Feb
20
2024

Government invests additional $2.7 million to increase social programs rates 

Increases to social programs rates will come into effect on March 1, 2024 to expand support and resources to Island households receiving assistance. 

Islanders receiving Social Assistance or Assured Income benefits will see a five per cent increase to their basic unit rate (BUR), a monthly allowance to meet the individual’s basic needs including food, clothing, and household supplies.  There will also be an increase to all shelter ceilings, the community living expense, school age allowance, personal care allowance, and home maintenance repair benefits. 

“We know inflation and the rising costs of living in PEI are impacting all Islanders. Every Islander deserves to have their basic needs met, and this government has invested significantly to get money into the hands of those who need it most. We will continue to support Islanders and help build strong, vibrant communities where all individuals can participate.”

 - Social Development and Seniors Minister Barb Ramsay

Of this latest $2.7 million investment, $1.9 million will go towards increasing the monthly BUR as follows:  

  • adult - $537 (up from $511)
  • child aged 0-11- $308 (up from $293)
  • youth aged 12-17- $407 (up from $388)

For a household of four, with two adults and two children, aged eight and 15, these increases to BUR translate to $1,789 per month. This is a monthly increase of $86, and an annual increase of $1,032, for necessities (not including shelter and other benefits). 

Social programs clients will see their monthly shelter rate ceilings increase to:

  • room rental - $525 (up from $500)
  • 1 adult, 0 children, and 2 adults, 0 children - $875 (up from $850)
  • 1 adult, 1 child, and 2 adults, 1 child- $1,025 (up from $1,000)
  • 1 adult, 2 children, and 2 adults, 2 children- $1,193 (up from $1,168)
  • 1 adult, 3 children, and 2 adults, 3 children- $1,266 (up from $1,241)
  • 1 adult, 4 children, and 2 adults, 4 children- $1,317 (up from $1,292)

School age allowance rates will double with this rate increase. The school age allowance benefit is provided twice a year (in August and December) to help with the extra costs associated with children attending school, such as backpacks, sneakers, and clothing. More than 1,500 children benefited from this assistance in 2023. It is part of government’s commitment to supporting Island children – along with programs like the School Food Program, which provided more than half a million meals to school children in the 2022/23 school year and is on track to exceed that amount this school year, and the free school supplies program for students in kindergarten through Grade 9 attending public school. 

“There will always be more we can do to help those in need, and this government has shown its commitment to doing just that,” said Ramsay. “We will continue to be a national leader in this regard as we work to move people out of poverty.”  

Since 2019, the provincial government has invested over $40 million into Social Assistance and other social programs, and PEI is recognized by the Maytree Report (an independent national report that compares rates of financial assistance across jurisdictions) as having one of the strongest social support networks in the country, and for being a national leader in many family categories.

Media contact:
Marilee Devries
Department of Social Development and Seniors
mjdevries@gov.pe.ca


Backgrounder:

  • Assured Income (AI) is the financial support provided to Islanders living with disabilities who are part of the AccessAbility Supports program. 
  • With the March 1, 2024 rate increase: 
    • The Personal Care Allowance for Social Assistance clients will increase nearly 10 per cent, to $100 (up from $91).
    • The Community Living Expense for Assured Income clients will increase nearly 10 per cent, to $165 (up from $150). This benefit is meant to support social inclusion and full citizenship in the community. 
    • The Home Maintenance and Repairs benefit will increase to $450 (up from $300).
    • The School Age Allowance for a child aged 4-10 will increase to $200 (up from $100).
    • The School Age Allowance for a child aged 11-17 will increase to $250 (up from $125).
  • In November 2022, government invested $7 million into social programs benefits, the largest investment in the province’s history. 
  • In January 2022, the budget for social programs rose by $4.5 million to increase living allowance rates (food, clothing, household expenses, personal items).
  • In 2020, government made a $6.4 million annual investment to increase social programs food allowance rates, and in 2019 food allowance rates increased by 10 per cent.
     


 

General Inquiries

Department of Social Development and Seniors
2nd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-620-3777
Toll-free: 1-866-594-3777
Fax: 902-368-4740

DeptSDS@gov.pe.ca