Government of New Brunswick

An Economic Unit is defined as any individuals in a marital or conjugal relationship and children under 21. When an Economic Unit is determined to exist, SD will consider it one unit, and therefore determine eligibility for only one assistance cheque.

When a dependent of a social assistance recipient turns 21 while attending an accredited education institution, an exemption allowing them to remain on the parent’s case may be provided until such time the dependent is no longer attending an accredited education institution.

An individual may be considered as a separate case from their spouse or partner when the spouse or partner is between 16 and 18 years of age and:

  • not legally married to the individual or;
  • not a dependent of the individual

Economic Units residing in the parental home are ineligible to receive income assistance unless one of the following exemptions apply: 

  • Adult Child With Income
  • Blind, Deaf or Disabled
  • Grandfathered
  • Persons who are leaving abusive relationships
  • Individuals Living In Their Parental Home


Adult Child With Income

It is the parent's choice as to whether they take advantage of this economic household exemption.  In some circumstances it may be more beneficial to have the adult child on the case and report the income.

The adult child may have a legal or self-declared common-law spouse but their income will be combined as if they were one person.

An adult child who has gross income of less than $20,000 per year may be excluded from the parental case when the following conditions are met:

  • The adult child must either be greater than 18 years of age or be 16 to 18 years of age and completed high school or be in training.
  • A child/parent relationship must exist which includes a legal guardian.
  • The adult child must either be returning to the parental home or be on a case with the parent(s) and start earning income.

Cases coming through Intake will not be eligible for the Household Income exemption, however once eligibility has been established the parent(s) have the option to use the exemption.

  • The adult child cannot be on a case of their own which includes 4(2)(b) and 4(4) cases.

The income may be in the form of wages, EI or CPP benefits, training allowances etc.

This does not include a child who does not have any income whatsoever.

The Household Income Exemption may be given to as many children as meet the eligibility criteria.

The adult child's income is considered an income source on the parent's case. If the adult child's income is between $0 and $534 per month then $0 will be added to the case's monthly income. If the adult child's income is between $535 and $1.667 per month then $125 will be added automatically to the case's monthly income. If the adult child's income is greater than $1,667 per month the total amount will be added to the case's monthly income.


Blind, Deaf or Disabled

A Blind , Deaf or Disabled client may be considered a separate case from all other individuals except a legal or common-law spouse or child.

If the legal or common-law spouse or child is also certified Blind, Deaf or Disabled then they may be considered as separate cases.


Persons who are leaving abusive relationships

All persons who have been victims of abuse, and who are “in transition” living in a safe place will be able to live in the parental home and receive the Transitional Assistance rate for a period of nine months.

Grandfathered relationships

Cases where the "Existing Clients in Non-Spousal Relationships" exemption reason was being applied on September 30th, 2013 will continue to maintain an exemption under the Grandfathered reason until such time as there is a change in their situation.

A change in situation would include:

  • Case Termination
  • Change in Unit composition (not including addition/removal of dependents)
  • Change in address

This item will also be used to capture any Ministerial Exemptions granted by the Minister. Exceptions will be provided to clients in accordance to approval conditions.  If the client changes their address, unit structure or fails to meet any conditions in place as part of the exception, the exception will be terminated.

Individuals Living In Their Parental Home

Applicants/Clients who are living in their parental home may receive income assistance while in the parental home if at least one member of the applicant/client’s unit:

  • is 55 years of age or older, or
  • is a child 18 years of age or under
  • has a Long-Term Needs or Designated Needs designation with SD
  • has a SD Medical Report completed by a physician stating that they are unable to work for six months or more or that they are seven months pregnant. (SD assesses the impact of the medical condition on the individual's ability to work),

A person 21 years of age or older can receive an exemption to receive assistance from the parental home if their parent(s) earn less than $30,427.00 a year.