By continuing to use our site, you consent to the processing of cookies, user data (location information, type and version of the OS, the type and version of the browser, the type of device and the resolution of its screen, the source of where the user came from, from which site or for what advertisement, language OS and Browser, which pages are opened and to which buttons the user presses, ip-address) for the purpose of site functioning, retargeting and statistical surveys and reviews. If you do not want your data to be processed, please leave the site.

The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

your path to accessing financial resources


Income Programs

Social Assistance

Every province/territory administers a social assistance program. These programs differ widely in their policies and procedures, but they all have the same intent – to provide a basic level of support to those who lack access or support from other government programs.  Most people only apply to social assistance programs when they have exhausted all other options.

Some provinces separate their programs into two streams – one for those who can look for work, and one for those with disabilities.  In some provinces, persons with cancer who do not expect to return to work can apply to the disability stream of the program. 

A social assistance program usually involves (a) an initial intake and eligibility determination, and (b) an assessment completed with a caseworker.  Through these steps you will need to provide information on your financial situation, the number of people in your household, your medical condition, and any health needs or requirements (e.g. prescription medications, need to travel to treatment, nutritional needs, assistive devices, etc).  A social assistance assessment compares what you need (based on the current program rates for shelter, food, utilities, etc PLUS your specific health needs) vs what you have for income or financial resources.   Many programs require you to first apply to EI Sickness Benefits, if you haven’t already, before proceeding with your application.  Many programs will also make you apply for CPP-Disability (if applicable) and if you are approved may reduce or stop your social assistance.

A list of various social assistance programs can be found in the Database.



Where metastatic drugs are available in Canada

Quick Find

Our Stories


See our calendar


We value your feedback

If yes, please provide the following information:

Glossary of Terms

Not sure of a term referenced in the FinancialNavigator?

Click here to find the definition.

Additional Information

I have information to help update this tool, who do I contact?

If you have additional information that would be helpful to include in this tool please email or call us at 1-800-685-8820.

Contacting CBCN

How can I connect with CBCN directly about specific questions?

Connect with us via email at or on the phone at 1-800-685-8820.