Welfare in Canada involves all government sponsored programs that provide financial assistance or essential services to Canadian citizens. Canada offers its citizens a wide variety of welfare services and programs. In most instances, welfare in Canada is regulated and overseen by each individual province within the country. Therefore, a province, such as Ontario, will be responsible for providing welfare benefits to citizens who reside within that province.
The welfare programs that are offered in Canada range from low cost health care, to Old Age Security, to Employment Insurance. Welfare benefits can be provided in the form of direct financial assistance or in the form of certain financial loans, such as student loans. The mandatory primary education in Canada is also considered to be a part of the country's welfare program.
In Canada, health care is universal and funded publicly. This provides all Canadian citizens with affordable health care services and helps to ensure that all citizens have access to the medical care that they need. Each province is responsible for offering affordable health care plans and providing medial care. The Canadian government also provides citizens with the ability to collect unemployment benefits, or Employment Insurance, in the event that they are laid off.
While employed, an individual is required to pay money into a financial pool. If he/she is laid off, he/she will be able to collect unemployment. The amount depends upon his/her employment history and his/he previous salary. Individuals who are suffering from poverty or a low income may qualify for financial assistance through social welfare in Canada, such as Social Assistance or Income Support.