Determining Your Resources

To determine whether you are eligible for last-resort financial assistance and calculate the benefit amount, the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale assesses the value of all your resources (cash in your bank account, the value of your home, etc.)

A portion of your resources may be exempted or excluded, meaning that it is not taken into account when your benefit is calculated. In addition, certain special circumstances may be considered.

Your cash resources

If your cash resources (liquid assets) exceed the permitted exemptions, your application for financial assistance will be refused or your financial assistance will be reduced. 

Your cash resources are made up of: 

  • The sums you have in hand or in your bank account
  • The assets that you can convert into cash in the short term, such as term deposits and savings bonds

Under certain conditions, you may be entitled to an exemption that allows you to deposit certain amounts in an account at a financial institution for a specific project. This is referred to as an “individual development account”. 

Depending on your situation, here are the maximum sums that you are permitted to have at the time you apply:

  • 1 adult, 0 dependent children, maximum allowed: $887
  • 1 adult, 1 dependent child, maximum allowed: $1,268
  • 1 adult, 2 dependent children, maximum allowed: $1,502. An amount of $254 is added for a third dependent child and each subsequent child.
  • 2 adults, 0 dependent children, maximum allowed: $1,319
  • 2 adults, 1 dependent child, maximum allowed: $1,573
  • 2 adults, 2 dependent children, maximum allowed: $1,807. An amount of $254 is added for a third dependent child and each subsequent child.
  • Spouse of a student, 0 dependent children, maximum allowed: $887. An amount of $277 is added for a first dependent child, and $254 is added for each subsequent child.
  • A minor who is sheltered with her child, maximum allowed: $887

In addition, an amount of $189 is added for each dependent child who receives a supplement for handicapped children from Retraite Québec. 

Certain exclusions apply in the following situations: 

  • If you have been granted only a claim slip (medication card) for a limited time in order to help you return to work
  • If you have completed your participation in the Youth Alternative Program or a specific program (Income Support Program for Workers Affected by Collective Dismissals, Income Support Program for Older Workers, or the Pregnant Minor Financial Assistance Program)

Are you receiving social assistance benefits?

The amounts that you may have in hand without having your benefit amount affected are as follows: 

  • $1,500 for an independent adult. This maximum also applies to a minor who is sheltered with her child and to the spouse of a student.
  • $2,500 for a family. Depending on the number of dependent children, other sums may also be excluded from the liquid assets calculation.

Are you receiving social solidarity benefits?

The amounts that you may have in hand without having your benefit amount affected are as follows:

  • $2,500 for an independent adult. This maximum also applies to a minor who is sheltered with her child and to the spouse of a student.
  • $5,000 for a family. Depending on the number of dependent children, other sums may also be excluded from the liquid assets calculation.

The value of your property

The value of your property, which includes your immovables (house, cottage, land, etc.) and your motor vehicles (car, snowmobile, etc.), is taken into account when determining your eligibility.

If the value exceeds the permitted exemptions, your application for financial assistance will be refused or your financial assistance will be reduced.

If you are eligible for the Social Assistance Program

The net value of your residence (house and land) is excluded from the calculation, up to a maximum of $153,000.

The market value of your car is excluded, up to a maximum of $10,000.

If you are eligible for the Social Solidarity Program

The value of certain property and your liquid assets is excluded, up to a maximum of $219,000.

The main property and liquid assets excluded are:

  • Your immovables (your residence, working farm, cottage, land, etc.
  • Certain types of liquid assets (registered retirement savings plan, registered education savings plan, etc.)
  • Property and liquid assets inherited during a month in which you received benefits

The market value of an automobile is excluded, up to a maximum of $10,000. 

Depending on whether you are receiving social assistance or social solidarity benefits, other amounts may also be excluded.

Your income

Your income can include: 

Employment earnings, employment-assistance allowances and support allowances that you receive for taking part in a program are subtracted from your benefit. However, a portion of this income is exempted when the benefit amount is calculated.