Interpreting the data: Key takeaways from Welfare in Canada, 2021

Posted on December 16, 2022 in Social Security Delivery System

Source: — Authors: , – Policy brief
15/12/2022.   By Jennefer Laidley, Mohy Tabbara

This policy brief provides an analysis of data published in Maytree’s Welfare in Canada, 2021report. It highlights the key trends in the report’s analysis of the income support benefits available to people who qualify for social assistance across Canada.

The data in Welfare in Canada, 2021 reveal five main findings:

  1. Welfare incomes were deeply inadequate across Canada:
    – All households in every province lived in poverty, and the large majority lived in deep poverty.
    – Seven of eight households in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon lived in poverty.
  2. Most jurisdictions did not make substantive increases to already inadequate social assistance benefits.
  3. Federal income supports for unattached single households in all jurisdictions were very limited.
  4. Fewer payments related to the COVID-19 pandemic were provided to households receiving social assistance in 2021 as compared to 2020.
  5. Total welfare incomes increased in a limited number of cases. In most instances, higher inflation in 2021 negated their positive impact.

The brief also identifies possible policy actions to improve income support benefit programs at both the provincial/territorial and federal levels. We hope that governments will prioritize the dignity of all members in our society and consider taking these actions. It would be an important step in ensuring that everyone in Canada can realize their human right to an adequate standard of living.

The data that forms the basis of analysis is available for download, as is the entire Welfare in Canada, 2021 report.

Download the policy brief

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