Basic benefit and Special benefits
The benefit granted to independent adults or familes under the Social Solidarity Program is a social solidarity allowance to which other amounts may be added.
The benefit granted to independent adults or familes under the Social Assistance Program is a basic amount equivalent to their needs recognized by regulation. Other amounts are added to the basic benefit, depending on your needs.
A special benefit is an amount paid to help cover certain expenses related to a special need (e.g. the purchase of eyeglasses) or a specific situation (e.g. damage caused by fire) stipulated in the Regulation respecting individual and family assistance. There are various special benefits.
In some cases, you pay for the good or service yourself and the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale reimburses you directly. In other cases, the Department or the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) pays the supplier of the good or service and you have nothing to pay as long as the expenses incurred do not exceed the maximum stipulated in the Regulation.
Generally, you need your CLE officer’s authorization to purchase a good or pay for a service and receive the special benefit covering it.
When applying for a special benefit, you must provide the documents needed to assess your application (e.g. prescription from a health professional, medical certificate, death certificate, cost estimate for a good or service, etc.). In order to be reimbursed, you must supply proof that you purchased the good or service. The application for reimbursement must be submitted in the 30 days following acquisition of a good or provision of a service.
Under the Basic Prescription Drug Insurance Plan, administered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), recipients of last-resort financial assistance and people who have been issued claim slips can obtain prescription drugs free-of-charge.
If you belong to one of these categories, when you go to the drugstore, you have to present the claim slip that you receive each month with your benefit cheque or direct deposit notification.
For free dental care:
RAMQ pays the dental care costs directly to the dentist.
To receive these prostheses free of charge:
RAMQ pays the costs incurred for dental prostheses directly to the dentist or denturist according to the rates in effect.
To be eligible for this special benefit:
RAMQ pays the costs incurred for optometry services directly to the optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses
The costs incurred for the purchase or replacement of eyeglasses or contact lenses are paid according to the rates stipulated in the Regulation respecting individual and family assistance. However, to be eligible for this special benefit:
If the total cost of the eyeglasses or contact lenses exceeds the amounts stipulated in the Regulation, you must pay the difference.
The Department pays the costs incurred for eyeglasses or contact lenses directly to the optometrist or optician, up to the amounts stipulated in the Regulation.
Health and safety equipment and accessories
Various special benefits exist to help you purchase or rent prostheses, ortheses, equipment (e.g. hospital bed, bathtub safety bars) or accessories (e.g. dressings, diapers for incontinence).
However, before purchasing or renting this equipment or these accessories, ask your CLE officer whether you are eligible for a special benefit to help pay for these products. Written confirmation of your need by a doctor, dentist or a person designated by the Department is required.
Medical care - transportation and accommodation costs
Transportation and accommodation costs incurred to receive medical care may be reimbursed or paid directly to the supplier (e.g. ambulance service). However, you must use the least expensive means of transportation possible under the circumstances.
Since transportation services differ among regions, you should ask your CLE officer about the means of transportation and the cost authorized in your region and how to have the costs reimbursed. A medical certificate from a doctor, midwife (in the case of pregnancy), or dentist, confirming your need, is required.
Special health needs
If your physical condition requires special care for which you regularly incur costs, other amounts may be added to your monthly benefit to help you pay for these additional expenses.
You may be entitled to this special benefit if, for instance:
A medical certificate from a doctor, confirming your need, is required.
There is a special benefit to help cover your children’s back-to-school expenses. This special benefit is paid for each eligible child once a year, in August. The amount differs depending on whether your child attends kindergarten, elementary school or secondary school in a general education program.
For children aged 16 and over, you must submit proof of school attendance to your CLE officer by the latest in October of each year.
The Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale may grant a special benefit to reimburse funeral expenses incurred for a deceased person. The person who is deceased does not have to have been a recipient of last-resort financial assistance. The maximum amount of this benefit is $2,500.
During the study of the application for this special benefit, certain amounts must be subtracted from the maximum benefit payable. These amounts include life insurance proceeds payable to the estate and amounts paid under a prearranged funeral services contract or a prepurchased sepulture (burial) contract.
To be eligible for the special benefit, the applicant must have claimed the remains of the deceased person and be one of the following:
The Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ) may also grant a death benefit if the deceased person contributed to the Québec Pension Plan (QPP). Applicants for the special benefit must first find out whether a QPP death benefit is payable and notify the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, which will take this information into account in calculating the amount of the special benefit.
The application for the special benefit must be received by the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale:
Applicants may file the application at their local employment centre.
If you are a last-resort financial assistance recipient, you are eligible for a special pregnancy benefit of $55 a month, in addition to your monthly benefit. This amount, which is paid each month of the pregnancy until you give birth, is designed to help you buy healthy food during your pregnancy. You are also eligible for this benefit if you are the parent of a dependent child who is pregnant.
You must provide your local employment centre (CLE) officer with one of the following documents:
It is important that you produce this written attestation as soon as possible, since the pregnancy benefit will be paid only once your officer has the document in hand.
If you are a last-resort financial assistance recipient, are the mother of an infant under age 1 and have decided to breast-feed, you are eligible for a special nursing benefit of $55 per month. This benefit is paid every month until your baby is one year old if you breast- feed throughout this time.
To obtain the benefit, you must complete an application and provide your assistance officer or the assistance officer at the local employment centre (CLE) with proof of your baby’s birth.
Purchase infant formula
Purchasing infant formula
As soon as your baby is born, contact your local employment centre (CLE) officer in person or by telephone. Proof confirming your baby’s birth should be provided as soon as possible if you wish to receive this assistance rapidly.
Information on infant formulas
Types of formula authorized
Other special benefits
Other special benefits may be paid to help you cover costs incurred by difficult situations.
This is true for cases involving death, fire, a disaster or a move for health or hygiene reasons, the need to be sheltered in a home for victims of violence or following a separation.
In all cases, you must receive authorization from your CLE officer before paying the invoices for this kind of exceptional situation.