Learn Single Parent Benefits Nova Scotia

Benefits Available for Single Parents in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, it's a great place to start a family and see your kids grow. However, it can still be an expensive place to live, especially if you're a single parent. All parents have to handle all sorts of expenses for keeping their kids healthy and safe. But it's even more challenging to do so with only one income.

Like in other Canadian provinces, the government offers assistance for people struggling with the usual expenses for different reasons. If you're a single parent, it's essential to know all about the programs you could be eligible for, so you can benefit from all the available funds.

To help you navigate through the single parent benefits in Nova Scotia, here are the programs that can make your life easier.

Affordable Living and Poverty Reduction Tax Credit

The Canadian government implemented The Affordable Living and Poverty Reduction Tax Credit Program to help low-income persons and families make life more affordable.

The Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax Credit (ALTC)

If you live in Nova Scotia and are eligible for the program, you can receive tax-free quarterly payments to help you afford the basics. To qualify, you must meet two simple requirements:

• You have to be a Nova Scotia resident
• You must make sure to file your tax return for the Canada Revenue Agency every year

If you are eligible, you should expect the following amounts each year: $255.00, which is the base amount for couples or individuals, plus $60.00 for every child. If your adjusted family income goes over $30,000, your credit will be reduced by $0.05 for every exceeding dollar.

As for the payments, the Canada Revenue Agency makes them along with the Federal GST/HST credit payments.

The Poverty Reduction Credit (PRC)

The Department of Community Services administers the PRC, and the program has been providing tax-free quarterly payments since 2010. You don't have to apply for the Poverty Reduction Credit; the Department will check if you are eligible and start making the payments if you meet the criteria.

They decide whether you qualify based on whether you have received payments the previous year and whether you have filed your taxes. Also, your adjusted annual income in the prior year must be under $12,000. The good news is that starting from July 2021, people will have higher chances to qualify, as the adjusted income limit will become $16,000.

A person can receive $125.00 every July, October, January, and April, so $500.00 per year. Still, you must keep in mind that you can only receive these payments if you don't have a child when the Department checks your eligibility. You can be pregnant, but as soon as the child is born, you will have to turn to other available benefits.

Nova Scotia's Child Care Subsidy

Paying for child care is a struggle for single parents everywhere, but if you live in Nova Scotia, you can count on the Child Care Subsidy, as long as you qualify. Your income and your finances determine the eligibility.

Your income is taken from line 236 of your CRA Income Tax Notice of Assessment or your current paystubs. It's calculated by taking the deductions out of your gross income. It's also important to know that all your income sources will be considered, so you must report them. As for your finances, your savings or liquid assets cannot be over $50,000 to qualify.

The subsidy rates vary according to the family income and number of members in your household. You will need to stay in touch with a caseworker and find a suitable daycare center.

To apply for the subsidy, you need to fill in the application form. You can either complete it electronically or print it and fill it in with a pen. You need to send it along with the supporting documents using a secure file transfer or through the post.

Once the subsidy is approved, it will remain valid even if you move your child to a different child care facility, as long as it's a licensed one. However, you need to notify your caseworker of the change.

In addition to the government benefits, Nova Scotia families can get loans on child tax credit to help with the expenses of raising a child. You can apply here.

Direct Family Support for Children

The Direct Family Support for Children was created to help parents who have a child with a disability living in their home. The goal is to offer the necessary support so that children with a disability can continue living in their homes and for the family to receive support from the community.

Indeed, in some cases, it may be necessary to opt for an out-of-home placement, but with the help of DFSC, the moment can be delayed or even prevented.

To qualify for the Direct Family Support, the child and their family must meet specific requirements:

• They must be permanent Nova Scotia residents
• They must have the legal right to stay in Canada
• The child has to be under 19 years old
• The child must live in a family member's home or a guardian's
• A licensed clinician must have diagnosed the child with one of the following: a mild or moderate intellectual developmental disability, a severe intellectual developmental disability, or a significant physical disability with ongoing functional limitations; it can also be any combinations of these disabilities
• The net income of the family must be following the DFSC Program Income Guidelines
• The family members must be willing to be actively involved in the assessment process

Parents need to contact the Nova Scotia Department of Community Service's local office to apply for this program.

Early Intervention Program

The Early Intervention Program's goal is to create an improved environment for children to grow from the early stages. Consultations and services are offered to families in need of support. All the information and assistance provided aim at the healthy and correct development of every child, based on their particular situation.

Identifying the risk of developmental delay as early as possible is vital, and the family alone may not have the necessary information and resources to accomplish that. In Nova Scotia, the Early Intervention Program can provide essential support.

These are the requirements a child must meet to qualify for the program:

• They need to be younger than school age
• They are diagnosed with developmental delay in at least two areas of development
• They are considered to be at risk for developmental delay based on particular risk factors

The Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services can be available to families through an open referral system. The family can make the referral, or it can be handled by a physician, language specialist, or an early childhood educator, with the family's consent.

Once the referral form is received, what follows is a home visit and an initial screening process to establish if the child is eligible. If they are, the family will have access to toy libraries, discussion groups, playgroups, and various events.

They will receive the information they need to ensure their child's best development and then be connected to community services and programs. The child can also benefit from home visiting services and support in the transition to school.

Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA)

The Employment Support and Income Assistance program (ESIA) provides financial support for people and families who cannot handle the basic living costs. It's a sort of last resort you can turn to when no other option is available. ESIA consists of two programs, each dealing with particular issues.

Income Assistance is a program that helps people cover the costs for basic needs such as food, shelter, basic utilities, and clothing. On top of that, it can help with expenses related to child care, transport, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, and emergency dental care.

To be eligible for the program, you must live in Nova Scotia, be at least 19 years old, and in severe financial need. To apply, you need to make an appointment at the Community Services office in your area. You will then meet with a caseworker, and you will have to provide them with the necessary information that can help them understand your particular situation.

Your caseworker will fill in the application form, and you will find out if you qualify in three to seven days; that's when you will also find out what amount you will receive.

Employment Support Services is a program you can qualify for if you already benefit from Income Assistance. The goal is to help people become self-sufficient. What that means depends on every individual's situation, as not everyone shares the same needs.

A caseworker will meet with you and go over your background together, and then they will suggest the programs and services that will benefit you. It can be about education, finding a job, or other services that can help you be more independent.

As you can see, single parent benefits come in many forms in Nova Scotia, and they cover the main areas of concern you usually have. You can receive help keeping your child in a childcare facility while working or in training, covering medical costs, and even the basic needs when the situation is extreme.

It's also good to know that you can turn to a short-term loan when, despite the benefits you receive, the money is still insufficient for unexpected costs. You can solve your urgent financial problem with a loan from a direct lender.