Step 1: Learning about benefits

Find benefits that match their situation


It can be hard to find out what benefits someone is eligible for since the information is spread across different websites and can be complex or confusing.

It can also be a challenge to sift through all available benefits and find the ones that just apply to a person’s specific situation.

Using the Benefits wayfinder and/or the knowledge of your experienced staff, you can help people find the specific benefits that match their situation.

  • Funding — It takes about 30 minutes or more to first meet with a client using the Benefits Wayfinder. If your organization has flexible funding or will only be doing this work occasionally, you may not need additional funding, otherwise we recommend seeking additional funding for this work.
  • Staff time — Staff will need time to research benefits, be trained on the topic, and to work with community members one-on-one. Staff training time can range from 1-10 hours. Staff who have experience or understanding of finances and/or benefits will require less training (1-2 hours) vs. someone new to the subject who may need 10 hours or more.
  • Expertise — Some specific expertise around benefits is required. The Benefits Wayfinder is a good tool to gain knowledge and train staff on benefits.
  • Technology — Staff and clients will need access to computers and the internet to access benefits information, such as through the Benefits Wayfinder.
  • Promotional materials — Sharing materials to describe and promote the program/service within the community or to other local organizations will help build awareness within your community.

Working with community members to find the benefits that best apply to their specific situation takes 30 minutes or more per session. This service can be added to tax filing or settlement services, or as a stand-alone session specifically to address applying to benefits.

You should be prepared to do the following:

  • Orient staff to the Benefits Wayfinder tool and other supporting resources. You can take the Prosper Canada online course Foundations of Access to Benefits to get started.
  • Find benefits on the Benefits Wayfinder that are relevant to your community. For example, if you primarily serve seniors, click on the “I am a senior / retired person” Starting Point on the main page to find related benefits.
  • Create personas based on the community members you serve and practice using to the tool to become familiar with the benefits available to them.
  • Review the list of key benefits people are eligible for in your province or territory.
  • Meet with community members one-on-one to review the benefits that best match their situation (approximate time 30-60 minutes per session).

  • Provide community members with the list of key benefits or create your own based on the population you serve. If possible, book time to review this list in a one-on-one or group session.
  • The ‘Starting points’ feature of the Benefits Wayfinder is a good way to get started in creating a list of benefits for a specific population.
  • If your organization has lunch and learns or professional development sessions, you could present the Benefits Wayfinder to staff and explore the benefits specific to your community members.
  • If you are only helping with benefit exploration, or if you are new to benefit services and encounter complexities, find organizations in your community that can help with accessing these benefits and filling out documents. You can start by browsing the Help section of the Benefits Wayfinder.
  • If you are currently not providing this service, research other local organizations that are so you can make an informed referral.

  • Thunder Bay Counselling has a financial counselling program that uses the Benefits Wayfinder to help clients identify benefits they may not know they are eligible for.
  • E4c helps community members Make Tax Time Pay using the Benefits Wayfinder.

Other supports that might interest you

No cards. Check filters.

Crtitical supports you can provide throughout your client's entire journey

No cards. Check filters.

Best practices

Get practical tools, methods, and advice. Learn from other organizations who are already providing access to benefits services by accessing this collection of their best practices.

Best practices