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Get your benefits is available in English and French. Download a PDF below.

Order paper copies

Copies of Get Your Benefits! are available free of charge.

Government agencies/departments - contact Ministry of Health, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.

Other organizations or individuals - email info@getyourbenefits.ca or call 204-789-3657.

Request a Word document

Many Manitoba resources are included in the Get Your Benefits booklet, but we also recognize the importance of keeping the guide brief and easy to use. Rural communities – who are most knowledgeable about the resources in their area – are very welcome to adapt the booklet to meet the needs of their communities. To facilitate this process, please contact our office to obtain a copy of the original Word file.

For the public

You should file a tax return each year, even if you make no money. Filing your taxes allows you to access government benefits that you cannot receive otherwise.

Federal benefits are the same for First Nations individuals, whether you live on or off reserve. However, you must still file a tax return to receive them even if you have no income.

Please note that different rules apply to provincial tax credits.

See the difference filing taxes can make!

Example 1 - Single parent

Two children ages 2 and 4. Living in private rental market. Employed part time.

Annual employment income $15,000
GST refundable credit ($221.50 paid quarterly) $886.00
Canada Child Benefits ($1106.50 paid monthly) $13,278.00
Canada Workers Benefit (with refund OR part paid quarterly) $1,922.00
MB Rent Assist Benefits ($487.00 paid monthly) $5,844.00
MB Child Benefit ($70.00 paid monthly) $840.00
MB Personal Tax Credit (refund upon tax filing) $266.00
Climate Action Incentive (refund upon tax filing) $297
Total additional benefits $23,333.00
TOTAL ANNUAL INCOME ($15,000 + $23,333) $38,333.00
(using 2019 figures with 2018 income thresholds)

Example 2 - Widowed senior

Aged 60, disabled. Living in private rental market. Employed part time.
Never remarried or in common-law relationship since death of spouse.

Annual income (CPP Survivor Pension $3,000 and part-time job $4,800) $7,800
Allowance for the survivor ($1,074.92 per month) $12,899.04
GST Refundable Credit (paid quarterly as $110.75) $443.00
Canada Workers Benefit $285.09
Manitoba Climate Action Incentive (refund upon tax filing) $170.00
Manitoba Rent Assist $1,026.36
Manitoba Personal Tax Credit (refund upon tax filing) $101.01
Manitoba STAT 55+ (school tax rebate for tenants 55+) $63.00
Total additional benefits $14,987.50
TOTAL ANNUAL INCOME ($7,800 + $14,987.50) $22,787.50
(using 2019 figures with 2018 income thresholds)

Notes for example 2:

For the survivor allowance, the first $3,500 of employment earnings excluded in the calculations for OAS supplement programs. Increases to $5,000 in 2020.

The Canada Workers Benefit includes disability supplement. Benefit amount can be paid as a 50% advance paid quarterly and the remaining 50% paid with tax refund.

Manitoba Rent Assist amount per online estimator – calculated inclusive of Allowance for Survivor. Amounts could be higher due to benefits for consumers with OAS income calculated based on a 'rolled back' income level.

Get your identification

A first step to accessing government benefits and services is to make sure you have the necessary identification (ID).

Birth certificates

Birth Certificate (if born in Canada) or Permanent Resident Card/Citizenship Certificate (if born outside Canada) is considered primary identification.

How does having a birth certificate help?

You may need a birth certificate when opening a bank account, registering children for school and when applying for benefits.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If you are a Canadian citizen, a newcomer to Canada, or a temporary resident, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN)  to receive benefits and services from government programs and to work in Canada. It is free to apply for a SIN.

Get additional identification

Once you have your birth certificate, you can apply for other types of ID such as:

Help getting your ID

SEED and Citizen's Bridge help people living on a low income to obtain ID and open bank accounts. They can also help you apply for eligible benefits.

SEED’s Access to Benefits program can also help you get your ID, apply for benefits, and file your tax returns. Call 204-927-9945  in Winnipeg or email atob@seedwinnipeg.ca. Space is limited.

Citizens' Bridge helps people living on a low income to:

  • Get the ID you need to access government benefits and programs
  • Safely store your identification
  • Open a bank account
  • Get a learner's/driver's licence
  • Learn employment and financial skills

To access Citizen's Bridge:

  1. Get a referral – visit Facebook and locate a Community Referral Partners (under General Information).
  2. Book an appointment with Citizens' Bridge – call 204-691-9719  or visit 607 Selkirk Avenue. For Outreach and ID Clinics call 204-691-9720.

File your taxes

Help with your taxes

The Community Financial Helpline can answer your questions about tax filing, but they also provide assistance with:

  • benefits and credits such as the Canada Child Benefit
  • debt management and credit counselling
  • federal COVID-19 recovery benefits
  • income supports such as EIA
  • obtaining identification
  • questions about tax filing

Call or text 431-813-4357 (431-813-HELP) or toll-free 1-855-955-4234 (1-855-955-4CFH).

Free tax clinics

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Follow the links below to discover ways to access free tax services.

Virtual clinics

Community Financial Counselling Services: CRA-approved free virtual tax clinic in Manitoba.

Canada Revenue Agency: Free virtual tax clinics

Where to find a free tax clinic?

2021 list of free tax clinics in Winnipeg - compiled by Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO)

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) - is a collaboration between the Canada Revenue Agency and community organizations to offer free income tax preparation to individuals with low to modest income and a simple tax situation.

For more information, and to find a free tax clinic in your area, go to www.canada.ca/taxes-help or call the CRA general inquiries line at 1-800-959-8281. During the tax season (February-April) call the CFCS CVITP program at 204-989-1912.

Additional free tax clinics and other tax filing information can be found at:

File your taxes online

Canada Revenue Agency offers several online options for filing at E-Services for Individuals.

The Netfile option for filing directly with CRA includes a list of free tax software products.

Tax credits

Federal income tax credits

GST credit - a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals/families with low and modest incomes to offset all or part of the GST or HST they pay.

Canada Caregiver Credit - Non-refundable tax credit that may be available if you support a spouse or common-law partner or a dependent with a physical or mental impairment.

Climate Action Incentive - a refundable tax credit that can be claimed by one person per family.

Canada Workers Benefit - a refundable tax credit that provides tax relief for eligible low income individuals and families who are in the workforce. This was previously known as the Working Income Tax Benefit.

Canada Child Benefit (CCB) - a tax-free monthly payment to help support your children under age 18. To get the CCB, you have to file your income tax return every year, even if you did not have income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file a return every year.

Apply online at Canada Child Benefit or call 1-800-387-1193.

You can also complete Form RC66 and send it to: the Winnipeg Tax Centre, PO Box 14001, Station Main, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3M3.

Let Canada Revenue Agency know if your marital status changes by applying online or by calling 1-800-387-1193. This will make sure your CCB and GST benefits are correctly calculated based on your new situation.

Manitoba income tax credits

Personal Tax Credit - a credit for low-income Manitobans and their dependents (Form MB479).

Education Property Tax Credit - for those who pay rent or property taxes in Manitoba. Seniors may qualify for additional amounts.

Manitoba Seniors School Tax Rebate

Primary Caregiver Tax Credit - for people who provide ongoing voluntary care and support to family members, friends, or neighbours who require help in their home.

For more information

Manitoba Tax Assistance Office - informs and assists residents on the Manitoba income tax and tax credit programs. Call 204-948-2115 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-800-782-0771 outside Winnipeg.

Climate Action Incentive

The Climate Action Incentive payment is for anyone who resided in Canada for the past year regardless of their income.

Climate action incentive payments in Manitoba will be calculated as follows for tax year 2020:

  • $360 for a single adult or the first adult in a couple.
  • $180 for the second adult in a couple. Single parents will receive this amount for their first child.
  • $90 for each child in the family (starting with the second child for single parents).

People will receive this payment as a tax refund (if they owe on their taxes it will be used to reduce the amount they owe) - up to $486 for a family of four living in Manitoba plus a 10% supplement for residents of small and rural communities.

Get your benefits and credits, such as the Canada Child Benefit, Disability Tax Credit, GST, and Working Income Tax Benefit.

Financial counselling and literacy

Canada Money and Finances - Once you have your benefit return in hand, it's important to effectively manage your money. This Government of Canada resource includes information about your financial rights and responsibilities, budgeting, and saving.

Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba can help you find a CPA to help with your personal financial affairs.

Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS) – a free, non-profit, United Way and Government of Manitoba funded agency providing counselling, education, and options for accessing resources, managing income, debt, and navigating the financial systems that affect your daily life. Call 1-888-573-2383.

Community Unemployed Help Centre - provides information and help with Employment Insurance (EI) or Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) problems. Call 204-942-6556 in Winnipeg (toll free 1-866-942-6556) or email cuhc@cuhc.mb.ca.

CLB Champions' Network - Education Savings Incentives Resource Page! will be an interactive space designed to enable communication and information sharing within the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) Champions' Network and with other community partners and stakeholders whose members play important roles in promoting the benefits of early savings for a child’s post-secondary education in RESP, particularly the Canada Learning Bond. If you are interested in becoming a CLB Champion or have questions about the program please contact the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP).

  • Podcasts from Proliteracy - planning for postsecondary education which includes information on registered education savings plans (RESP), and the education savings incentives;
  • The Canada Learning Bond brochures in 6 Indigenous languages - available at Education Savings Publications (canada.ca);
  • “Just the facts” - a series of financial topics to help Canadians learn the basics of managing their money, from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA). This includes fact sheets on RESPs and education savings incentives such as the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant.

Community Financial Helpline is a free, non-profit, United Way and Government of Manitoba funded agency providing counselling, education and options for accessing resources, managing income, debt and navigating the financial systems that affect your daily life. Call 1-888-573-2383 for more information.

Community Unemployed Help Centre - provides information and help with Employment Insurance (EI) or Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) problems. Call 204-942-6556 in Winnipeg (toll free 1-866-942-6556) or email cuhc@cuhc.mb.ca.

Credit Counselling - listing of credit counselling services in Manitoba. Click on financial and then credit counselling.

Credit Counselling - a 211 Manitoba listing of credit counselling services in Manitoba. Manitobans can now also call 211 for information on services

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada - Receiving a large amount of money?

Financial Literacy Program

Manitoba Financial Literacy Resource - provides an inventory of existing financial literacy information.

Manitoba Financial Services Agency - Provides education programs about investing basics, child savings, women’s programs, real estate, insurance and other information.

Manitoba Government’s Financial Literacy Resource Website

Once you have your benefit return in hand, it’s important to effectively manage your money. For information about your financial rights and responsibilities, budgeting, and saving, check out Government of Canada resources.

Money Smart Manitoba - provides education programs about investing basics, child savings, women's programs, real estate, insurance and other information.

Neighbourhood Financial Health Index (NFHI) - the first of its kind in Canada, this index enables users to see how well individual neighbourhoods are doing when it comes to household financial health.  

Online Personal Budgeting Webinars - MyMoneyCoach.ca and the Credit Counselling Society hosts free Online Money Management, Personal Budgeting and Credit Education Courses, Workshops & Webinars. Attend live, interactive online budgeting workshops for free from the convenience of your home computer. See Webinar Schedule.

Prosper Canada Learning Hub - a variety of resources to support practitioners, policy-makers, funders, and advocates working to advance the field of financial empowerment. Prosper Canada has collected and curated training materials, research reports, webinars and other resources oriented towards programs and research that build and support financial well-being.

SEED Winnipeg's Access to Benefits (A to B) program helps individuals living on a low income to:

  • Get information about government benefits and apply for benefits
  • Open an RESP and get money for children’s education
  • Get the ID needed to access benefits
  • Open bank accounts and file income tax returns

To book an appointment, call 204-927-9945 in Winnipeg or email atob@seedwinnipeg.ca.

Additional resources

Canada Education Savings Programs

To learn more about the Canada Education Savings Programs, follow the links below.

RESPs Made Easy - A Smartsaver video - describes the steps involved in starting up an RESP.

Also see the SmartSaver website for more on what RESPs offer, how to choose an RESP, and for help in applying online.

RESP infographics poster from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) [English] [French]

CESG and CLB - Saving for Education: A Little Goes a Long Way [English] [French] - from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

CLB infographics poster - Save for Their Future: from ESDC 8-1/2" x 14" [English] [French] and 8-1/2" x 11" [English] [French]

Other - Social media [English and French] - Facebook, Twitter, and video links from ESDC providing additional information on setting up RESPs and Canada Learning Bonds.

Services and information for parents to help save for their child's education, including Canada Education Savings Grants, Canada Learning Bonds, and Registered Education Savings Plans.

 

Indigenous people's resources

Education and training

Manitoba 211 – a list of resources on education, health services, employment, housing, individual and family support. Select Indigenous peoples and enter your location.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB) – a federal payment $500 to $2,000 for eligible families to help with the cost of the child's education after high school. Families do not have to put any of their own money into the RESP to get this bond. Apply online at or call 1-866-991-0025 to register.

Financial resources

Benefits Wayfinder – an online tool that simplifies the search for government benefits for people seeking ways to boost income and/or reduce expenses. Resources provided are from federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Filing taxes

If you don’t know when you last filed your taxes, you can request this information and tax slips from Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.

Community Financial Counselling Services is offering virtual tax clinics for eligible low-income individuals – now available for all Manitobans; call 204-989-1913. Drop-off services are available by appointment only; call 204-989-1902.

Getting identification

SEED and Citizen’s Bridge help people living on a low income to obtain government issued identification, open bank accounts and provide assistance to apply for eligible benefits. Book an appointment with SEED’s Access to Benefits Program by calling 204-927-9945 in Winnipeg or emailing atob@seedwinnipeg.ca. Space is limited. SEED also helps people file income tax returns.

Citizen’s Bridge – (serving adults) contact any of the 120 community referral partners. Select general information, then “see more” for a referral. Citizen’s Bridge can also help with obtaining a learner /driver’s license.

Health, dental, drugs, and vision care

Indigenous Services Canada – a federal government department providing information and services (e.g., health, education, housing, etc.) for Indigenous people in the Manitoba region. Call 1-800-567-9604 or email infopubs@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca.

Non-Insured Health Program – for First Nations and Inuit people, this program through the federal government pays for drugs, dental services and other health benefits not otherwise covered under provincial programs.

Housing

Eagle Urban Transition Centre (EUTC) – serving as a central location for clients seeking transitional support while living in and/or relocating to Winnipeg. EUTC assists First Nations clients with issues including housing, social assistance, addictions, resources for youth and services/programs in the areas of training/employment and education.

Manitoba Housing Authority - a variety of housing options are available to provide affordable and subsidized accommodation for families, seniors and single people who are living on low or moderate incomes. Call 204-945-4663 or toll free 1-800-661-4663.

Income

Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) - provides financial help to Manitobans who have no other way to support themselves or their families. This includes benefits from the rent assist program that helps with housing costs. For people who are able to work, EIA will help them go back to work by providing supports to employment. Call 204-948-4000.

Manitoba Child Benefit Program – monthly financial assistance for low-income families who are not on EIA. Also provides help with some of the costs of children’s prescription eyeglasses. Apply online or contact 1-800-563-8793.

Northern patients

Northern Patient Transportation Program - subsidizes medical transportation costs for eligible Manitoba residents in the north to obtain medical or hospital care not available in their home community. Subsidies may include costs for an essential escort.

Persons living with disabilities

Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond - You do not need to make contributions to get the bond, but you do need to make contributions to qualify for the grant.

Veterans and caregivers

Veterans Independence Program (VIP) - provides funding for services such as grounds maintenance, housekeeping, meal preparation, personal care, and professional health and support services. This program does not replace other federal, provincial or municipal programs. Instead, it is intended to work with those programs to help meet your needs.

Caregiver Recognition Benefit (CRB) - is for informal caregivers supporting veterans living with physical and/or mental health conditions who require the continuous provision of care and supervision.

Youth services

Macdonald Youth Services - Family Navigator Program helps guide families through the numerous therapeutic services available to youth aged 13 to 24 in their brochure and poster. Services for young persons, parents, and caregivers seeking support.

For health care providers

Help your patients living in poverty by providing access to tools and resources. Explore the tabs to learn more.

How you can help

Poverty is a significant risk factor for poor health and must be addressed like other major health risks. 

With better income, children are more likely to complete their education, less likely to experience difficulties finding and keeping jobs, and less likely to suffer adult illness and early death.

You can help by directing people to the health and social benefits available to Canadians, such as this website.

You can also follow the steps below when speaking to your patients:

ASK

Do you ever have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?

ASSESS

Examine the evidence between poverty and poor physical and mental health.

Factor poverty into clinical decision-making like other risk factors.

INTERVENE

Inform your patients of specific benefit programs they may be eligible for such as Manitoba Prenatal Benefits.

Direct your patients to apply for federal financial supports such as Old Age Security, Child Tax Benefit, Disability benefits or First Nations programs.

Sign forms and write letters to support applications, if needed.

Encourage your patients to fill out and mail in their income tax forms to make them eligible for various benefits, including drug coverage.

CONNECT

Direct your patients to specific community programs and online resources provided by regional, provincial and federal non-profit organizations and governments.

Make the website and/or hard copies of Get Your Benefits! available. This booklet details resources and income supports.

Advocacy and research

Health Providers Against Poverty - Resources
Contains links to clinical tools, patient handouts, service guides, literature and more.

Manitoba College of Family Physicians - Resources
Contains links to Clinical Practice Guidelines database, Manitoba Government health care report card, CME rebate program, and other new services, guidelines and protocols.

Primary Prevention Research Group
Dr. Alan Katz has recruited a dynamic interdisciplinary team that is working on multiple projects focused on primary prevention and risk behaviours including: tobacco use and exposure, physical inactivity, mental wellbeing (resilience), nutrition and risk stratification.

Presentation

How to Really Make a Difference to Manitoba Children's Health and Well-Being - through medical practice and advocacy. Noralou Roos, PhD, and Sharon Macdonald, MD, FRCPC, with thanks to Lee Ford Jones, MD, and Gary Bloch, MD.

Webinar - Food Insecurity Part 3 - How does food insecurity relate to health and what are the implications for health care providers (May 18, 2017). Valerie Tarasuk, PhD, Lynn McIntyre, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, FCAHS, and Carlota Basualdo-Hammond, MSc, MPH, RD. From  CDPAC/PHAC.

Tools

Poverty: A clinical tool for primary care providers

This tool describes how to ask, assess, act and inform patients about benefits available to Canadians. Tools for other provinces and territories are available at the Centre for Effective Practice: Poverty.

Using online tools for primary care

Evaluating the impact of using an online tool within primary care to improve income security of patients with complex and social needs

Poster

Should we treat poverty like other health conditions? (PDF)

Study protocol

Implementation and impact of an online tool used in primary care to improve access to financial benefits for patients: a study protocol [pdf] by Aery A, Rucchetto A, Singer A, et al. BMJ Open 2017; 7:e015947.doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015947.

For students

Infographics

From Canada Revenue Agency

Other tips for completing your taxes

Income Tax Information for all Students - an overview of how to file your income tax return, available from International, Immigrant and Refugee Student Services at the University of Winnipeg.

For tax clinics

Hosting a volunteer tax clinic

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is a collaboration between community organizations and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Community organizations host free tax preparation clinics and arrange for volunteers to prepare tax returns for those with modest incomes and simple tax situations.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program - information on hosting volunteer income tax clinics.

Recruitment pamphlet (PDF) provides information about hosting tax clinics, answering questions about the CVITP program, how you can help, and how the CRA helps. Also includes contact information for Prairie Region CVITP offices.

Volunteer at a local tax clinic - by filling out the online form and being approved to use EFILE, you can participate in the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program to help people in your community complete their income tax returns.

Card size summary - community (PDF) promotes benefits of volunteering at free tax clinics in your community.

Card size summary - organization (PDF) promotes benefits of hosting a free tax clinic at your organization.

Additional resources

Community volunteer income tax program poster, English/French (PDF) - recent statistics for CVITP clinics in Manitoba.

Expanding services in the community (PDF)

Insights on hosting volunteer income tax clinics presentation slides

Insights on hosting volunteer income tax clinics presentation slides webinar 

Planning a Successful Community Tax Clinic in Indigenous Communities - a two-part webinar training session hosted by Prosper Canada and AFOA Canada for First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations.

Tax clinic resources

Benefits listed for seniors, housing, family, disability and health issues, and post secondary students.

Forms to assist volunteers in collecting basic information:

Forms to bring for income tax preparation - a list of required tax slips and receipts (PDF) to bring with you when getting your taxes done.

    How to get your T-slips - template letter (doc) indicating the information you need to provide to request T-slips from Winnipeg Taxation Centre.

    Information Slip/Address Change Request form (PDF) - to request information slips and/or change your address. Also available in French.

    Additional resources

    Encouraging filing taxes

    Filing a tax return every year allows individuals and families to unlock access to federal and provincial benefits which can contribute to improved health and wellbeing.

    Given the widely recognized link between income and health, the following resources were created to encourage people to access these benefits. They can be used in a variety of settings to promote tax filing.

    Posters

    The following posters are available with editable boxes to enable you to tailor the information to your setting - either by entering the text before printing or by writing in the information by hand after printing.

    English

    French

    Additional resources

    Use the document below as a guide when launching your own tax filing clinic.

    Starting a new tax filing clinic (.docx)

    Resources

    Books

    Why we need more Canadian health policy in the media
    Edited by Noralou Roos, Kathleen O'Grady, Eileen Boriskewich, Melanie Meloche-Holubowski, Carolyn Shimmin, Kristy Wittmeier, and Nanci Armstrong. 1st edition with content from December 2014 to December 2015. Freely available in various formats.

    Commentaries

    Canada's housing crisis is a public health emergency by Richter and Meili, September 2016.

    Charity is not enough to fight poverty by David Pfrimmer, December 2017.

    How health providers in Canada are working together to treat poverty and improve health by Dane Wanniarachige.

    Medicine is not just a science, it's an art. Commentary by Lynn Wilson. Why a good conversation with your doctor is good for your health. November 2016.

    Prove Yourself! - commentary on barriers to accessing ID for low-income Manitobans. Ellen Smirl, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Occtober 10, 2017.

    Medicine is not just a science, it's an art. Commentary by Lynn Wilson, November 2016. Why a good conversation with your doctor is good for your health.

    Social pediatrics: From 'lip service' to the health and well-being of Canada's children and youth - by Denis Daneman et al. Paediatric Child Health 2013 Aug-Sept; 18(7):351-352.

    Why it's never too late for low income Canadians to file their taxes by Bloch and Silver, June 2016.

    Why Manitoba needs to invest in its children by Nickel and Moffatt, August 2016.

    News articles

    Meet the Canadian doctor who prescribes money to low-income patients Boosting people's incomes to help boost their health outcomes - could this model work in the US? Sigal Samuel, Vox.com, May 3, 2019.


    2017

    Five things everyone should know about the relationship between poverty and health in Canada by Carolyn Shimmin.

    Does Cash Aid Help the Poor - or Encourage Laziness? Hundreds of families in Zambia receive regular cash payouts as part of an experimental government program: "a small but steady stream of cash with no strings attached may be the smartest way to fix poverty". Nurith Aizenman, Morning Edition, National Public Radio, August 9, 2017.

    Canada urged to calculate how much it costs to raise children. Official estimates are needed as a way to guide policy and help parents, advocates say. Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star, March 7, 2017. 

    Man honoured for helping New Brunswickers file taxes free of charge for decades. Special clinics all over the Maritimes are helping those with modest incomes navigate tax paperwork; it's a cause close to the heart of a Moncton man, who's being honoured by the federal government for decades of volunteer work. Cami Kepke, CTV Atlantic, March 26, 2017.

    NB’ers learn to get their piece of the money pie. A program was held at the Universite de Moncton on Sunday to help ensure New Brunswickers on a modest income receive as much as possible at tax time. Jeremy Keefe, Global News, March 26, 2017.

    If they had a billion dollars... Every year over $1 billion of income benefits and tax credits legislated for the needs of the most vulnerable people in Canada never make it into their pockets. Prosper Canada has recommended that the Government of Canada invest $2 million annually over the next five years for targeted community outreach and support strategies to enable vulnerable Canadians to begin accessing the over $1 billion in benefits they are eligible for, but not receiving. Prosper Canada, February 7, 2017

    Unicef Report Card Gives Canada Low Marks. The UNICEF report card reveals how far rich countries like Canada have allowed their most disadvantaged children to fall behind the average child in health, education, income and life satisfaction. NetNewsledger, January 27, 2017.

    Project helping homeless overcome 'huge barrier' - lost ID. A pilot ID project in Ottawa is helping people to replace lost or stolen identification - a process simple for most, but "a big mountain to climb" for those living on the street. CBC News January 17, 2017.


    2016

    Three things the federal government can do to improve the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Commentary describing the RDSP, why so few are using it, and three quick ways to improve it. By Kathleen O'Grady. www.evidencenetwork.ca accessed December 19, 2016.

    The cost of poverty affects us all. The biggest barrier to ending poverty is the political orthodoxy we have lived by for the past 40 years. Gary Bloch, Toronto Star, December 6, 2016.

    How can we let one in 3.5 kids grow up in poverty? Analysis of Manitoba's dubious distinction of having Canada's highest child poverty rate for the second year in a row. Royce Koop, Winnipeg Free Press, December 3, 2016.

    Manitoba food bank usage "distressing" - Manitoba food banks saw a slight decline in traffic this year, but the province has the second-highest use rate in the country. Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free Press, November 15, 2016.

    Saskatchewan doctors now checking the fiscal health of patients. Family doctors in Saskatchewan are starting to ask their patients if they’ve ever had difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month. Pamela Cowan, Regina Leader-Post, November 15, 2016.

    Organizations

    Eastern Canada - Health Providers Against Poverty - an alliance of health care providers who came together in 2005 in Ontario and has since grown to have provincial chapters in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Laborador.

    Manitoba College of Family Physicians - Resources  - contains links to Clinical Practice Guidelines database, Manitoba Government health care report card, CME rebate program, and other new services, guidelines and protocols.

    New Brunswick - Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation - created to develop, oversee, coordinate and implement initiatives to reduce poverty and assist thousands of New Brunswickers to become more self-sufficient.

    Personal stories

    Canada without poverty: Wayne's story - a blog series, Spotlight on Poverty, where board members - who all have a lived experience of poverty - are asked about their story and how their poverty has affected their own lives.

    Momentum: Payday lending story - A story of how a group of dynamic change makers were brought together to "influence legislation around payday lending and create real alternatives". Momentum is a Calgary organization using a community development approach to offer hope and opportunity to people living in poverty. More stories at their blog, Momentum: Engage.

    United Way Winnipeg: Poverty to possibility - Other stories from United Way such as "Can you Make the Month" and "Calandra's Story".

    Podcasts

    Dr. Noralou Roos: Why those in Poverty have the Poorest Health and Highest health care needs. Humans, on Rights

    Reports

    Social determinants of health: The Canadian facts (PDF)
    A primer for the Canadian public by Juha Mikkonen and Dennis Raphael, 2010, Toronto: York University School of Health Policy and Management. Also see video of conversation with Dennis Raphael.

    Studies

    Access to Identification for Low-Income Manitobans - a study researching what can be done to reduce barriers to ID - a critical tool in the fight against poverty - for low-income Manitobans. Ellen Smirl, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 2017.

    Videos

    What if our healthcare system kept us healthy?
    TEDMED talk by Rebecca Onie, 2012. Onie asks questions such as "What if waiting rooms were a place to improve daily health care?"

    Webinars

    Food Insecurity Part 3 - How does food insecurity relate to health and what are the implications for health care providers (May 18, 2017). Valerie Tarasuk, PhD, Lynn McIntyre, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, FCAHS, and Carlota Basualdo-Hammond, MSc, MPH, RD. From CDPAC/PHAC.

    What others are doing

    What you need to know about getting a birth certificate across Canada

    New Brunswick

    Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation (ESIC) - was created to "develop, oversee, coordinate and implement initiatives to reduce poverty and assist thousands of New Brunswickers to become more self-sufficient".

    ESIC news release March 27, 2017 - Income tax preparation clinic for people on modest incomes. (Lisez la version française)

    United States

    StreetCred program - "Over 90% of children in the United States saw a pediatrician at least once last year, which means too many busy, hardworking, stressed families spent lots of precious time in waiting rooms or by hospital beds." StreetCred advertises eligibility for government assistance programs in hospitals, clinics and surrounding communities; they are trained by local partners to walk families through completing complicated applications and filing taxes.

    The relationships among SNAP benefits, grocery spending, diet quality, and the adequacy of low-income families resources - by Patricia M. Anderson and Kristin F. Butcher. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 14, 2016

    It's your money Fact sheets

    Produced by Canada Revenue Agency, these fact sheets provide information about benefits, credits and deductions that can be obtained by regularly filing taxes - even if you have no income at all. 

    For hard copies, contact Canada Revenue Agency.

    Disability

    Card summary

    Benefits and credits available to you. Also available in French.

    Fact sheet

    Applying for the disability tax credit - who is eligible and how to apply.

    Indigenous

    Card summary

    What you can get when you do your taxes and where to go for more information.

    Fact sheet

    Why you need to do your taxes, and the benefits, credits and deductions available to you. Also additional information on what to do if you don't have all the necessary documents. Also available in French, Inuktitut, Swampy Cree, Plains Cree, Dene, Montagnais, and Labrador Inuktitut.

    Poster

    Benefits and credits available to you when you do your taxes.

    Newcomer

    Fact sheet - newcomers

    Doing your taxes can benefit you! How to sign up to get your benefit and credit payments. Also available in French, Arabic, Tagalog, Simplified Chinese, and Punjab

    Card size summary - Are you new to Canada? As a resident of Canada, there are benefits and credits you may be eligible for. (Also available in French)

    Fact sheets - refugees 

    How Warda and Maria got benefits and credits after escaping war and violence in their home countries and resettling in Canada.

    Poster - New to Canada?

    Benefits and credits available to you from CRA.

    Seniors

    Fact sheet

    Age has its benefits...and credits and tax deductions. Also available in French.

    Card summary

    Age has its benefits. Did you know there are many benefits and credits available for seniors? Also available in French.

    Students

    Card summary

    Doing your taxes has its perks, and everything can be done online.

    Fact sheet

    Doing your taxes has its perks! Put more money in your pocket: go digital and avoid delays and incorrect payments. Also available in French.

    Shelters

    Fact sheet

    Get your payments when you need them most, particularly if you have fled an abusive situation. Also available in French.

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      We are glad to answer any questions you may have about this project. Please feel free to send comments and suggestions directly to us at info@getyourbenefits.ca.

      Contact us

    Who we are

    We are a coalition of health care providers, researchers, community agencies and non-profit organizations based in Manitoba with the aim to treat poverty to improve the health and well-being of Manitoba families.

    Contact us

    Get Your Benefits!
    Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
    University of Manitoba
    408 - 727 McDermot Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5

    204-789-3657
    204-789-3910