Welfare Cash Link Information

May 10, 2011

Welfare Cash Link Information

Eskasoni Social Development is in the process of exploring our traditional method of issuing cheques to our Social Development clients, to a new modern way with a Cash Link Debit Card. This Debit Card can be used anywhere that displays the Interac logo and no Bank account is required. Eskasoni Social Development continuously striving to provide better services to the community of Eskasoni.

The North West Company has developed a national payroll program specific to Canadian First Nation communities. Our “white label” debit card called CashLink has been in use for over 5 years. It is used the same as any major bank debit card. It comes with a 4 digit pin and can be used at any ATM for withdrawing cash or any store for making purchases. Many First Nations across Canada have been using this program for a number of years with great success.

  • No credit check or bank account required
  • No monthly fee for the card
  • If card is lost or stolen funds can be recovered unlike losing cash
  • No more cheque cashing fees or having to spend a percentage of your cheque in a store to be able to cash it
  • No more line ups at the Social Development office to receive cheques
  • The card will be issued through your Eskasoni Social Development.
  • Can be used anywhere in North America to make purchases or receive money from an ATM machine, in addition to buying products you can even use it to get cash back at many retailers
  • Assists you to stretch funds over the month so you do not have to carry a large amount of cash and you can carry a balance over into the next month
  • Tried and tested by a number of First Nations Communities
  • Decreases the stigma of cashing social assistance cheques. Cashlink debit cards will appear like any anonymous cash card.
  • Cardholder accounts are not linked to any other account and can not be garnished

Transaction Fees
Load fee: $3.00

*note that the load fee will be covered 50/50 by client and Social Development. The client will pay $1.50 and Social will pay $1.50 as well.

Interact Purchase                                              $1.00
Statement copies (available on line for free)     Free
Monthly fees                                                      Free
Balance Inquire (on line for free)                       Free
Canadian ATM Withdrawl                                  $2.50
In Addition, Eskasoni Social Development and the Eskasoni Foodland (Market) have agreed that “Cash Backs” will be made available to clients with no additional charges when a debit purchase is made at the “Market”.
For example: A single person on room and board gets $160.12 B/W
An individual makes a debit purchase at Eskasoni Food Land for $10.00 for groceries/tobacco.
$160.12 minus load fee of $1.50 b/w leaves $158.62.
Debit purchase of $10.00 made plus Interact purchase fee of $1.00 equals $11.00.
This would leave 147.62 for a “cash back” from Foodland at no extra charge.
It will cost the individual $2.50 all together in fees to get “cash” out of their card when they make their purchase.
In addition this card will operate the same as a normal bank card. Only the individual assigned a card will have access to the card with a 4 digit pin number. Pin numbers should not be given to anyone else but the cardholder. Eskasoni Social Development will not have access to your transaction or account history. These cards do not operate like the “food stamps” in the United States. Clients will be free to make purchases or cash withdraws anywhere in North America. Like a typical bank card there are fee as indicated above. This card system will benefit the client to where you will not have to pick up cheques at the Welfare department. Funds will be in the cards automatically on welfare days. This is the same as direct deposit except you do not need a bank account to enroll. Funds cannot be garnished by anyone. Unlike a bank account your funds can be garnished. Individuals will not be limited to the use of the card. You can make as many transactions and purchases as you wish. Just like a normal bank card, the more transactions you make the more fees you get. You could make a purchase with this card and ask for a cash back all in the same transaction. It will cost $2.50. Cash backs will be available at Eskasoni Market at no extra charge. Again you are not limited to where you make your purchase or to what you buy. This is just an option for our community for convenience to social clients.
There have been no decisions made to move ahead with this by council. Direction was only given to explore the idea and to further look into it in more detail. Please do not hesitate to ask for more information regarding this. Information will also be distributed with the welfare cheques on Thursday May 12, 2011. Please call 902-379-2826 for more information.
You can download the PDF in the downloadable forms section on the main page at the bottom, or click on the social assistance department, or by clicking HERE.