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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: January 01, 2019
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07 Core Essential

Core Essential

Income and Employment Supports Act, Schedule, sections 5(1)(a), 4(a) and 6 and Table 1
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 2(1), 2(2) and 2(3) 
Ministerial Order No 2018-19, Appendix A: Core Essential Payment Rates


The intent of the Core Essential benefit is to cover monthly needs listed below based on household composition, household type, and ages of children.


Core Essential covers the following items:

  • Food (except for a household unit living in an approved home, a group home, a hospital, or a nursing home)  
  • Clothing, including diapers
  • Household needs
  • Personal needs
  • Use of a telephone
  • Laundry
  • Basic transportation, including vehicle registration

Core Essential is provided to all clients who reside in private housing, social housing or with family. Core Essential is also provided to individuals who have no shelter requirements.

No additional allowance may be issued for an item covered by Core Essential, unless specific provision is made elsewhere in the ISTHB Regulation.

Where an applicant or recipient is not eligible for Core Essential for a full month, they receive a pro-rated portion based on the number of days remaining to month end.

Core Essential can be backdated for applicants to the date they first requested Income Support.

Where the Core Essential payment is for food only, a food amount may be provided, either for the full month or for a portion of the month required as follows:

  • $147 for an adult in a one adult household unit
  • $140 for each adult in a two adult household unit
  • $85 for each dependent child in the household unit

This may apply for One-Time Issues, particularly client type 81 Transient.

One-Time Issues
When Emergency Allowance benefits are not appropriate to meet the need, clients in client type 81 or 82 are issued the Core Essential for the actual need for that one month.

Foster or Adopted Children
Adopted children who are receiving maximum payments under the Post-Adoption Support Regulation, foster children and children receiving Child Financial Support from Children and Youth Services are not counted as part of the household unit to determine Core Essential. ISTHB Regulation Section 1(2)(b)


LISA will default to the Core Essential rate when the worker uses the PF10 key in Client Budget for all household types except One-Time Issues when the Living Arrangement is ‘1’ Private Housing, ‘2’ Living with Family, ‘6’ Social Housing or ‘7’ No Shelter.

To ensure LISA defaults the right Core Essential rate, the worker must ensure the Living Arrangement fields displayed in Client Budget are correct and that Budget Status ‘1’ is entered. Workers can change Living Arrangement in Client Budget.

Rate Adjustment

In a household unit with 18 and 19 year old dependants, the LISA system will automatically issue a Child Supplement Allowance as part of the Core Essential.

Living Arrangements Eligible for Core Essential

1   Private Housing
2   Living with Family
6   Social Housing
7   No Shelter

Budget Status

1   Maximum Core Essential

Need Code 1430 Core Essential
Need Code 1839 Core Essential/One-Time Issue