Section 21 - Special Needs

21.1.1 Special Needs - Legislative Authority

Schedule A, section 9 of the Regulation provides for special needs assistance as follows:
"up to $150.00 per household in any fiscal year, but the Minister or any person or persons authorized by the Minister may, in accordance with terms and conditions that may be prescribed by the Minister, grant an additional amount;"

21.1.2 Eligible Households

A "household" consists of each eligible income assistance applicant and his or her dependants, including any children provided for in an income assistance household under enrolment, subject to Schedule A, section 9 of the Act.
Where a child or children enrolled under Schedule A, section 9 of the Act are in the home of a person who is not an income assistance participant, the unit will be considered a "household" for purposes of issuing special needs assistance.

21.1.3 Allowable Items


Bed Bugs (PDF 571 KB)
School Supplies (PDF 32 KB)


Special Needs (PDF 84 KB)
Special needs assistance may be authorized, according to the following guidelines, to cover the costs of items not otherwise provided that are essential to the health and well-being of a member of an applicant's or participant's household.
  1. Newborn assistance may be authorized on an "as required" basis within the first three months of the birth of a child. Assistance may be up to $250.00 for the first-born child and up to $75.00 for each subsequent child. Assistance is intended to provide items necessary for a newborn such as a crib and layette. These provisions also apply to adoptions and to each child in the case of multiple births.
  2. Where no other alternative is feasible, an amount, in accordance with regional guidelines approved by the District Director, may be authorized for the purchase or repair of a washing machine, a refrigerator, or a stove.
  3. Where participants cannot find furnished accommodations, as required, a one-time allowance of up to $500.00 may be authorized in accordance with regional guidelines approved by the District Director for the purchase of essential household furnishings, including beds and bedding if required, to:
    • a recently separated, sole-support parent who is unable to obtain marital property;
    • a new sole-support parent leaving the parental home who is unable to retain available furniture;
    • a person with a disability leaving an institution or parental home who is unable to retain available furniture; or
    • participants whose household items are accidentally destroyed, e.g., in a fire.
  4. In accordance with regional guidelines approved by the District Director and based on demonstrated need, an amount may be authorized up to the actual replacement cost of a mattress, box spring and frame, for each member of the household, a maximum of once every seven years. Replacement bedding may be provided a maximum of once every three years.
  5. An amount, up to the actual costs of moving by the most economical means, may be authorized where there is reasonable justification for the move, as approved by the Director such as the present residence uninhabitable, change in family size, lower rent at the new location and closer proximity to confirmed employment or training.

    A written estimate, invoice or receipt will be required to verify the actual cost. The Director must consult with the Program Specialist before approving costs related to relocations out of the province.
  6. Upon request, school supplies for dependent children in income assistance households may be approved annually as follows

    1.  Ages 5-11 - $60.00

    2.  Ages 12-13 - $80.00

    3.  Ages 14-17 - $100.00 

  7. School supplies are to be provided for children attending nursery schools in publicly funded schools where the school does not provide supplies. Up to $60.00 per child per year may be provided. Publicly funded nursery school programs operate within the Winnipeg School Division Number 1 and the Frontier School Division. No assistance for school supplies is to be provided for publicly funded independent nursery school programs.
  8. School supplies may be provided for students who are home schooled (at the above guidelines), if the criteria for home schooling accreditation, as established by the Department of Education, is met. Prior to issuing funds, EIA staff should contact the Department of Education to ensure that the family requesting school supplies has met the Department of Education's home schooling criteria.
  9. Persons with disabilities who are applicants may continue to attend high school until age 21. In some instances, schools may request transportation costs from Employment and Income Assistance for the participant however; the responsibility to pay for these transportation costs rests with the school division. School supplies, if requested, may be issued as special needs on an annual basis in accordance to the amount issued for dependent children of families on income assistance, attending high school (see section 7.1.8).
  10. The funds for the least expensive form(s) of identification required for a participant to access health and social services, financial services, or gain and maintain employment.
Special needs assistance should not be used for the replacement of household items such as furniture and furnishings, and for purchase of cutlery, pots, pans, dishes, towels, curtains, etc.
Participants requesting special needs assistance for items which cannot be approved under the situations described above should be advised to use their liquid assets or exempted sources of income to purchase these items.
In extenuating situations where a participant requests funding for a special need which is outside the circumstances described above, the District Director may approve up to $1,000.00 per year per case, subject to existing delegation of authority. All recommendations for approval of requests over $1,000.00 in these extenuating situations must be forwarded to the Program Specialist for consideration.

21.1.4 Authorization

District office staff will document and justify the request for, and approval of, one time household start-up allowances, moving costs, or items under extenuating situations on the Case Management Intake Record (CMIR) or the Case Management Record (CMR).
For requests related to a newborn allowance, appliances, school supplies or beds/bedding, the item and cost identification on the cheque stub message area located on the Non-continuous Needs screen (MNNE) will be considered as acceptable documentation, unless specific case circumstances require more detailed recordings on the CMIR/CMR.
The District Directors will monitor and initial special needs approvals during regular file reviews and audits.
NOTE: Financial Workers and Counsellors may authorize special needs payments up to $499.99 per case per fiscal year in SAMIN. In the event the items approved exceed $500.00, electronic approval in SAMIN is required from the District Director or Designate.
SAMIN spending authority accommodates the approval of most special needs items without requiring additional electronic approval (IPAP).

21.1.5 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) Fees

The maximum amount allowable as a special needs payment for fees incurred by participants for FIPPA requests is $150.00 per year per household. See section 6.14.2 for a description of Freedom of Information Fee Payment.

21.2.1 Work Expenses


The Coordination of the Rewarding Work Allowance and Employment Transportation for non-disabled and non-aged categories in areas where public transportation is not available (PDF 121 KB)

Employment Special Needs: Child Care (PDF 117 KB)

Increased Rate for Processing Child Care Receipts (PDF 152 KB)

Work Clothing

Employment special needs include work clothing for children and other essential work clothing needs which cannot be provided for in Schedule A, section 9 of the Regulation.
The work clothing rate authorized by Schedule A, section 9 is restricted to employed participants enrolled under the persons with disabilities and aged categories.
See section 18.4.3 for provisions on "Work Clothing Rates".

Child Care

Costs of child care for employment purposes are to be allowed under Schedule A, section 9 of the Regulation, subject to provision of receipts which indicate the child care provider's full name, address and telephone number.
Participants using subsidized child care services are required to pay the first $1.00/day/child of the additional fee charges that are permitted by Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care (formerly MCCP) (regardless of the amount of the extra charges). See section 21.3.1 for a description of the Daily Care Charges.
Participants must also pay the first $1.00/day/child of their child care expenses for unsubsidized child care. All child care expenses in excess of this amount up to the maximum daily fee of $19.80/day/child (the equivalent of the preschool centre rate established by the Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Program) are an allowable work expense.
See section 6.11.11 "Child Care" for more information on additional conditions that must be met for participants accessing unlicensed child care or child care provided by relatives.

Telephone Costs

Where a participant's employment requires availability by telephone, the basic cost may be included as an allowable work expense under Schedule A, section 9 of the Regulation.
Where required, this provision is to be made for persons employed as babysitters.

Work Transportation

Participants who are not in the persons with disabilities or aged categories are expected to use their income exemptions for work transportation. In rural and northern areas where public transportation is not available, medical mileage rates (see section 22.3.1) may be used to reimburse participants who use their private vehicles for employment transportation. This reimbursement is only required in situations where a participants monthly employment mileage costs exceeds the cost of a rural bus pass, and should only be for the cost difference.
Participants with disabilities and aged participants are allowed essential transportation costs as an employment expense. Community Living disABILITY Services (formerly SLP) or the marketAbilities Program (formerly VRS) may provide transportation costs. To avoid duplication, it is important to verify with the programs if the participant is in receipt of any of these funds prior to including the transportation as an employment expense on the income assistance budget.
In urban areas, public transit rates shall represent the maximum employment transportation cost to be granted.
In rural areas, assistance provided shall be the least expensive mode of transportation. Where participants use their own private vehicles, a mileage rate may be paid equal to the medical mileage rate. See for a description of the medical mileage rates under "Transportation - Health Reasons".

21.2.2 Community Service Order / Fine Option Programs

The Community Service Order/Fine Option Programs are designed to provide offenders who have certain types of fines and are unable to pay them, with a reasonable alternative to paying them by performing community service work. Any person who is given a fine and is subject to possible imprisonment or loss of driver's license for default of payment, may elect to participate in the Community Service Order/Fine Option Programs.
EIA participants should be allowed to register in either program provided that their participation does not interfere with their responsibility to accept reasonable employment or training. Participants are not allowed to terminate or refuse employment or training in order to participate in the Community Service Order/Fine Option Programs. Community service work can be arranged to accommodate the participant's work or training schedules.
Those participants who are required to actively seek employment should be required to demonstrate that their work in the program does not interfere with their active job search and their availability for interviews and employment.
Offenders wishing to participate in the Community Service Order/Fine Option Programs should report to their local Community Resource Centre. A list of these centres is available by calling the Community Service Order/Fine Option Program at 945-0671 (Winnipeg) and 1-800-282-8066 (Outside of Winnipeg).

21.3.1 Child Care Transportation and Daily Care Costs


Taking Charge (TC!) (PDF 148 KB)
EIA participants, who are subsidized by Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care (MELCC), may have two types of additional costs which are not subsidized by the child care program.

Transportation and Daily Care Charges

Employment Situations - If a participant is using Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Services to participate in employment, and if transportation is necessary for the child(ren) to attend a child care facility, the costs of such transportation can be covered as a child care expense under "employment special needs." See section 21.2.1 for more information under Work Transportation.
If the participant is using child care in order to participate in employment, the extra fee charges (up to $1.00/child/day) may be covered under employment special needs and can be treated as deductions from income rather than as additions to a budget.
Non-Employment Situations - If a participant is using Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Social Services to pursue education or training outside of the work place or because of special needs, or to seek employment* and, if transportation is necessary for the child(ren) to attend a child care facility, costs of such transportation can be covered as an education cost or a health need. See "Work Transportation" under section 21.2.1 for costs of transportation.
The extra fee charges for child care should be covered under the employment special needs or health needs.
*** Please note Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care may provide up to eight weeks of subsidy within each six-month period for income assistance participants to seek employment. Employment-seeking activities may include such things as researching the job market, preparing a resume, meeting with an employment counsellor, calling and visiting employers or attending job interviews.

21.3.2 Housekeeping or Attendant Services Provided By Relatives


This policy applies to the issue of funds under all sections of the Regulation including "Health Needs" as specified in Schedule A, section 9 of the Regulation. In accordance with section 7(1) of the Regulation, assistance shall not be granted for payment to a relative for any housekeeping or attendant care service to an EIA participant.
Where circumstances warrant special consideration contrary to this provision, such cases are to be submitted to the EIA Program Specialist for consideration and/or approval as per section 7(2) of the Regulation.

21.4.1 Income Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (IAPD)


The IAPD of $105.00 per month is provided automatically to participants in the persons with disabilities category, unless they are residing in a hospital. Therefore, prior authorization or the established special needs approval levels are not required for the provision of IAPD.
Existing cases enrolled under all other categories (excluding 5(1)(f) cases) may also be eligible for and receive the IAPD if they meet the medical assessment criteria and are transferred to the persons with disabilities category.

21.5.1 Transportation to Funerals

The Department may provide transportation costs for a participant to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.
Immediate family is defined as a spouse, Mother/Father, brother/sister, grandparents, grandchildren, son or daughter or any relative residing in the participant's household. Additionally, immediate family may also include persons who are currently step-parents/siblings/children and anyone who has "acted" as a parental guardian.
To have been a parental guardian, the participant must have lived with this person for a significant portion of their childhood.
The Department will consider using the most cost effective means of transportation (up to $250) to assist a participant in attending the funeral. The cost does not include, nor will the Department provide, funds for accommodations and meals. To be eligible the participant must be 18 years or older and immediately related to the deceased.
In instances where a participant’s family member’s death is imminent, funeral transportation costs may be provided immediately at the Director’s discretion. Funeral transportation costs may only be issued once for each immediate family member.