How to Get Settled - Financial Assistance & Pension Programs

Apply for a Social Insurance Number

To work in Canada or access government programs and benefits, you need a 9-digit number know as a Social Insurance Number (SIN). For more information, including how to apply, see the Government of Canada’s webpage.

Government Financial Assistance Programs

  • Employment Insurance (EI): if you are unemployed, you may be eligible for short-term financial help while you look for work or upgrade your skills
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB): a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age
  • Child Disability Benefit (CDB): a tax-free monthly payment made to families who care for a child under age 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions
  • Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB): is the combined payment of the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit designed for low- to moderate-income Ontario residents
  • Ontario Child Benefit (OCB): a tax-free amount paid to help low- to moderate-income families provide for their children

Government Pension Programs

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP): a monthly, taxable benefit that replaces part of your income when you retire
  • Canada Pension Plan Disability: a monthly payment you can get if you are under 65, have made enough contributions into the CPP, have a physical or mental disability that is long-term and of indefinite duration
  • Old Age Security (OAS): a monthly payment that most people aged 65 or older can qualify for, depending on income and length of time as a legal resident of Canada
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS): a monthly payment for low-income seniors aged 65 or older, living in Canada, who receive OAS and meet income eligibility