Social program rates to increase in addition to December top up

Islanders receiving provincial social program benefits who have school aged children will see their winter school aged allowance doubled for this year. This one-time increase will support 1,345 school aged children. For December 2021, families with children aged 4-11 will receive a $200 allowance while those with children aged 12-17 will receive $250.

In addition to this, in January, approximately 4,000 households receiving Social Assistance or Assured Income will also see a permanent increase in the amount they receive to support their basic needs including food. The rates, regardless of family size will now be: 

  • Adult - $450
  • Child 0-11 - $271
  • Child 12-18 - $359

For example: with these supports a household of four, with two adults and two children aged 10 and 14 will receive an additional $376 per month or $4,512 per year.

“Food prices and the cost of living, including fuel, have increased over the last year. With the holiday season approaching, this one-time top up payment will give immediate financial assistance to Islanders. The increased rates taking effect in January will provide ongoing critical financial support for Islanders most in need.”

- Social Development and Housing Minister Brad Trivers

Canada’s Food Price Report for 2021 forecasts that overall food prices will increase three to five per cent. Prince Edward Island experienced the highest increase in food prices in 2020. The report anticipates most Atlantic provinces, except New Brunswick, will experience above-average increases into 2022.

These increases in financial supports are in addition to the changes in supports for shelter allowances that were announced this past summer and demonstrate government’s commitment to moving people out of poverty and achieving the goals outlined in the Poverty Elimination Strategy Act proclaimed earlier this year.

Media contact:
Rebecca Gass
Senior Communications Officer 
Social Development and Housing


  • In January 2022, the budget for social programs will rise 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 program food allowance rates, and in 2019 food allowance rates increased by 10 per cent. 


General Inquiries

Department of Social Development and Housing
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