Nova Scotia bracing for influx of income assistance applications

Province expects up to 10,000 people could need help now that federal pandemic funds have ended

Nova Scotia’s income assistance program is getting ready for an influx of people seeking financial help now that federal pandemic funding for individuals has ended.

Figures from the Community Services Department show 40,000 people were on the provincial income assistance program in March 2020, but more than 10,000 left the program during the pandemic. The department says many of those took advantage of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or its successor, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB).

With the CRB having ended Oct. 23, many of those people are expected to come back to the province looking for financial help.

Brandy Burke, a single mother with two teenage daughters in North Sydney, said she is worried about the effect of federal funding on her application for provincial income assistance.

She collected employment insurance throughout much of the pandemic and only received the CRB in October.

Burke called the province’s centralized phone system to make a claim for income assistance this month and received a little help, but she will have to send in her bank statement from last month to determine whether she will qualify for ongoing assistance… [Read More]