Income Assistance Program

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This program provides financial assistance to Northwest Territories (NWT) residents to help meet their basic needs. The program ensures clients have the opportunity to develop greater financial security so they are able to participate in community life and share in opportunities available throughout the NWT.

Available Funding

Funding is based on the applicant’s (and spouse’s) income, and community. The program assists applicants with the actual amounts for their shelter and utilities.

Income received from Indigenous Governments will be exempted from the calculation of Income Assistance benefits in a further step towards reconciliation. Included in the exemption of additional income:

  • Monies received from Self-Government Agreements, Treaty Agreements, Land Claim Agreements, Impact Benefit Agreements;
  • Monies received from Residential School Settlement, Indian Day School Settlement, or the Sixties Scoop Settlement; 
  • Monies received on behalf of an applicant’s dependants through Jordan’s Principle and the Inuit Child First Initiative;
  • Monies received through Agricultural Benefits for Indigenous Governments; and
  • Other monies received from Indigenous Governments, as determined by the Director of Income Security Programs. 

Clients must continue to report the above income on their monthly applications. If clients are uncertain about how these changes may impact their Income Assistance benefits, they are encouraged to speak to a Client Navigator at their local or regional ECE Service Centre


Income Assistance is a month to month program, applicants must apply and provide all required documents during a given month. Applications need to be received by the end of the month. 


This program is designed for: 

  • NWT residents over 19 years old
  • Residents who have a need greater than their income

Changes to Income Assistance will come into effect in 2024.

How to Apply

To apply, complete an application for Income Assistance and provide identification and information on your finances to a local ECE Service Centre.

A Client Navigator at your local ECE Service Centre can help you complete your application.

Related Links

Income Assistance - Handbook (Plain Language)

Service Standards

Social Assistance Act

Income Assistance Regulations

Income Assistance Policy Manual