Government of New Brunswick
Exemptions - Asset Levels

Clients/applicants are considered eligible with the following asset levels:

  • liquid assets up to $1,000 for a single person household and up to $2,000 per unit for multi-member units and  

See Blind, Deaf or Disabled for appropriate exemptions for these clients.

These assets shall, at the death of the recipient, be considered for funeral and burial expenses.


Exemptions for the Certified Blind, Deaf or Disabled
  • A liquid asset maximum of $10,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person. Subsequently, this means if there is more than one person in the unit the maximum liquid asset exemption will remain at $10,000. 
  • The capital and the accumulated interest of up to $200,000.00 may be established in a registered trust fund for individuals certified as Blind, Deaf or Disabled This amount is excluded as an available resource in determining eligibility for assistance. The income generated from a trust fund, (including interest earned from the investment, which places the value of the Trust Fund over $200,000.00), should be considered as an available resource. Note: Interest earned which is not withdrawn from the Trust Fund and does not increase the value above the $200,000.00 level, is not to be considered as an available resource.

Income generated from Trust Funds up to $800 a month is exempt. Special amounts over this monthly limit may be allowed when it supports a beneficiary remaining in the community or to purchase health related support items. The client or trustee is responsible to submit statements every year, detailing the income generated from the trust fund. A brought forward must be created to remind the case manager of the required trust fund review.

  • Funds invested in a RDSP up to $290,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person.

Income generated from a Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP) up to $800 a month is exempt. Special amounts over this monthly limit may be allowed when it supports a beneficiary remaining in the community or to purchase health related support items.

These clients may only have a total of $800 per month from the Trust Funds and/or RDSP’s exempt.

  • Funds invested in RRSPs up to $50,000 for units with a Blind, Deaf or Disabled person
  • Funds in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP's) for children is exempt.

Life Insurance

The amount of money that individuals obtain if they dissolve a life insurance policy is fully exempt when determining eligibility for basic assistance for both applicants and clients. This exemption will allow applicants and clients (and their families) to be better prepared for final expenses.

Life insurance is considered a liquid asset when an applicant or client applies for the funeral benefit.

Pre-Paid Funeral

A pre-arranged funeral is considered a fixed asset that is fully exempt when determining eligibility for basic assistance for applicants and clients. All applicants/clients are entitled to establish/maintain a pre-arranged funeral with a licensed funeral home prior to or at the time of their application. A copy of the contract should be part of client's file.

Business Assets

Applicants who were/or are currently self-employed and clients who become self-employed may have fixed assets such as, tools/equipment/property which may be considered business assets. This may include business assets such as: farming equipment, baler or tractor; commercial boat or nets; a woodlot or skidder; industrial saws or tools; clippers or scissors; massage bed or electrolysis machine etc. These business assets are not used in determining initial eligibility; however, applicants/clients will be expected to liquidate their assets within the following specific time frames:

All applicants who are self-employed in a business enterprise will be expected to liquidate their assets after an accumulated total of 6 months’ worth of assistance. See Applicants Who Are Self-Employed policy. 

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 the client to use these assets to become self-employed again, they may maintain these assets up to a maximum period of 12 months. After 12 months of assistance they are to be considered excess fixed assets. See Applicants who are Self-Employed policy. 

All clients who become self-employed as part of their case plan, may maintain these business assets up to a maximum of period of 12 months.  See Clients Who Become Self-Employed policy.


Exemptions - Other

The following are exempt when calculating liquid assets:

  • children's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP’s)
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
  • Trust Funds (see Certified Blind, Deaf or Disabled Applicants/Clients
  • "Learning Accounts" awarded through the "Futures to Discover" pilot project
  • investments etc. which cannot be liquidated, even with penalty

The interest from these must be considered income

  • the entire principal amount of compensation payments to:
    - A recipient for property or in place of other income under Federal or Provincial agreements of expropriation or recompense
    - HIV infected hemophiliacs and their survivors
    - Thalidomide victims and their survivors
    - Japanese Canadians
    - Hepatitis C Victims and their survivors
  • compensation benefits under $50,000 made to abuse victims of:
    - Kingsclear Youth Training School
    - Dr. William F. Roberts Hospital
    - Boys Industrial Home

Compensation payments made to these abuse victims for $50,000 or more are not exempt, which therefore renders the household ineligible for assistance.


  • the total principal sum paid must be deposited to the credit of the recipient in a Canadian bank or other financial institution, and
  • withdrawals made from such accounts are to be made only with the advance written approval of SD  for expenditures agreed to by the client and SD, and
  • the client must authorize SD and the financial institution to give and receive information by use of the Trust Fund Reporting Form.


Fixed Assets

Fixed assets are those which are a potential source of livelihood for the applicant/client; and those which are essential for them to maintain a reasonable level of existence. Fixed assets should be noted, but do not determine eligibility. Allowable fixed assets may include the following:

  • a vehicle used for routine transportation, work, medical reasons, or shopping, etc.,
  • the applicant/client's residence and its associated out buildings,
  • real estate: the property contiguous to the residence of the applicant/client, or
  • property, assets which are necessary for an individual to maintain his livelihood. Examples: woodlot or equipment, fishing or farming equipment, tools.

If after 90 days it happens that there are fixed assets that are not being used to generate income, the client must then attempt to sell all such items at fair market value.  If a client has more than one recreational vehicle, a second car or cottage, this would be considered an excess fixed asset and it is necessary that this item be sold.

At the time of the scheduled meeting, clients may be required to provide an update regarding an excess fixed asset. For example, a real estate listing will show the property’s fair market value.A carpenter's tools where housing developments have slowed or forestry equipment where demand is low. An ad to sell the asset should be placed in the classified section of a local newspaper.

For applicants & clients that have assets from a business enterprise for self-employment, refer to the Self-Employed or Business Assets policy.


Liquid Assets

Liquid assets refer to cash and/or property other than those allowable under Fixed Assets. It is required that excess assets be sold at fair market value within a reasonable period of time.

  • Liquid assets may include the following:
  • Cash in hand or in bank accounts,
  • Investments - any which can legally be cashed even if a penalty is incurred (this can include for example GICs, RRSPs).

Investments (not liquid cash) such as RRSP's, GIC's, 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.

Only investments governed by the Pension Act would be excluded until such time as the Act allows these funds to be accessed. All other investments must be cashed even where a penalty may be applied. Documentation from the Financial Institution must clearly state why the asset cannot be accessed indicating the law (Act) prevents access to the funds and not as an investment criteria of the financial institution where a penalty may exist, but legally the client can access the money in emergency situations such as an application for income support.


Native Land Claims Settlement

Clarification of this issue must be sought on a individual basis with SD’s Policy and Federal Provincial Relations Branch.


Safety Deposit Boxes

Applicants/clients who declare they have a safety deposit box should be asked to give an itemized accounting of the contents. Appropriate contents must be considered liquid assets, and if necessary must be liquidated.


Student Aid, Scholarships And Bursaries

Applicants and clients are required to access Student Aid for educational expenses which could include tuition, student fees, books, instruments, transportation, typing costs etc. Scholarships and bursaries must also be considered and used for educational purposes. Confirmation of all such income is mandatory.  Any money received that is assessed to be over the maximum allowed for expenses such as tuition and books will be calculated as monthly income during the period of education they were meant to cover.