With tens of thousands of individuals living with one form of disability or another in Alberta, there is a need for a welfare program that caters to the disabled.
As tons of disabled Alberta residents find it hard to work and earn a living, the Alberta government introduced the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), a financial and health-driven program that provides income support as well as health benefits to eligible Albertans.
Due to the severity of their disabilities, many Albertans depend largely on the income they get from disability funds like the AISH.
What is the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)?
The AISH is a government-sponsored welfare program that provides financial assistance and health benefits to residents of Alberta living with severe disabilities. The program provides income support to individuals whose disabilities or medical condition strongly impair their ability to work or get a job and earn a living.
AISH Benefits You May Receive
The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) offers many benefits support to beneficiaries as follows:
The AISH Living Allowance:
This benefit is categorized into two as follows:
- The Standard Living Allowance:
This is the monthly benefit support you may receive if you:
- own or rent your home, apartment, or condo.
- live together with your family or friend.
- live in a private residential group home.
- do not have a home or are homeless.
The amount you may receive is based on your income or the combined incomes of you and your partner or spouse.
- The Modified Living Allowance:
This monthly benefit is available to you if you reside in an approved nursing home, auxiliary or active treatment hospital, or any designated homecare facility.
The amount you may receive is dependent on your income or the combined incomes of you and your partner or spouse. You may also receive a monthly personal allowance.
AISH Child Benefits:
This monthly payment is designed to assist beneficiaries with children or dependents that are under the age of majority.
The amount paid is aimed at offsetting the costs of childcare items and other necessities.
The amount you may receive is based on the number of children or dependents you have in your care.
AISH Health Benefits:
The AISH health benefits provide coverage on health expenses and other health requirements for you, your spouse or partner as well as your children or dependents.
With your AISH Health Benefits Card, which you will receive when you are eligible for the program, you can receive medical supplies and services from your pharmacist, dentist, or any other healthcare providers.
The benefit provides coverage for the following:
- Prescription Drugs: The AISH health benefit provides funds to beneficiaries of the program to help cover the costs of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications as well as other nutritional and health products that you may require.
- Dental Care: The benefits support makes provisions for regular dental checkups, X-rays, fillings, dentures, teeth cleaning and removal as well as other dental services that the beneficiaries might need.
- Eye Care: Beneficiaries of the AISH health benefits also receive eye examinations that occur once every two years. Eye examinations for their children are catered for under Alberta Health Care. Beneficiaries may also receive a pair of glasses every two years while the children or dependents may receive a pair of glasses every year.
- Diabetic Care: The AISH also provides coverage for beneficiaries with diabetes to cover the costs of diabetic supplies like test strips, infusion sets, lancing devices, glucose calibration kits, insulin cartridges, pen needles, syringes as well as Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs), which are available for disabled diabetic children under the age of 18 living in Alberta.
- Emergency Ambulance: Ambulance trips to the emergency room are also covered by the AISH for beneficiaries.
- AADL-Approved Items: Beneficiaries do not have to pay for items approved by the Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) as the costs are covered by the AISH.
AISH Personal Benefits:
The AISH personal benefits offer financial assistance to provide coverage for specific needs that cost more than the beneficiary’s monthly income.
These benefits are designed to cater to the needs of both the beneficiaries and their children or dependents. The amount you may receive is dependent on your income and assets.
The types of personal benefits you may receive include:
- Health-Related Personal Benefits: Beneficiaries may receive financial assistance to cover the costs of health support services, machines, equipment, special diets as well as other medical supplies.
- Personal Benefits for Children: This covers the costs of your child or children’s education as well as an infant or child care.
Other personal benefits you may receive include:
- Assistance in emergencies that put you and your children or dependents at risk.
- Coverage for employment or job training expenses.
- Coverage for the costs of home maintenance.
- Assistance in leaving an abusive home or moving into a new home.
- Coverage for traveling for medical appointments or other approved reasons.
- Coverage for the costs of funeral arrangements.
AISH Payment Dates 2022
The AISH benefit payments are made on the first day of each benefit month. However, if the first of the month falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the payments will be made on the last business day of the previous month.
The 2022 payment dates for the AISH are as follows:
- July 29, 2022
- September 1, 2022
- October 1, 2022
- November 1, 2022
- December 1, 2022
AISH Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to receive the AISH benefits, you must fulfill all the eligibility conditions including the age, residency, and medical, and financial requirements for eligibility.
Age And Residency Requirements:
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You must not be qualified for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
- You must be a resident of Alberta.
- You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent Canadian resident.
- You must not be in any correctional facility or any facility for the mentally ill.
- You must have a disability, impairment, or medical condition that is severe and permanent or likely to persist for a long time.
- Your disability, impairment, or medical condition must be the sole reason you are not able to work to earn a living and not any other reasons like your level of education.
- As a recipient of the AISH program, you must be willing to engage in activities and training that will help you develop or improve your skills to enable you to get a job to earn a living.
To be financially eligible for the AISH, your and your spouse’s or partner’s income and assets are taken into consideration.
The program encourages beneficiaries to work or be employed if they can.
You and your spouse must also apply for other income assistance programs you may be qualified for, like the Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), or the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
Your combined income and assets must not be greater than the allowable limits provided by the AISH program.
The income reported on your and your spouse’s or partner’s income tax return is generally what AISH puts into consideration.
Your income eligibility is affected by the source of income, your marital status, the number of children you have as well as the recipient of the income.
The AISH considers some income sources exempt. That is, the income does not affect how much your AISH monthly living allowance will be. Examples of exempt income include:
- Income tax refunds
- Cash gifts
- Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) payments
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) payments
However, other income sources are considered non-exempt. That is, the income will impact how much money you receive from the AISH program each month.
Other income sources are partially exempt meaning that these income sources may affect your monthly AISH payment amount.
Examples of non-exempt and partially exempt income include:
- Wages earned on a job or any employment income.
- Self-employment income.
- Interest, dividends, or any other passive business income.
- Pension income from Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D), Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), or Employment Insurance (EI).
Assets include valuables like money, investments, vehicles, and properties owned by you and your spouse or partner.
Like the income, the AISH considers some assets as exempt as these do not affect your AISH payment amount. Examples of exempt assets include:
- Your residential home or apartment.
- Your vehicles.
- Personal items like closing.
- Some household items.
- Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs).
- A trust fund.
Other assets are considered non-exempt and can affect your AISH payments amount. However, the combined value of your non-exempt assets should not be greater than $100,000. Examples of non-exempt assets include:
- Savings Accounts
- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).
- Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).
- Cash inheritances.
- Vacation home.
- Recreational vehicles like sports cars.
When you receive an exempt income, the AISH gives 365 days for you to invest the money or put it into an exempt asset otherwise it will be treated as a non-exempt asset.
AISH Benefits: How Much Can You Receive?
If you are eligible for the AISH, you may receive the following amounts for the AISH allowances:
- You may receive up to $1,685 for the monthly living allowance.
- For the modified living allowance, you may receive up to:
- $322 for personal allowance.
- $2,120 for accommodation costs.
- For the child benefit, you may receive:
- $200 for the first child.
- $100 for each additional child or dependent.
If you live in an approved hospital or residential home, your accommodation fees will be covered under the Nursing Homes Operation Regulation.
You may also receive other health benefits and personal benefits for yourself and your child as well as additional benefits for special goods and services.
Click here to check how much you may be eligible to receive.
Income Thresholds and Exemptions
Recipients of the AISH are encouraged to work to the best of their abilities.
If you are single
You can earn up to $1,072 in employment income, and your AISH payment amount will not be affected. Your income will be considered fully exempt.
However, if you earn up to $2,009 as a single employed individual, your income will be considered 50% exempt up to $1,541. That is, your AISH payment will be affected by your income amount.
Also, if you receive income from a passive business or pension plan, up to $300 of the income is fully exempt while the remaining portion is 75% non-exempt.
If you are married or have a family
You can earn up to $2,612 in employment income, and your AISH payment amount will not be affected by your income. Your income will be considered fully exempt.
However, if you earn up to $3,349 in employment income, your income will be considered 50% exempt up to $2,981 and will affect your AISH payment amount.
Also, if you earn income from a passive business or pension plan, up to $875 of the income is fully exempt and the remaining portion is 75% non-exempt.
For recipients of the AISH personal benefits, the combined value of non-exempt assets owned by the beneficiary and spouse or partner should not be worth more than $5,000.
How To Apply for AISH
You can apply for the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) online or by completing the AISH Applicant Form. You will also need to complete your AISH Medical Report Form or have your doctor or physician complete it for you.
After completing the application forms and ensuring that the required documents are included, you should save and print duplicate copies of your application as well as the documents included.
You can submit your AISH Application forms and documents online or by mailing them to:
- AISH, PO Box 17000 Station Main, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4B3
You can also send the documents by fax to 1-877-969-3006 (toll-free for Alberta residents).
After submitting your application form, an AISH caseworker may ask you for additional information or documents where necessary.
You can check your AISH eligibility status by calling 587-759-6810 (if you are in Edmonton) or 1-877-759-6810 (toll-free Alberta).
If your application is approved by the AISH team, you will receive a phone call and a letter telling you that you are eligible for the program.
You will also receive a call or mail to set up an appointment with your AISH caseworker after which you will receive your benefit payments starting from the month you submitted all the necessary documents or information to make you eligible.
If your application is declined, you will receive a letter stating the reason for your ineligibility as well as how to provide the AISH with the necessary information and documents to be eligible.
The letter will also contain the steps you should take to appeal the decision, how to contact the AISH as well as refer you to other financial and health assistance support programs you may be eligible for.
AISH Payment Dates FAQs
What Time Does AISH Get Deposited In 2022?
The AISH payments are deposited at midnight on the first day of each benefit month.
Can You Travel Outside Of Canada While On AISH?
Yes, you can travel outside of Canada while on AISH. However, you will need to contact your AISH case worker at least one week before traveling because the AISH benefits including the AISH Health Benefits card are valid and permitted only in Alberta.
Do You Have To Pay Back AISH?
No, you do not have to pay back AISH because it is a non-taxable income. If you have been overpaid by the AISH, you will receive a Notice of Overpayment from the AISH. You can also appeal the decision within 30 days if you do not agree with the decision. However, if an overpaid AISH benefit becomes a debt, you will have to pay back the part of the benefit that was overpaid.
At What Age Does AISH End?
AISH benefits end when the beneficiary reaches the minimum age of 65 years. This is because, in Canada, when an individual becomes 65 years old, he or she is qualified to receive financial assistance from the Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Support (GIS), and other federal income support programs that cater to seniors.
Does AISH Cover Dentures?
Yes, the AISH health benefit provides coverage for dentures as well as other dental care services such as teeth cleaning, fillings, teeth removal as well as regular denture examinations.
The AISH program is a social assistance program that provides financial assistance and health benefits to eligible individuals living with a severe and prolonged disability, handicap, or medical condition that thoroughly impairs their ability to work to earn a living. The AISH has several benefits provided for beneficiaries, their children or dependents, and their family members.
You can apply for AISH if you meet all its eligibility conditions and criteria.