When it rains it pours...
Inflation and interest continue to go up making it harder and harder for Albertans to make ends meet. You are not alone. If you are finding it difficult to pay for your utilities and other household essentials there are resources offered through a variety of platforms as well as programing through the provincial and federal government.
Below are a few sites that could help if you're experiencing financial instability or hardship.
Remember it's okay to ask for help!
Click on the computer icon at the end of each description to be taken directly to their website. If you're worried about making your next gas payment please don't hesitate to call our office.
Utilities Consumer Advocate
INFORMATION, PROTECTION, REPRESENTATION
The UCA's responsibilities are outlined in the Government Organization Act, Schedule 13.1 and the Utilities Consumer Advocate Regulation.
The UCA has a mandate to educate and mediate for Alberta’s small business, farm, and residential electricity, natural gas and water consumers, and advocate for energy consumers.
We educate through a wide range of outreach and engagement activities.
We advocate by representing the interests of residential, farm, and small business consumers in regulatory proceedings.
We mediate disputes between consumers and utility companies and have a team of mediation officers who provide advice and information on energy-related issues like energy choice and charges on a utility bill.
FAMILY & SOCIAL SUPPORT APPLICATION
Alberta Supports can help you access more than 30 programs and 120 services for seniors, people with disabilities, job seekers, parents and families, homelessness, financial assistance, abuse, and family violence prevention.
All Alberta Support Centre services are available online and by phone. For in-person services, call or visit your local Alberta Supports Office.
If you are currently receiving AISH or Income Support benefits or services and you are in need of assistance, please call your caseworker or your local office. Staff are available to take your call from Monday to Friday, between 8:15 am to 4:30 pm.
For all other enquiries about Alberta Supports programs, call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992, or in Edmonton 780-644-9992.
Alberta Emergency Financial Assistance
EMERGENCY NEEDS ALLOWANCE
If you are facing an unexpected emergency, you can apply for emergency financial assistance. You can get help when:
a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
it presents a severe health risk, and
you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque.
This allowance can cover costs for:
food, clothing, child care*, transportation
damage deposit*, temporary shelter
utility & eviction arrears*
you must repay this money if you need help with these arrears more than once
You must provide proof of need, such as:
an arrears statement or eviction notice
a utility bill or statement for utility arrears
proof from a reliable source that the item is essential, like an unsafe wiring notice from the fire department
You can apply for the Emergency Needs Allowance if:
you are a current Income Support client, or
you are an Albertan earning an income, but you do not have enough money to cover this one-time, short-term emergency that will last no longer than a month, and
you meet the Income Support program eligibility requirements
If you require these emergency benefits, please call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 for more information on how to apply.
Outside of regular business hours
If you are facing an emergent need for food, medication, temporary shelter or emergency basic dental services, call the Income Support Contact Centre (available 24/7) toll free at 1-866-644-5135 for an assessment.
INFORMATION & REFERRAL SYSTEM
211 is an essential service that helps Albertans find the right resource or service for whatever issue they need help with, at the right time. 211 is available 24/7 by phone, text and/or chat. The service is free, confidential and available in over 170 languages over the phone.
It can be overwhelming trying to locate and connect with the resources your unique household needs. 211 has organized resources for you and can assist in navigating you to as many beneficial programs as possible.
For community and government agencies, 211 facilitates the effectiveness of front line delivery of community services, links current and available supports to front line service providers, and facilitates direct interface with clients.
CREDIT COUNSELLING AGENCY
With six locations across Alberta, Money Mentors helps Albertans get out of debt, manage their money, and plan for retirement. They promote financial health throughout the province and invest in Alberta’s youth. Through financial literacy presentations they not only provide educational resources to schools and help prepare students for the future they assist individuals with financial programs and literacy.
Whether you’re brushing up on your financial skills and education, learning how to manage your money better or paying off your debts. They can review eligibility for Canada's Orderly Repayment of Debts programs, assess potential need for debt consolidation and provide credit/budget counselling.
If your household is struggling to keep ahead of financial obligations you can complete a free financial needs assessment in person or over the phone.