This post covers the Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) social assistance program.
Like many other provinces in Canada, the government of Manitoba provides financial assistance to its residents that are in need.
We’ll start off with the EIA payment dates for 2021 and part of 2022, the available benefits, eligibility and how to apply for the support.
Also find out if the benefit is taxable and if it’ll be increasing in 2021.
Manitoba EIA Payment Dates 2021
The Manitoba EIA Payment Dates for 2021 are:
|EIA Benefit Month||EIA Payment Dates|
|April 2021||March 29, 2021|
|May 2021||April 28, 2021|
|June 2021||May 27, 2021|
|July 2021||June 28, 2021|
|August 2021||July 28, 2021|
|September 2021||August 27, 2021|
|October 2021||September 28, 2021|
|November 2021||October 27, 2021|
|December 2021||November 26, 2021|
|January 2022||December 29, 2021|
|February 2022||January 27, 2022|
|March 2022||February 24, 2022|
|April 2022||March 29, 2022|
These are the scheduled direct deposit dates for Manitoba EIA.
EIA payments are always issued a few days before the end of each month (about 3 business days) to ensure that participants receive their benefits by the first day of the benefit month.
Note that the payment dates in the table above apply to both existing and new clients.
However, participants may also receive their benefits outside of the scheduled dates above. This is because EIA works with beneficiaries to match the monthly benefits payment dates to their personal circumstances.
As a result, some participants receive their EIA benefits weekly, bi-weekly or on a mid-monthly basis.
What is Manitoba EIA?
Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) is a Manitoba Government social assistance program that provides financial help to those in need that have no other means of supporting themselves.
It covers housing costs, health-related supplies, employment support for those who can work and many more.
The EIA program has 3 categories, namely EIA for single parents, EIA for persons with a disability and EIA for the general assistance category.
The EIA benefit can be categorized into 2, namely Income Support and Employment Assistance. We’ll cover both in details below and how much you can receive in benefits.
Manitoba EIA Income Support
The EIA income support is a combination of both provincial and federal government benefits to eligible Manitoba residents.
The provincial benefit includes Rent Assist, a program that covers the housing and utilities costs of those receiving EIA benefits and other low-income renters in Manitoba.
There are three main categories of Manitoba EIA:
- Manitoba EIA for Single Parents
- Manitoba EIA for Persons with Disabilities; and
- Manitoba EIA for General Assistance
How much you can receive depends on your family unit size, other income and the category you fall under.
Manitoba EIA for Single Parents
As the name suggests, this Manitoba EIA category is for single parents and those without a spouse or common-law partner.
Specifically, to be eligible for Manitoba EIA for Single Parents, you must satisfy the following conditions:
- Be a Manitoba resident and be 18 years or older
- Seven to nine months pregnant or be in custody of one or more dependent children
- Divorced, separated, widowed, have a partner in prison or unmarried
- Meet the financial eligibility criteria
Manitoba EIA for Singles Rate:
A single person with no children can receive up to a total of $948 in combined provincial and federal benefits.
With a kid, the total benefit goes up to $1,901. That is, $1,363 from the province and $538 from the federal government.
Note that the federal government amount includes GST/HST Credit and Canada Child Benefit payments.
The table below shows how much you can expect to get as a single parent:
Manitoba EIA for Persons with Disabilities
To receive the Manitoba EIA as a persons with disability, you must meet the following conditions:
- Aged 18 or older and be a Manitoba resident
- have a condition (mental or physical) that is likely to last more than 90 days and prevents you from earning
- have a financial need
The financial assistance covers the cost of your basic needs and some of the on-going medical needs.
Manitoba EIA for Persons with Disabilities Amounts:
With no kids, a single person can receive up to $1,093 and $1,418 for two adults. The amounts increase as the number of dependent children increases.
The table below shows the maximum amount of Manitoba EIA for up to three children for persons with disabilities.
Manitoba EIA for General Assistance
This is the default Manitoba EIA category for anyone that does not fall into any of the other 2 categories above.
To be eligible, you must satisfy the following:
- Be a Manitoba resident
- Aged between 18 and 65 years
- have a financial need
- have no disability and are either a single person with no children, couple without dependents or 2 parent family.
Manitoba EIA for General Assistance Rates:
How much you can receive as Manitoba EIA if you fall in this category depends on your specific situation including the number of dependents.
For example, the maximum EIA benefit for a single person without a disability or dependents is $796. While a couple with no kids can receive up to $1,104 in both provincial and federal benefits.
Manitoba EIA Employment Assistance
EIA has a concept called “work expectation.” It simply means that most recipients are expected to look for work.
However, the work expectation may not be applicable to all participants. For example, parents are only expected to work when their children are above 2 years old.
Also, certain people with disabilities that prevents them from working will also be excluded.
The EIA staff will work with each participant to develop an action plan that matches their unique needs, abilities and situation. The program can also provide employment, self-employment and training programs to beneficiaries.
This may include extra money to cover things like child-care, work-related expenses for work clothing and boots, miscellaneous expenses, and a monthly Rewarding Work Allowance of $100.
Manitoba EIA Eligibility
The eligibility criteria for EIA are quite different and varies depending on the category of assistance.
Obviously, all applicants for EIA must be Manitoba residents.
To receive EIA as a single parent or in the general assistance category, the participant must be aged between 18 and 65 years.
However, the age requirement for a person with a disability is 16.
This is perhaps the most important eligibility factor for EIA.
To be eligible for EIA, an applicant’s (and their family’s) total monthly cost for basic needs and shelter must be higher than their financial resources.
The cost of basic needs under EIA is based on the EIA basic allowance amount for the participant’s family size and the cost of some of their medical needs.
Financial resources are assessed using income and assets.
Income: This includes earnings from employment, allowances, pensions, child or spousal supports, interest, dividends etc. A few income sources are excluded such as tax refunds, occasional gifts, Canada Child Benefit, part of employment income and so on
Assets: Some assets such as cash, bank accounts, insurance policies, valuables, trust funds and so on are considered in determining an applicant’s financial need. However, some assets do not count.
They include primary residence, liquid cash ($4,000 per person and up to $16,000 for a family), children’s trust fund up to $40,000, RESPs etc.
How to Apply for EIA
Application for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) starts with a pre-intake orientation appointment with an EIA staff.
The EIA staff will provide an orientation of the program including your rights and responsibilities while on EIA, documents and information requirements and so on.
After this, an intake appointment will be scheduled for you to complete the EIA application.
As part of the application, you’ll also be required to provide proof of your income and assets. You should take all the documents and support needed along to your intake appointment.
You can download the application checklist here that contains all the documents and information needed to apply for EIA.
Alternatively, you may call using these numbers: 204-948-4000 in Winnipeg or 1-877-812-0014 (Toll-free).
Other Manitoba Social Assistance Programs
The Department of Families also provides several social assistance programs to eligible low-income earners in Manitoba.
Some of the financial benefits and assistance initiatives include:
Manitoba Child Care Subsidy: for families with kids 12 weeks to 12 years attending a licensed early learning and childcare centre.
It covers part of the fees and how much each family receives depends on a several factors including the income and number of children in their care
Manitoba Child Benefit: is for those with dependent children under the age of 18 and who are already receiving the Canada Child Benefit.
It pays up to $420 per year for each kid, or $35 per month.
Children’s Opti-Care Program: covers some of the cost of getting glasses for children already receiving the Manitoba Child Benefit.
The benefit starts at $84 per child each year, but it can be higher for children with special needs.
Social Housing Rental Program: a program delivered by Manitoba Housing for lower income Manitobans.
It pays a subsidy that represents the difference between the market rate for the units and what they actually pay.
Manitoba Rent-Assist: Another housing initiative for low-income earners. Eligible Manitoba EIA beneficiaries also receive Rent-Assist with their benefit.
55 PLUS Program: is a quarterly benefit for Seniors in Manitoba (aged 55and over) with low income. A single can receive $161.80 or $173.90 for each person that’s eligible with a spouse or common-law partner.
Is Manitoba EIA Taxable
Your monthly Manitoba EIA benefit payments are not taxable. The rent assistance benefits are also totally tax-free.
Also, any federal benefits like the GST/HST Credit or Canada Child Benefits you receive will not be taxed.
You won’t need to include the amounts in your tax returns when you file your income tax returns for the year.
Manitoba EIA Earnings Exemption
You are allowed to work while receiving Manitoba EIA. In fact, you’ll receive more money if you decide to work because of the EIA earnings exemptions.
With the earnings exemption:
- The first $200 you earn is fully exempted. That is, it will not reduce your EIA monthly benefit payments
- You’ll be able to keep 30% of any amount above $200
You’re required to provide an Income Declaration Statement each month. The statement is used to determine how much you can receive and any claw back, if applicable.
You can receive up to $796 as a single person without a disability or dependents under the main social assistance program in Manitoba. A couple with no kids can also receive up to $1,104.
The amount increase as the number of dependents increase and for those with a disability.
In addition, you may also be eligible for one of the other financial assistance or welfare programs provided by the provincial government such as the Child Care Subsidy, Social Housing Rental Program, 55 PLUS Program and so on.
Check this post to learn more about social assistance programs across Canada, how much you can receive and the benefit payment dates.
Manitoba EIA Increases
In June 2021, the Manitoba government announced an increase to the Rent Assist portion of the EIA program.
With the increase, some families will see up to an 11% increase in their monthly benefits.
The total cost of the increase is about $30 million and part of the annual indexation to inflation.