Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) is a government program for Alberta residents who cannot earn a living because they have a permanent medical condition. There are criteria to meet before one can apply for AISH.
The Income from the program helps disadvantaged Albertans live a comfortable life, meet their basic needs, and alleviate the financial pressure on their loved ones.
What is the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) Program?
The Albertan government sets up the program to provide financial and health assistance to residents of the province with medical disabilities.
AISH was established in 1979 and supports adults younger than 65 whom the government identifies as having permanent disabilities, preventing them from making a living wage. People that are 65 or older are entitled to the Alberta Seniors Benefits.
Individuals enrolled in the AISH program will receive a monthly payment and access to essential services, subsidies, healthcare, and prescription medicine.
Most AISH beneficiaries have physical disabilities, cognitive disorders, or mental illnesses. The government provides a monthly living allowance of $1,787 to eligible individuals and expects them not to have more than $100,000 in liquid assets.
Related: Read all about Old Age Security.
AISH Payment Dates 2023
AISH payments are set for the first day of every month, with a few exceptions. If the first day of any month is a holiday or a weekend, the new payment date will be the last working day of the previous month. Here are the AISH payment dates for 2023:
|S/N||Date||Month of Benefit||S/N||Date||Month of Benefit|
|1||February 1, 2023||February||7||August 1, 2023||August|
|2||March 1, 2023||March||8||September 1, 2023||September|
|3||March 31, 2023||April||9||September 29, 2023||October|
|4||May 1, 2023||May||10||November 1, 2023||November|
|5||June 1, 2023||June||11||December 1, 2023||December|
|6||June 30, 2023||July|
These monthly AISH income payments are made directly into the bank account of the eligible recipients.
To receive their direct deposits, beneficiaries of the program must fill out a direct deposit registration form and submit it to AISH. In some cases, payments may be sent by cheque.
Types of AISH Benefits
Here is a breakdown of the benefits one can get from the AISH program:
Monthly Living Allowance
This money is issued to cater to the recipient’s food, rent, and essential needs. There are two forms of living allowance recognized under this program.
1. Standard Living Allowance:
This is given to people that own or rent a house, condo, or apartment. It also applies to eligible people living with friends or family, people in a group home, or those homeless.
The sum of money remitted to the AISH recipient will depend on how much Income they or their partner may have.
2. Modified Living Allowance:
This allowance applies to eligible people who stay in a nursing home, designated supportive living facility, or auxiliary hospital recognized by the AISH program. The remitted allowance also depends on the Income they or their partner currently receive.
The accommodation rates for private and standard rooms in the aforementioned living areas are factored into the monthly AISH income.
Monthly Child Benefit
If an AISH beneficiary has a child, they might receive financial support to assist them in raising that child. The amount varies according to the number of dependent children.
Once a child is deemed eligible for the program, an additional $212 will be issued alongside their parent’s standard or modified living allowance. If the parent has more than one child, they will receive $106 for each additional child.
Related: Learn more about Alberta Child and Family Benefit payment dates.
The AISH disability program provides healthcare support to eligible Albertans, their partners, and children.
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Beneficiaries will receive a health benefits card they can display at hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and other healthcare establishments. These benefits come in different types, as listed below:
1. Drug Prescription:
The AISH program covers certain medications. Beneficiaries should review the list of drugs on the benefits list, and if the one they need is covered, they can demand it from doctors or pharmacists in the province.
2. Dental Care:
When visiting an Albertan dental clinic, beneficiaries should speak to the dentist about the AISH dental coverage. The program usually covers periodic checkups, tooth extraction, filling, placement of dentures, teeth cleaning, and x-rays.
3. Eye Care:
If in need of eye care, AISH beneficiaries can talk to opticians in the province about the program’s coverage. The plan usually covers an adult eye exam once every two years. Alberta Health Care covers dependent children’s eye exams.
Additionally, the AISH coverage provides prescription glasses once in two years for adults and once yearly for their dependent children.
4. Care for Diabetics
The AISH program covers the following diabetes supplies:
- Lancing devices
- Continuous Glucose Monitors
- Test strips
- Insulin syringes
- Insulin pen needles
- Insulin cartridges
- Infusion sets
- Glucose calibration solution
The program will provide a free trip in an ambulance to the nearest emergency room in a health emergency.
6. Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL)
Beneficiaries are not required to pay the cost-share amount for AADL-approved items.
The AISH Health Benefits Card can only be used in Alberta, so beneficiaries should contact an AISH worker at least a week before travelling out of the province.
They can also contact an AISH worker if they are denied a health benefit covered by the program or need medication out of the program’s coverage.
This money is issued for needs that are above the monthly living allowance. It is meant for peculiar needs like a special diet or health supplies.
In some cases, the money received under this provision must be repaid. There are special eligibility criteria to receive personal benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Beneficiaries of the AICH must not have more than $5000 in cash, bonds, and investments.
- They must show a clear need for money.
- They must be in financial hardship.
- They must be eligible for the specific type of personal benefit they request.
There are three types of personal benefits in the AISH program.
These include the cost coverage of health supplies like hearing aid batteries, arch supports, braces, oxygen, nebulizers, medical alert services, and more.
These are costs related to children’s education, child care, or infant care.
Related: Find out Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment dates.
Other personal benefits
This involves costs relating to emergencies that risk a beneficiary or their dependents’ well-being. Some of these situations include:
- Relocating from a domestic violent home.
- Attending a court case
- Moving to a new house
- Travelling to get expert medical care
How Much Can You Receive From AISH?
Eligible Albertans that are homeless or living in a property they own or rent will receive $1,787 as a standard living allowance.
Meanwhile, those living in nursing homes, auxiliary homes, or designated supportive living facilities will receive a modified living allowance of $342 and an accommodation rate of up to $2201.
Child dependents will receive $212 monthly if they are the first child, and $106 each will be given to all other children.
To qualify for AISH benefits, there are a lot of factors to be assessed. The benefactors have to meet the following medical, financial, residency and age requirements:
The individual must be severely handicapped and cannot work to make a living. Their disability should visibly affect their physical or mental ability to function properly.
It is expected that beneficiaries use available medical treatment, training, and rehabilitation while receiving benefits to give themselves a chance of gaining employment later.
The Income, assets and investments of AISH applicants are valued to determine eligibility. The applicant’s spouse’s Income also impacts the eligibility decision.
Income like cash gifts, tax refunds, and retirement savings plan payments are exempt from scrutiny.
Employment insurance, spousal payments, pension annuities, Canadian Pension Plan, and similar Income are non-exempt.
Meanwhile, passive business income, self-employment income, spousal Income, and similar earnings are partially-exempt from scrutiny.
If the value of your non-exempt assets exceeds $100,000, you won’t be allowed into the program.
You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Alberta to apply for AISH.
All applicants must be between 18 and 65 years old to be accepted.
How to Apply for AISH
To apply for AISH, fill out the “Part A” section of the application form, and have your physician fill out the medical report in “Part B.” Submit the completed form and other required documents to AISH through mail or fax.
Their mail address is P O Box 17000 Station Main, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4B3. You can also fax them at 1-877-969-3006.
If your application is rejected, you can send a written appeal within 30 days of being notified.
Will AISH Increase in 2023?
The Albertan government re-indexed AISH and other government benefits programs to match inflation starting in 2023. And AISH payments have increased in 2023.
What time does AISH direct deposit?
Alberta AISH direct deposits are made at midnight on the designated payment date of each month.
Can you be kicked off AISH?
AISH reserves the right to discontinue benefits if a beneficiary or their spouse stops meeting the eligibility requirements.
Can AISH be taken away?
Yes, the program’s benefits can be taken away if you move outside Alberta, become older than 65, have more than $100,000 in non-exempt assets, or are deemed no longer eligible for the program.
Can I travel outside Canada while on AISH?
You may be considered ineligible for the program if you are outside Alberta for an extended period. Also, discuss with your AISH worker before travelling.
What happens to AISH when I turn 65?
You will become ineligible for AISH benefits after 65. However, you will be automatically enrolled in one of the seniors’ financial assistance programs.
What is the maximum AISH payment?
The maximum living allowance for AISH is $1,787 a month in 2023.
Related: Discover the average retirement savings by age in Canada.