Canada's Benefit Schemes

Canada's Benefit Schemes

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Canada has a generous social security system. Canadian citizens and residents can benefit from programs that are paid for by their hefty taxes and payroll contributions. These programs include social assistance for people in need, employment insurance for workers who have lost their jobs, worker's compensation for workers injured on the job and old-age pensions for citizens 65 years of age and older.

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance benefits may be paid to people who have lost their job and are looking for a new one. The insurance may also be available to women for maternity leave and one parent who is caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, or in case of illness. For more details consult: HRDC-DRHC. In order to receive EI you must have worked for a certain number of weeks to be eligible. A percentage of your past income will be paid to you as you actively look for work or participate in job retraining sessions.

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program. A minimum of 10 years of residence in Canada after reaching the age of 18 is required to receive a pension in Canada. The amount of a person's pension is determined by how long he or she has lived in Canada. The Old Age Security pension is a monthly benefit available, if applied for, to most Canadians 65 years of age or over. For more information consult: HRDC-DRHC.

Disability Programs

People with disabilities have access to programs to prepare them to find employment, receive tax reductions, and study grants. The Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program offers financial assistance to homeowners and landlords to improve the accessibility of dwellings for persons with disabilities. As well, the Canada Pension Plan protects contributors against the loss of earnings due to long-term disability. Bridging the gap is a guide to Federal government programs and services for children and youth, parents, families, organizations, and those who work with children for information on existing federal programs and services.

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

This program helps parents, grandparents, and interested Canadians save for a child's post-secondary education by paying grants of up to $400 per year to beneficiaries of Registered Education Savings Plans.

Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP)

CSLP provides repayable assistance to post-secondary students who are in financial need by supplementing the student's own resources derived from employment, academic awards, and family contributions. Contact the financial aid offices at universities and colleges for more details.

Language instruction for newcomers

Basic language instruction in one of Canada's official languages to adult immigrants is provided as soon as possible after arrival in Canada so that they may acquire the necessary language skills to integrate into Canadian society.