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Social Security and WelfareBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Canada - Social Security and Welfare
In order to be a part of this system you will need to have a social security number. This number consists of 9 digits and without it you are not able to work in Canada. You can contact your local Service Canada Centre in order to apply for a social security number. If you have the status of a temporary resident then you will need to send your work permit and another form of ID such as your passport, birth certificate or marriage certificate.
There are several child benefits available through the social security system. The first of these is the Universal Child Care Benefit which is available to all children under the age of 6 who meet the eligibility criteria. The parent or guardian of the child makes the claim and must have the child in residence with them at the time. The person who claims must be the person responsible for the care of the child and must be a resident of Canada. This is paid at a rate of $100 per month per child and can be claimed from the first month following the child’s birth. Another child benefit is the Child Tax Benefit. This is a monthly benefit which is based on the income of the family. Included in this payment are any payments for a disabled child or benefit supplement. Parents can also claim the Fitness Tax Credit for children which is designed to encourage active and healthy lifestyles.
A disabled person may be eligible for one of a number of benefits. There are some which are designed to help those with long term disabilities and others which are for those who have a short term injury which is causing problems with everyday living. Applications for these benefits can be made to the local Service Canada centre. You may be asked to provide evidence of a disability, so a medical certificate may be required.
Employment insurance is one of the main benefits of the social security system. This is a temporary benefit which is paid out and covers any number of reasons why a person may not be in work and in need of financial assistance, so unemployment, maternity, sickness benefits and benefits for compassionate leave are all included under this title. In addition, self-employed fishermen can claim fishing benefits. Contributions must have been made before workers are eligible for any benefits under the EI title but expats are eligible once they have made contributions.
The Old Age social security pension is paid out to those who are aged 65 and over. In order to claim this benefit a person must have been a citizen or legal resident for a minimum of 10 years, as well as making the necessary contributions to the system. It is not essential for a person to give up work before they are able to claim this pension. In addition to this pension there is the Canada Pension Plan which is another contributory scheme. From this a person may also claim benefits for disability and survivor benefits.
Canada has a number of agreements with other countries which allows for social security contributions in other countries to be taken into consideration when calculating eligibility for some benefits. Not all benefits may be taken into consideration for this though. Details on these agreements can be obtained from the Service Canada centre, who can also detail the requirements from you in order to make any claims.
Canada Revenue Agency
Tel: 1 800 387 1193
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.