Special needs assistance for seniors

The Special Needs Assistance (SNA) for Seniors program provides a lump-sum payment to eligible low-income seniors. This program provides assistance with allowable one-time extraordinary personal expenses.

A senior’s total annual income, residence and marital status, and the expense requested are used to determine the amount funded. The maximum assistance available is $5,000 in a benefit year based on information provided on your federal income tax return.

Available assistance

Assistance is available for allowable special needs such as appliances, essential home repairs and some medical expenses.

General eligibility

To be considered for the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program, you must:

  1. Have applied to the Alberta Seniors Benefit program, or submit a Seniors Financial Assistance application.
  2. Be 65.
  3. Be an Alberta resident. 
  4. Be a Canadian citizen or have been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence.
  5. May not have voluntarily deffered the receipt of Old Age Security.

A single senior with a total combined annual income of $25,800 or less, or a senior couple with a total combined annual income of $41,900 or less may be eligible to receive assistance.

  • If you receive a Special Needs Assistance for Seniors benefit, you may be asked to provide receipts (an accounting) for the goods and/or services funded by the program.
  • If your request for benefits is denied or if you disagree with the amount of benefits you receive, you can appeal the decision.
  • If you have questions or require additional information, please call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992, or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton.

Benefit year

The benefit year starts July 1 of one year and finishes June 30 of the following year. Special Needs Assistance eligibility is based on the date of service.