Government of New Brunswick

Self-employed persons with any other employees or whose business is a partnership are not eligible for assistance or a health card only.

Applicants who are self-employed

Guidelines for providing assistance for applicants who are self-employed:

  • Assistance may only be as a last resort; all other sources of income must have been explored.
  • Assistance may not exceed a period of six months. If assistance is requested after the six month period, the value of business assets will be assessed and must be considered as available resources. 
  • No self-employed person(s) with employees are eligible for assistance or a health card only.
  • Assets normally required to carry on the self-employment are not to be considered when determining initial eligibility for short term assistance, but must be assessed after six months.
  • See Self Employment Benefits Program (SEB) policy for those involved in this program.

Only the regular Wage Exemption is applied, after eligibility is established


Clients who become self-employed

Guidelines for providing assistance for clients who become self-employed are:

  • They must have a case plan supporting their ability to operate their own business
  • They must have reasonable potential for becoming self-sufficient within twelve months. After twelve months, the value of business assets will be assessed and considered an available resource.
  • They must have a business plan prepared by a third party such as an accountant
  • They must not have previously accessed the Wage Exemption for Self-Employed Clients. That is, this is a one-time-only entitlement.
  • See Self Employment Assistance Program (SEA) for those involved in such programs.
  • No self-employed person(s) with employees are eligible for assistance.
Applicants who were self-employed

Guidelines for providing assistance to applicants who were self-employed:

All applicants who were self-employed in a business enterprise will be expected to liquidate their assets if they do not plan to return to this type of employment. However, if the Case Manager determines there may be an opportunity for their client to use these assets to become self-employed they may maintain these assets up to a maximum period of 12 months. After 12 months of assistance the assets are to be considered excess fixed assets and are an available resource.


Income calculation for self-employed applicants and clients

Income will be calculated as gross revenue (sales or earnings) less business expenses to a maximum amount of 50% of gross revenue.


Self-employment benefits program (SEB)

Applicants receiving financial assistance through the Federal Self Employment Benefits  Program (SEB), will have this income deducted from their basic rate for the duration of this 52 week program. Income generated by these businesses will be treated as for all other self-employed applicants and/or clients.


Wage exemption for self-employed clients

For clients who become self-employed, the income from such self-employment is totally exempt during the first three months of business, and at four months they may be eligible for the Wage Exemption. Clients are only entitled to the total exemption for three months once. This is done by entering the actual income after calculation as Real Net Income and entering an amount of zero as the Net Income. However, the Wage Exemption is effective from the first to twelve.