The Government of Saskatchewan announced details today of a new income support program that will help people receiving income assistance overcome challenges, earn more income, become more self-sufficient and start a career.
The new program, called Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS), will begin accepting applications from new clients on July 15, 2019. The new program will be simpler, transparent, client-friendly and have new features that will help transition clients to greater independence and a better quality of life:
monthly earned income exemptions will allow clients to keep more of the money they make as they move into the workforce;
through Motivational Interviewing, staff will support clients to make positive decisions, manage their benefits/household expenses and reach their goals;
a new online application will allow clients to apply whenever they want and from wherever they want, saving both time and paperwork; and
a simpler benefit (shelter and basic needs with a few additional benefits for emergency health/safety needs or job-related expenses) will allow staff to spend more meaningful time with clients, helping them address their challenges instead of filling out paperwork.
Clients who are currently on the Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP) or Transitional Employment Allowance (TEA), will remain on those programs until they are wound down in the summer of 2021, or until clients voluntarily move to the new program or no longer require income support. As of July 15, SAP and TEA will no longer accept new applications. However, the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program will remain in place and continue to run alongside the new program.
Since 2007-08, government funding for income assistance programs has increased by $275 million, or 89 per cent.