How to Apply for a Special Benefit

A special benefit is a supplement to the basic benefit and is designed to cover certain expenses related to: 

  • A specific need (e.g., the purchase of eyeglasses)
  • A specific situation (e.g., damage caused by fire) 

You first have to obtain the authorization of your local employment centre (CLE) in order to receive a special benefit.
 
In addition, you must provide documents supporting your request. Examples include: 

  • A prescription from a health professional
  • A medical certificate
  • An estimate of the cost of a product or service.

Finally, you must supply proof that you purchased the product or service for which you wish to be reimbursed.

Your application for reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days of purchasing the product or service. 

Special benefits can be paid for a variety of needs.

A healthy baby and mother

Special benefits can cover a variety of costs, including those related to: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Nursing
  • Infant formula

See the document For a Healthy Baby and Mother: Three Special Benefits (PDF, 252 KB) This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Eye examination

Your eye examination will be conducted free of charge if you have been receiving benefits under the Social Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity Program for at least 12 consecutive months.

“YES” must be marked in the “Message” section of your claim slip. If “YES” is not marked, the date on which you become eligible for optometric services free of charge will be indicated on the slip. You can undergo an eye examination free of charge every 24 months.

You must present your claim slip at the optometry or ophthalmology office.

The eye examination fees are paid directly to the optometrist or ophthalmologist by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.

Purchase of eyeglasses or contact lenses

You are eligible for the special benefit for the purchase of eyeglasses or contact lenses, if:

  • You have been receiving benefits under the Social Assistance Program for at least 6 consecutive months
    or
  • You are receiving benefits under the Social Solidarity Program (you are eligible as soon as you are admitted to the program)

Before purchasing eyeglasses or contact lenses, you must obtain a form completed by an agent at your local employment centre (CLE) or the Centre de communication avec la clientèle.

The form authorizes you to purchase or replace eyeglasses or contact lenses according to certain conditions.

The special benefit payable for the purchase of eyeglasses or contact lenses is paid directly to the optometrist or optician by the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.

If the total cost of the eyeglasses or contact lenses exceeds the amounts stipulated in the Individual and Family Assistance Regulation, you must pay the difference. 

Dental care

Your dental care will be provided free of charge if you have been receiving benefits under the Social Assistance Program or the Social Solidarity Program for at least 12 consecutive months.

“YES” must be marked in the “Dental care covered” section of your claim slip. If “YES” is not marked, the date on which you become eligible for dental care free of charge will be indicated on the slip.

You must present your claim slip at the dental office.

Purchase of dental prostheses

You are eligible for the special benefit for the purchase of dental prostheses if you have been receiving benefits under the Social Assistance Program or Social Solidarity Program for at least 24 consecutive months.

Before going to the dentist or denturologist, you must obtain a form completed by an agent at your local employment centre (CLE) or the Centre de communication avec la clientèle. The form authorizes you to purchase or replace dental prostheses according to certain conditions.

The special benefits payable for dental care and the purchase of dental prostheses are paid directly to the dentist or denturologist by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.

Funeral expenses

To qualify, you must have:

  • Paid for the deceased’s funeral expenses or
  • Committed to pay the deceased’s funeral expenses

The special benefit may be granted in the following situations:

  • The deceased person or the succession is deemed to have insufficient resources
  • Retraite Québec cannot grant a death benefit under the Québec Pension Plan

The calculation of the special benefit takes the following into account:

  • The liquid assets held by the deceased on the date of death
  • The value of the deceased’s property on the date of death, minus his or her debts
  • Life insurance proceeds payable to the succession
  • Sums paid under a prearranged funeral services contract or a prepurchased sepulture (burial) contract. In order to qualify for the special benefit, the total initial value of such contracts must not exceed $12,000.

Your application must be submitted to the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale by the following deadline:

  • Within 90 days following the date on which the services were rendered or
  • Within 90 days following the date on which you received the notice of refusal from Retraite Québec

You must use the Application for the Payment of Funeral Expenses form (PDF, 112 KB) This hyperlink will open in a new window..

You can submit the form to the nearest Services Québec office or local employment centre (CLE).

To find out what other special benefits are available, contact a Services Québec office or local employment centre (CLE). This hyperlink will open in a new window.

You can also call 18777678773 (toll free).