanuaryDecember 28
    FebruaryJanuary 30
    MarchFebruary 27
    AprilMarch 30
    MayApril 27
    JuneMay 30
    JulyJune 29
    AugustJuly 28
    SeptemberAugust 30
    OctoberSeptember 28
    NovemberOctober 30
    DecemberNovember 29

    Cheque Mail Dates

    While the cheque mail dates are similar to the direct deposit dates, when you receive them will be based on where you live. 

    Payment MonthCheque Mail Dates
    JanuaryDecember 22
    FebruaryJanuary 25
    MarchFebruary 22
    AprilMarch 27
    MayApril 24
    JuneMay 25
    JulyJune 26
    AugustJuly 25
    SeptemberAugust 25
    OctoberSeptember 25
    NovemberOctober 30
    DecemberNovember 29

    Other Saskatchewan Benefits

    The SIS program is a part of the Social Assistance Program. In this program, there are other benefit options that offer financial assistance based on your financial situation and your reasons for applying for income support. Here’s a look at some of the other programs available. 

    SAID (Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability)

    The SAID program, also known as the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability, is a program that exists to provide income to those who are living with significant and enduring disabilities. 

    Same as with the SIS program, the SAID program has basic benefits and additional benefits that you could qualify for based on your individual situation. Because the SAID program provides more permanent benefits than the SIS program, the monthly payment is higher. 

    Low-Income Tax Credit

    The Saskatchewan Low Income Tax Credit is a tax-free benefit that started in June of 2023 and will continue until July of 2024. It’s fully funded by the Saskatchewan Provincial Government and provides a payment to those who have low and modest incomes. 

    For a single person, you could receive up to $380. You could also receive $380 for a spouse or common-law partner and $150 per child for up to 2 children. The total annual amount available is $1060 per family. 

    SES (Saskatchewan Employment Supplement)

    This is a benefit that’s supplied to families with children who are low income. While this payment isn’t a replacement for employment income, it does provide supplemental income for:

    • Employment
    • Farming
    • Self-employment

    It also provides some money to those who are seeking child support and spousal support. You can also be eligible for this benefit if you’re receiving child support and need to supplement your income. 


    Just like other provinces and territories throughout Canada, Saskatchewan provides income support for those who need to support their basic needs while they’re trying to get back on their feet. The monthly benefit amount you’ll receive is based on how many people are in your household and if the SIS will be your main source of income or not. 

    That said, while you’re able to receive SIS while working, you do have to fall within the low-income threshold to qualify and be looking for other ways to support yourself and your family. Once you’re approved for the SIS, you can continue receiving it until you find another way to support your basic needs. If you don’t get approved for the SIS, you may be a better fit for one of the other Social Assistance Program (SAP) Programs. 

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