Programs and service delivery overview – Service Canada

On this page

  1. In-person service network
  2. Outreach
  3. Passport service delivery
  4. Social Insurance Number Program
  6. ESDC on and Secure Portals
  7. 1 800 O-Canada and Customized Information Services
  8. Social Security Tribunal
  9. Service Delivery Partnerships
  10. Office of Client Satisfaction
  11. Reaching All Canadians
  12. Benefits Delivery Modernization

1. In-Person Service Network


Service Canada's In-person service network supports the delivery of services and information for the Government of Canada. Over 93.4% of Canadian citizens live within a 50 km radius of 1 of Service Canada's in-person point of service. According to the 2019 to 2020 Citizen Service Branch Client Experience Survey, In-person is an important channel for citizens to interact with government, with the highest overall satisfaction rate among all service delivery channels at 86%.

As of March 31, 2021, there are 604 in-person points of service across the country including 317 Service Canada Centres, 247 scheduled outreach sites, 25 Service Canada Centre Passport Service sites, and 15 Service Delivery Partner sites. Most Service Canada Centres have reopened since the closure of the network in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

The in-person network:

  • Provides information, application intake and access support for Government of Canada programs and services
  • Provides support to clients who require one-on-one assistance due to complex program needs and barriers to access
  • Provides support for access to digital platforms, including guiding clients to self-serve on computer workstations
  • Helps clients with pathfinding by transferring to specialized call centres or redirecting to other levels of government, and
  • Builds strong community relationships and supports effective partnering with other levels of government to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable clients

Canadians can also request assistance from the in-person network by completing an online request form through eServiceCanada. Once received, a Citizen Service Officer (CSO) will call the client within 2 business days. If in-person assistance is required, the CSO will book an appointment for the client at a nearby Service Canada Centre. A toll-free telephone service, the Service Canada Outreach Support Centre also ensures access to service targeting Indigenous and vulnerable clients.

The target populations for this program are clients experiencing barriers to accessing programs and services and those with complex needs, including senior citizens, Indigenous communities, persons with disabilities, E-vulnerable citizens and citizens in remote communities

Service Canada's In-person network is divided into 4 regions:

  • Atlantic (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Western Canada and Territories (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon Territories, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut)

Each region is responsible for its own staffing and operations. A centralized unit in headquarters provides leadership through functional and strategic direction, developing operational support tools and directives, coordinating initiatives of common interest and engaging with the regions to ensure the consistent delivery of services and programs.

Policy Lead: Citizen Service Branch

Service delivered by: Service Canada Regions

2. Outreach (Community Outreach Liaison Service)


The Community Outreach and Liaison Service (COLS) program reaches the most vulnerable populations to provide access to government services and benefits. COLS is designed to remove barriers and ensure substantive equality for all vulnerable Canadians. To accomplish this, COLS staff engage with stakeholders and communities to develop an approach based on service delivery tailored to specific needs.

Staff travel to pre-determined locations, typically in rural or remote areas that are otherwise underserved, to answer questions, guide clients through online services and forms, and help clients access services and benefits they are entitled to.

As part of this program, Service Canada builds and maintains relationships with all on reserve, remote and northern Indigenous communities, and visits these communities at least once annually to provide services. Outreach teams conducted 1,287 visits in 646 Indigenous communities in 2019 to 2020.

In response to COVID-19, the Outreach Support Centre was added as an alternate service delivery mechanism. This dedicated toll-free phone service is designed for vulnerable people facing barriers, such as lack of a computer or internet, who require support in accessing benefits and services.

Policy Lead: N/A

Service delivered by: ESDC / Service Canada regional staff

3. Passport Service Delivery


As delegated by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), ESDC is responsible for the delivery of the Passport Program in Canada. This includes the management of ESDC's passport call centres and 2 passport processing centres, and the intake and processing of passport applications submitted in-person (at its 25 Service Canada Centre-Passport Services sites and 317 Service Canada Centres) and by mail, including those from the United States. As of December 31, 2020, there were 24.5 million valid passports in circulation. In 2019 to 2020, Service Canada issued 2.3 million passports.

The overall Passport Program mandate lies with IRCC, which is responsible for the issuance of special passports to eligible Canadian citizens, and other travel documents to permanent residents, refugees and other protected persons accepted by CanadaFootnote 1. In addition, IRCC is responsible for the management of the Passport Program's Revolving Fund, which allows for the accumulation and carry-over of surplus revenues to offset future shortfalls and to provide flexibility to meet passport volume fluctuations.

The cost of the Program is fully funded by service fees paid by passport applicants, with no funding from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. ESDC cannot use its appropriations to fund the cost of its passport delivery activities, but instead uses the government's interdepartmental process to recover its costs from IRCC.

The Passport Program is governed by the following legislation or policies:

  • Canadian Passport Order
  • Order Respecting the Issuance of Diplomatic and Special Passports
  • Revolving Funds Act
  • Service Fees Act
  • Financial Administration Act
  • Passport and Other Travel Document Service Fees Regulations, and
  • Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities

Policy Lead: IRCC, as the owner of the Program, leads all Passport-related policies; however, ESDC and IRCC collaborate on the development and operationalization of these policies.

Service delivered by: ESDC/Service Canada in Canada. IRCC delivers refugee travel documents, certificates of identity, diplomatic and special passports. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) delivers the program abroad through its Missions (except for applications mailed from the United States, which are processed by ESDC).

List of key stakeholders

  • IRCC is responsible for the program and its policies around issuing, revoking, withholding, and the recovery and use of Canadian passports (including policy framework and development, functional guidance, programming, finances, integrity, and IT platform)
  • ESDC is responsible for providing routine Passport Service Delivery functions in Canada, financial and human resource management, passport application intake and production, performance reviews, quality assurance, and validation of remissions entitlements
  • GAC is responsible for passport services abroad through its missions, with the exception of Canadians residing in the United States that must mail their application to ESDC. Missions in the United States only provide passport services to Canadians with urgent passport needs
  • Canada Post Corporation delivers passports to individuals domestically, and
  • Members of Parliament can also receive and route passport applications to ESDC for processing

4. Social Insurance Number Program


Introduced in 1964, the Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number used as a client or account number that is required for every person working in insurable or pensionable employment in Canada and to file income tax returns. It is used, among other things, to deliver over $120 billion in benefits and collect over $300 billion in taxes. It also plays a vital role in the sound management of 34 government programs and services. In addition, the SIN is collected in the private sector by employers for income tax and benefit purposes, and by financial institutions (such as banks, credit unions and trust companies) for accounts and investments that pay income (for example, interest and dividends).

The SIN program is always trying to balance service to Canadians with a high level of integrity and security. As such, the SIN Program has a robust SIN application and identity validation processes, for each of the service delivery channels: online; in-person at Service Canada Centres; through provincial birth registration (SIN@Birth); or, by mail. Applicants are required to provide their original proof of identity that is validated, with the issuing source – provincial statistical agencies for a birth certificate for those born in Canada or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for documents of those not born in Canada. Applicants applying online or in-person are also required to provide a secondary identification, and a proof of address (for online applications only). All information related to each SIN record, including the personal information provided by clients in support of their SIN application, is housed in the Social Insurance Register, which is used, by Service Canada programs and electronic applications such as My Service Canada Account to validate the identity of program applicants.

The SIN is the responsibility of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) as legislated by the Department of Employment and Social Development Act and the Social Insurance Number Regulations. CEIC has delegated the responsibility for issuing and administering SINs to the Integrity Services Branch within the Department of ESDC.

The SIN Program has 3 principal lines of business:

  • Issuing SINs and maintaining the database which contains more than 55 million SIN records
  • Exchanging and validating identity information for SIN-enabled Government of Canada and Government of Québec programs and services, and
  • Improving data integrity by validating identity documents with provincial Vital Statistic Agencies and IRCC

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Context

The Provinces and Territories are the Government of Canada's authoritative source of identity information for those born in Canada. The Vital Event Linkages (VEL) initiative between Service Canada and the provinces provides for the secure exchange of client information reduces duplication of effort and improves the integrity of benefits delivery. Through this program, not only are we able to confirm the accuracy of birth certificates with provinces in real time, we are able to issue SINs for newborns with the highest level of accuracy possible, and receive death information on behalf of the programs connected to the Social Insurance Register.

Through the VEL, parents of newborns in each province can apply for their child's SIN through the Newborn Registration Service (SIN@Birth) by completing the SIN application portion of the birth registration. To date, agreements are in place and fully implemented with all 10 provinces (not currently in the territories).

Key program statistics

The Program provides SIN to eligible individuals (more than 1.8 million SIN transactions – including first time SINs, SIN confirmation and change of records – for the public yearly):

  • Online: Since April 2020, Clients can apply online to obtain a SIN (730,000 transactions in 2020 to 2021)
  • In-person: Clients can visit a Service Canada Centre in-person to obtain a SIN (419,000 transactions in 2020 to 2021)
  • Newborn Registration Services (SIN@Birth): Parents can apply for a SIN while registering the child's birth with the province (332,000 in 2020 to 2021), and
  • By mail: Clients can obtain a SIN by mailing a SIN application form and an original proof of identity document that proves the identity (25,800 applications in 2020 to 2021)

Policy Lead: Integrity Services Branch

Service delivered by: Service Canada

List of key stakeholders

There are 34 departments and programs across the federal government and the Government of Quebec that are authorized to use the SIN, such as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Statistics Canada, Department of Justice, the Canada Border Services Agency, Employment Insurance / Canada Pension Plan / Old Age Security, Canada Student Loan Program, and Retraite Québec.

SIN holders, employers, financial institutions and creditors are also regarded as important stakeholders through their use of the SIN to report earnings/interests andin keeping with its commitment to to access programs respectively.

Identity validation partners: Provinces (for applicants born in Canada), and IRCC (for those born abroad).

Public environment

Following the recent data breaches (Desjardins and Capital One), the SIN program is working with ESDC programs to review their current authentication practices to remove compromised information (including the SIN) while adding program-specific information as security questions. The Program is also undertaking a review of its communication products to raise awareness on the SIN use and protection against identity theft/fraud.



The Principal Publisher, whom is apart of the Digital Service Directorate in the Client Services Branch, leads the operations surrounding

The website was transferred from Public Works and Government Services Canada to ESDC in 2005 through an Order in Council. It was assigned to the Minister of ESDC in March 2014 to support the online presence of the Government of Canada and its institutions on the Government of Canada's official website,

ESDC is responsible for as described by subsection 5.1 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act and is the Principal Publisher for the website under the Government of Canada Directive on the Management of Communications.

Established in 2014 under the Web Renewal Initiative, Principal Publisher manages key digital services such as:

  • the Managed Web Service underpinning, which includes a content management system, web analytics, cyber defence, a content distribution network, and web hosting services
  • Government of Canada web search capabilities, and
  • Government of Canada social media account management

These core services are to receive centralized funding through fiscal year 2025 to 2026, as announced in the 2020 fall economic statement.

The Principal Publisher supports the Government of Canada digital presence on and other Government of Canada websites by:

  • managing the digital products and services that run and associated services such as the Government of Canada Newsroom application, the Government of Canada search service, Government of Canada digital analytics services and Government of Canada social media account management
  • being the Government of Canada technical authority for the digital products and services, and the point of contact with the vendors for issues management
  • supporting federal organizations with account management, operational guidance and training, and service desk functions, and
  • ensuring the Government of Canada online information is accessible, secure and available to the public 100% of the time is designed to target Canadians and the international public. It has seen 2.8 billion visits since it launched in 2015 and remains at the core of the Government of Canada Emergency Response Plan. It services approximately 80% of all federal web traffic, resulting in being the single-window to Canada's services, benefits and programs.

With the onset of the pandemic, saw record-breaking traffic (peaking at 185 million visits in April 2020), record-breaking cyber-attempts (over 2.2 million malicious hits blocked since March 2020) and the highest demand in publishing in the history of Despite these records, there was no degradation of service for Canadians, remaining 100% secure, reliable and available.

Currently 82 institutions publish news to the platform (Health Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, etc.) and 28 institutions are fully on-boarded (publishing, analytics, cybersecurity, etc.).

Having over 1500 publishers across the Government of Canada proficient on the common platform facilitates collaboration between departments to help one another during publishing surges and enables technical solutions to be replicated for similar situations.

In addition, the Principal Publisher administers other core services such as social media account management, utilized by 79 departments to manage over 3,500 official Government of Canada social media accounts. Furthermore, it provides a center of excellence for a common analytical tool for digital services that departments can use to measure their individual digital presence.

Policy Lead: Treasury Board Secretariat

Service delivered by: Principal Publisher, Digital Services Directorate, Citizen Service Branch

List of key stakeholders

  • Co-led with Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Privy Council Office, and
  • All Government of Canada departments and institutions

6. ESDC on and Secure Portals


The Citizen Service Branch's Web and Secure Portals functions support easy, fast and convenient access to ESDC information and services via the Government of Canada website (, including secure portal access for individuals, businesses and organizations to transact with ESDC and its partners.

The program delivers:

  • content, including over 14,500 web pages for ESDC, Service Canada and Labour
  • My Service Canada Account (MSCA), providing a secure service since 2005 that enables clients to self-serve, view and update their personal information for Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security
  • My Service Canada Business Account, offering secure online services to businesses and organizations, including the Record of Employment on the Web and Grants and Contribution Online System tools
  • A Benefits and Services Finder, helping visitors verify personal eligibility for nearly 900 federal/provincial/territorial programs and services
  • Innovative digital assistants on, including the MSCA Registration chatbot, the Passport Services chatbot, a pilot Government of Canada COVID-19 Benefits Finder, and a COVID-19 Virtual Assistant, and
  • content and digital assistants to support digital-first service and call volume reduction for key partners with Service Canada call centre support (for example, the Public Health Agency of Canada)

Key program statistics

  • 259 million visits to ESDC/Service Canada/Labour's 14,500 pages on in 2020
  • 80 million logins to MSCA in 2020 from over 1.5 million accounts; almost triple increase in logins compared to 2019
  • 1.2 million visits to the Benefits and Services Finder on in 2020
  • 2.8 million questions to the MSCA chatbot since launch in February 2020
  • 1.1 million COVID-19 Virtual Assistant sessions since March 2020, and
  • 1.6 million visits to the COVID-19 Benefits Finder since launch in May 2020

Policy lead: Citizen Service Branch

Service delivered by: Citizen Service Branch

List of key stakeholders

  • All ESDC, Service Canada and Labour Program programs and services
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Treasury Board Secretariat, and
  • Privy Council Office

7. 1 800 O-Canada and Customized Information Services


The Government of Canada Telephone General Enquiries Services support Canadians through 1 800 O-Canada as well as Customized Information Services (CIS). The Program began as a telephone referral service with Public Works and Government Services Canada in 1982, and was transitioned from Public Works and Government Services Canada to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada through an Order-in-Council signed on September 12, 2005. Since then, the Cost Recovery Authorities for the Program have been consolidated under Department of Employment and Social Development Act section 5.2 in June 2018. The program is delivered from Montreal and Toronto.

1 800 O-Canada provides a single point of contact for Canadians to access quick, up-to-date government information over the phone. It acts as the first point of contact for general information on all Government of Canada programs, services, initiatives and events including public consultation and citizen engagement activities. It supports key government priorities and messaging, including those outlined in the Budget and Speech from the Throne. As part of the Government Emergency Response Plan, it supports communication needs in crisis situations. 1 800 O-Canada answers approximately 1.7 million Tier 1 general enquiries annually (2,051,137 calls were answers in fiscal 2020 to 2021).

1 800 O-Canada provides high accessibility (service standard target is 80% of calls answered within 18 seconds); bilingual services available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday across all Canadian time zones, and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from outside Canada; live TTY access for hearing impaired callers; direct access (only a simple language selection menu answer system) to professional, knowledgeable service officers that provides an initial needs assessment to identify the client's requirements, detailed information related to the client's enquiry and an action plan to pursue, access and interact with suitable Government of Canada programs and services.

CIS provides support to Canadians for other Government of Canada departments or partners that require a service delivery expert to meet their communication needs, which includes ongoing requirements, targeted campaigns and temporary needs in crisis situations. Canadians who require specialized information are connected to, or are directed to, appropriate online resources, program call centres or in-person resources. Approximately 40 CIS general information services including phone and email services are in operation on any given year and between 600 000 and 1 million client interactions are handled through these services (857,056 calls and 109,312 emails were answered for CIS in fiscal 2020 to 2021). The CIS environment is dynamic and services are regularly launched, or ended, as per the separate service level agreements established with each client departments, programs and services. High profile client departments includes Elections Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Policy Lead: Citizen Service Branch

Service delivered by: Citizen Service Branch

List of key stakeholders

  • Privy Council Office
  • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and
  • All Government of Canada Institutions and other partners

8. Social Security Tribunal


The Social Security Tribunal (SST) is an independent administrative tribunal created in April 2013 to review appeals of decisions made for the Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and Old Age Security (OAS) programs. The SST is led by a Governor in Council appointed Chairperson who provides overall strategic vision and direction.

The SST operates with 2 levels of appeals:

  • The General Division, for appeals by clients disagreeing with a EI reconsideration decision made by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC), and initial decisions for CPP and OAS made by ESDC, and
  • The Appeals Division, for appeals by clients or ESDC/CEIC disagreeing with a decision made by the General Division

In 2017, ESDC reviewed the SST and to assess its efficiency, fairness and transparency. In January 2018, ESDC publicly released the report with a commitment to make meaningful changes to the recourse process to make it more client-centric, faster and simpler, and a commitment to engage stakeholders in the renewal of the overall recourse process.

ESDC is working to implement changes that will transform the appeal process to be simpler and more efficient, for example by reengineering current business processes, which will identify opportunities for eliminating or reducing duplication and low value steps throughout the recourse process.

In keeping with the commitment to engage stakeholders in the renewal of the overall recourse process, ESDC developed an engagement strategy to ensure that the views of stakeholders are heard and considered as options are being explored and implemented.

To make the recourse process for EI, CPP, and OAS easier to navigate and more responsive to the needs of Canadians, Budget 2019 proposed to invest $253.8 million over 5 years, starting in 2019 to 2020, with $56.7 million per year ongoing. This investment was to support a series of proposed changes that build on the recommendations of a 2017 independent review of the SST to ensure that recourse decision timelines are shortened at every stage of the process.

The Government's key focus in 2020 to 2021 has been to support Canadians during the pandemic with timely, effective measures that could be delivered quickly and efficiently. As such, it was not feasible to implement legislative changes associated with EI recourse process in April 2021, as originally planned.

The Government, in keeping with its commitment to uphold transparent and consistent communications, notified stakeholders of the delays surrounding the implementation of SST reform initiatives for EI.

Instead, changes to the EI recourse process will continue to advance in parallel with the EI system for the 21st century's work announced in the September 23, 2020, Speech from the Throne, and reinforced in Budget 2021. Stakeholders will be consulted as part of that process.

Budget 2021 also confirmed the next step in implementing SST reforms for Income Security programs, including CPP and OAS to make the recourse process more client-centric, simpler and faster. A series of proposed changes are being planned and advanced, to continue to build on improvements to the SST in its current form, as well as the recommendations outlined in the 2017 comprehensive independent review.

Policy Lead: Skills and Employment Branch and the Income Security and Social Development

Service delivered by: SST

List of key stakeholders

  • The unemployed who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and those unable to work for medical reasons
  • People who are away from work because they're pregnant or have recently given birth and parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child
  • Caregivers of people that are critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care
  • CPP contributors and their families that are affected by disability or death
  • Seniors, including those on low-incomes
  • EI Commissioner for Workers and Commissioner for Employers
  • Unions and advocates for the unemployed
  • Advocates for people with disabilities, and
  • Retirement associations and advocates

9. Service Delivery Partnership program


The Service Delivery Partnership (SDP) program (previously named Other Government Departments Program) encompasses services delivered to the public by ESDC for partners, as well as services to the public delivered by partners for ESDC. Partners can include federal institutions, provinces and territories, municipalities, specified Indigenous organizations and non-profit corporations or public bodies that perform a function for a previously mentioned partner.

Authorities under Part 1, Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA) allow the Department to respond where appropriate to requests from partners, both within the federal government and from other jurisdictions, to engage in partnership arrangements for the benefit of Canadians.

Through the SDP, partners can leverage ESDC's experience and extensive service delivery network to deliver the services they require. This allows for more efficient service delivery for government programs, by avoiding the need for each partner to build their own service delivery infrastructure.

Services provided to Canadians include but are not limited to:

  • provision of basic and detailed program and service information
  • application intake and review client authentication
  • validation of identity documents
  • processing and issuance of payments
  • quick and direct access to specialized agents, and
  • provision of boardroom or office space in the In-Person service delivery network

This program is designed to provide services to Canadians and/or public by delivering government services through a single point of contact. However, indirectly SDPs can include partnerships whereby a benefit/program is paid on behalf of the partner.

For services delivered by ESDC for partners, the program is derived from statutory authority (DESDA, Part 1, Sections 5.1). However the department has discretion into entering a partnership or not.

Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA), Part 1, Sections 5.1. and 5.2, (for services delivered by ESDC for partners).

Policy Lead: Citizen Service Branch

Service delivered by: ESDC and Partner's service delivery networks

List of key stakeholders

  • Other departments and/or agencies such as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Canada Revenue Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Provinces and Territories including the Government of North West Territories and Alberta
  • Municipalities
  • Specified Indigenous organizations, and
  • Non-profit corporations or public bodies that perform a function for any of the previously listed Partners

10. Office of Client Satisfaction


The Office for Client Satisfaction (OCS) plays a key role in supporting Service Canada's commitment to providing fair, open and transparent client service. As part of the Strategic Directions Directorate within the Citizen Services Branch in ESDC, the OCS contact centre receives, reviews and responds to client suggestions, compliments and complaints about Service Canada's delivery of services.

The OCS is the 3rd of the client complaint escalation process for Service Canada. Clients are expected to contact the OCS only after having tried to resolve their issue at the local level with a representative and then a supervisor.

Clients can contact the OCS via:

Since February 2020, the OCS is also officially responsible for intake of accessibility-related feedback for ESDC via the "Accessibility at ESDC" page on

The OCS serves as an early warning system for new/developing issues that arise when new benefits become available to Canadians and/or there are changes in service delivery (for example, those resulting from the pandemic).

Service standards

The OCS currently observes 2 service standards:

  • Feedback is acknowledged personally within 24 hours of receipt, and
  • When fact-finding is required, a program representative will contact the client to discuss or resolve the issue within 7 working days

Sharing feedback with stakeholders and disseminating information

Feedback is shared in a number of ways within the Department:

  • Client-level feedback is shared with Program and Regional collaborators for information and fact-finding
  • Regular reports summarizing feedback are prepared to inform on feedback trends and emerging service delivery issues, and
  • Ad hoc reports are prepared on request

Policy Lead: N/A

Service delivered by: Citizen Service Branch

11. Reaching All Canadians


Reaching All Canadians seeks to increase benefit uptake among marginalized Canadians who are often the most in need. Also referred to as "vulnerable", these include seniors, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, rural and remote residents, E-vulnerable persons, gender diverse persons and racialized Canadians.

While efforts are already being made to improve uptake of our services through a variety of tools and approaches, some Canadians remain unaware or, are aware but not recognizing that the benefits apply to themselves. This can be particularly the case for individuals, who are not already intersecting with federal institutions, have had less than satisfactory interactions with the government previously or for whom there is a significant hurdle. In fact, these persons are often affected by 1 or more of 8 generic barriers: awareness of eligibility, cultural awareness, service design, literacy or numeracy, service availability, policy design, accessibility barrier and language of service.

The Department is advancing in a coordinated matter a horizontal Reaching All Canadians Program of Work aimed at implementing a range of data-driven interventions (short-term and longer-term) to eliminate barriers impeding vulnerable populations across benefit programs. Examples of such interventions include proactive mail-outs and enrollment, call campaigns, language simplification on applications forms, tailoring of communication materials and leveraging community partners.

Over time, the program of work is anticipated to yield a consistent reduction of foregone benefits and an ongoing reduction in the proportion of vulnerable individuals not accessing government benefits to which they are entitled, thus the emphasis being placed on outcomes measurement.

The legislative authority to advance the program of work stems from the Department of Employment and Social Development Act as well as relevant program-specific legislation. Interventions specific to accessibility barriers also respond to the Accessible Canada Act.

Policy Lead: Citizen Service Branch

Service delivered by: All ESDC programs and regions

List of key stakeholders

Reaching All Canadians is a horizontal initiative that requires the collaboration of:

  • Other federal departments delivering services to Canadians (Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Veteran Affairs Canada, etc.)
  • Provincial and Territorial governments
  • all ESDC programs and regions
  • local community stakeholders, and
  • civil society partners and associations

12. Benefits Delivery Modernization


Beginning in 2015, ESDC (inclusive of Service Canada) embarked on a journey to transform the way in which the needs of clients are served.

This large-scale transformation programme, titled Benefits Delivery Modernization (BDM), is designed to deliver improved client experience for the Employment Insurance (EI), Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and other benefits through a modern technology platform, streamlined benefits processing, new digital services, and enhanced service management capabilities. BDM is modernizing IT systems to enable service improvements, which will expand self-service options, reduce wait times, streamline application processes and enable resolution at first point of contact.

BDM is driven by a desire to reduce barriers across programs and provide: a seamless client experience as a way to empower clients with the information necessary to make informed choices about programs and services; the tools to access those programs and services; and integrated channels to support those programs and services.

In the Long-term, the multi-phased BDM programme will make the next generation of benefits processing capable of addressing dynamic client expectations and changing business, economic, and legislative environment while leveraging technological advancements and scalable digital modernization tools.

As of January 2021, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount for EI is $56,300. This means a maximum benefit of $595.00 weekly. OAS payment rates are reviewed in January, April, July and October to ensure they reflect cost of living increases, as measured by the consumer price index. If one is receiving full OAS pension, the maximum monthly payment amount is $626.49 monthly, with income less than $129,581 annually. Other related benefits include the Guaranteed Income Supplement amounts. In total the BDM Platform will support the delivery of over $122 billion in yearly EI, OAS, CPP and other statutory transfer payments to some 9.5 million Canadians.

The Benefits Programs (EI, CPP, and OAS) are statutory. The BDM Programme is discretionary.

Old Age Security Act, CPP, and Employment Insurance Act are the Legislative authority.

Policy Lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch

Service delivered by: Service Canada

List of key stakeholders

  • Shared Services Canada – Technology Infrastructure Enablement, and
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada – Procurement Enablement

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