News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 9, 2020


The Manitoba government is providing clarity on how it will treat new federal income supports for provincial Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) clients, and is extending other important services and supports to vulnerable Manitobans as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today. 
“Moving forward, Manitoba will treat new federal income support benefits as earned income for determining continued EIA eligibility, meaning eligible people will be able to receive more benefits than they would through EIA alone,” said Stefanson. “We will continue to work with EIA clients to ensure they understand the full range of benefits available to them and answer their questions along the way. This is part of our government’s broader plan to ensure our most vulnerable citizens continue to be supported and protected as part of our pandemic response.” 
The federal government’s new Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA for existing clients and for anyone who may apply for benefits in the disability category. Clients will also continue to receive EIA health benefits, including prescription, dental and optical, under the Rewarding Work Health Plan. Individuals with disabilities will receive the same enhanced earnings exemption as existing clients. This change will make it easier for people with disabilities whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 to receive EIA benefits in addition to the new federal benefits. 
The EIA program continues to work with clients by telephone, email, fax and online to answer any questions as to how the new federal benefits may affect their EIA benefits. 
The minister noted the province has also implemented a number of other measures to support and protect vulnerable Manitobans in response to COVID-19.  
Manitoba will continue to extend supports to children aging out of care and to young adults who sign voluntary agreements to support their transition to greater independence. As noted in a media bulletin issued Sept. 10, an order under the Emergency Measures Act is in place until March 23, 2021, ensuring young people turning 18 or young adults turning 21 can continue to receive financial assistance and other supports. This helps provide ongoing stability for youth who may experience additional challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
To help ensure the health and wellness of Manitobans, the province recently announced plans to distribute reusable masks to clients of Manitoba Families including households that receive EIA benefits. The province is also distributing reusable masks to child-care workers. In total, more than 227,000 reusable masks will be distributed, beginning in Winnipeg. 
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