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Common Questions

How is welfare different on and off reserve?

Last reviewed in February 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors

Welfare, also known as income assistance or social assistance, is money and other benefits for people who need financial help. There are different requirements for determining whether you qualify for a certain kind of benefit. Social assistance for people living on reserve comes from the government of Canada through Indigenous Services Canada. Income assistance for people living off reserve in BC comes from the BC provincial government through the BC Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction. Some social assistance services and benefits are different on and off reserve.

Good starting points include:

Need more help?

  • Find an Advocate, from PovNet, provides a list of community advocates who can help with getting welfare.
  • PWD and MNS Program, from BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), provides support for Indigenous individuals with disabilities, such as help with completing PWD applications.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

welfare, income assistance, social assistance, living on reserve, off reserve, Aboriginal