Your Welfare Rights: How to Apply for Welfare

This booklet explains the application process to get welfare, including:

  • your rights to apply and get welfare;
  • how you qualify;
  • your financial eligibility;
  • how to apply by phone, in person, or online;
  • how to apply for disability assistance, and
  • how to appeal a ministry decision.

It also includes a list of who can help if you have a problem getting welfare, and a checklist to help you keep records.

How to Apply for Welfare is the first publication in the series Your Welfare Rights. The other booklets are Welfare Benefits and When You're on Welfare. The series replaces the booklet Your Welfare Rights: A Guide to BC Employment and Assistance.

See also: Income Assistance on Reserve in British Columbia

Rates and policies update

Since this booklet was published, the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has increased assistance rates and updated various welfare policies. See the ministry's website for details.

Applying online update

If you don’t have a computer, mobile phone, or email, and want to apply online, you can go into a ministry office or Service BC office and speak to staff. When you show them identification, they can give you a Service Request number and PIN. You can then apply online for welfare using a public computer at the office.

For more information, see the fact sheet Applying for Welfare Online.

This publication is for people who are comfortable reading and may have some legal knowledge.


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