Government of New Brunswick

Subsection 4(4) of Regulation 95-61 under the Family Income Security Act (F.I.S.A.) allows SD to determine eligibility without imposing the limitations required as per Subsections 4(2) and/or 4(3). Assistance granted may be for a one issue only Special Benefit, or for the Health Card only.



Applicants are to be advised of Section 4(4) requests which are refused and must be advised that applicants can only appeal the fact that their application for assistance has been denied; not the refusal of any benefits under Section 4(4).



An applicant who is not eligible for assistance may apply for the Health Card only, or for Special Benefit(s) to be issued only once under Section 4(4).

If approved, the Health Card will cover only the individual in the household who requires the service, and only the specific coverage approved, not all Health Card benefits. All requests from those not eligible for assistance for either a Health Card or for one issue payments of Special Benefits must be processed by Screening.



A Section 4(4) case for a one issue only Special Benefit will automatically terminate the day after the Special Benefit is issued.

Under no circumstances can the Basic Household Rate (BHR) given under Section 4(4) exceed the rate of assistance that the household would have received if eligible.

Regardless of the situation, the benefit being requested must be included within the Special Benefits guidelines. The amount cannot exceed the departmental standard for that particular benefit.



Basic or Provisional clients:

  • Case managers and Needs Assessment Specialists will process the request for a health card renewal or additional health card coverage.
  • Case managers will process requests for a one-issue 4(4) benefit for existing Health Card Only clients

Target or Work Services Clients:

  • The case manager will process the initial request for an Extended health Card.
  • Once the Extended Health Card has expired, clients must go through the Screening process inorder to reapply for a Health Card.
  • Requests for a one-issue emergency 4(4) beneift made by Extended health Card clients, or clients terminated less than 35 days, will be processed by their case manager.  The case manager will need to complete the 4(4) calculation to determine if the client is in a budget deficit.

Day Care Only and Pre/Postnatal Only Clients:

  • These cases must go through the screening process to apply for one-issue 4(4) benefits, including a request for one-issue 4(4) Emergency Fuel assistance.



SD has the authority to determine eligibility by modifying or waiving:

  • assets or income as defined in Subsections 4(2) or 8(1), (2), (3)
  • income and/or social needs tests as established in subsection 4(3)
  • consideration of insurable employment as defined in Subsection 4(3)
  • budget deficit calculation as established in Subsection 4(3)

One issue benefit only circumstances often apply when an individual is placed in an emergency situation. Applicants determined to be financially ineligible under regular criteria may have presenting needs which falls within the definition of an emergency. An emergency is defined as any unavoidable and unforeseen occurrence, situation, or set of circumstances which is occurring at the present time and requires an immediate response.



Case managers should use their judgment as to what amount to consider. For basic needs which are not generally of a fixed amount, the following percentages are to be used as a guideline:


Need Portion Of Basic Household Rate
Clothing 10%
Food 30% of basic unit rate for a single person unit. For two or more person apply $150 per person in the unit.
Household & Personal 7.5%
Household Maintenance 7.5% (for person who own their home)
Routine Transportation 7.5%
Medical Transportation 7.5%
Employment/Training Transportation 7.5%

If the 4(4) budget calculation comes within $75 of a deficit, the Screener would forward the case to intake for a face to face meeting with Needs Assessment.

Other expenses should be calculated according to the basic cost per month, not including arrears or extras. An example would be that only basic cable and telephone should be considered. An exception to this is consideration of long-distance telephone calls which are to doctors, hospitals etc.

The following is a list of expenses that may be considered in applications under Section 4(4).



Wages: For one issue benefits, the net income is used; but for on-going cases (Health Card only) real net income is used for the first issuance with the understanding with the client that any renewal is based upon using net income in future applications.

Income will be considered as for all other applicants plus consideration will be given for the following income:


Liquid Assets

There are no liquid asset exemptions applicable under Section 4(4) except:

Investments (not liquid cash) such as RRSP's, GIC's Cash Value, Stock's etcetera will be exempt for applicants requesting Emergency Fuel Benefits under section 4(4) of the NB Regulations.  A liquid asset exemption of $2,000.00 will also be provided to applications for the Emergency Fuel Benefit.

The following Assets, which are usually exempt, must also be considered:

  • Lump Sum Payments to HIV/AIDS Infected Hemophiliacs, Thalidomide Victims & Survivors
  • Lump Sum Compensation payments to Japanese Canadians
  • Lump Sum Compensation payments to sexual abuse victims
  • Income generated by Trust Funds established for Blind, Deaf or Disabled

All applicants who are certified Blind, Deaf or Disabled are eligible for the following liquid asset exemptions:

  • Funds invested in a RDSP up to $290,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person
  • Funds invested in an RRSPs up to $50,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person
  • Funds invested in a Trust Fund up to $200,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person
  • A liquid asset of $10,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person


Other Benefits

Those approved for a Health Card only are not entitled to any other benefits. Request for a new benefit from a health card only client would have to be reassessed under section 4(4). The client does not need to go through screening and/or registration. The case manager can do the 4(4) calculation and issue the benefit if the client is in a budget deficit.

Requests for any Special Benefits of a recurring nature must be assessed under Section 4(2)(b).



The case manager and needs assessment specialist process the renewal of Section 4(4) health Card only clients.