Income Assistance Program

IMPORTANT: If you are currently receiving Income Assistance and you are in a flood zone under mandatory evacuation, you may qualify for an additional benefit known as the Emergency Allowance.

Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation Income Assistance Recipients: If you received Income Assistance during the month of May 2022, ECE is making arrangements to issue the Emergency Allowance benefits. The Emergency Allowance will be $500 for single applicants and $1,000 for families. If you are set up for direct deposit, you should receive your payment shortly. If you do not have direct deposit, please call 1-833-926-2110 to speak with a Client Services Officer to let them know where you are so we can make alternative arrangements.

If you have not yet applied for Income Assistance and are experiencing financial difficulties, call the number above to see if you are eligible. Please note: Income Assistance is based on financial need and is not intended to assist with costs associated with being displaced or damages or loss of home.


This program provides financial assistance to Northwest Territories (NWT) residents to help meet basic and enhanced needs. The program encourages and supports greater self-reliance to improve the quality of lives.



Available Funding

Funding is based on the size of family and community, for food, community cost adjustment, clothing, and furnishings. The program provides assistance with shelter and utilities, based on actual amounts. Allowances for seniors and persons living with disabilities are also available to eligible residents.


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


This program is designed for: 

  • NWT residents who are 19 years of age or older
  • Have a need greater than their income
  • Participate in a productive choice, unless they are exempt. Productive Choices could include: wage employment, career planning, education and training, volunteer community work, traditional activities, parenting, caring for an adult family member, or wellness activities.

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 Services Officer at your local ECE Service Centre can help you complete your application.

Related Links

Income Assistance - Handbook (Plain Language)

Income Assistance - Backgrounder

Income Assistance - COVID-19 Measures

Canada Recovery Benefits for Workers

Income Assistance - Important Dates 

Income Assistance - Productive Choices

Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Income Assistance

Service Standards

Seniors Benefits Brochure