This year, Alberta’s economic recovery will reach more kitchen tables as new legislation makes life easier and more affordable for the province’s most vulnerable.
An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities came into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and enacted the first increase to Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) benefits since 2012. Benefit rates for these individuals will increase annually by the Alberta Consumer Price Index rate.
“This historic legislation provides greater protection and predictability for Albertans – so they can pay rent and put food on the table. We are committed to providing better supports and ensuring people on AISH and low-income Albertans won’t struggle to afford the basics.”
~Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services
Additional changes to program eligibility for AISH and Income Support allow recipients to save more money. As well, increases to AISH income exemptions allow recipients and their spouses to earn more income from other sources without reducing their AISH benefits.
“Low asset limits meant that when I applied for Income Support I needed to liquidate my savings just to get the support I needed. If I had been allowed to keep what was in my savings I could have been back on my feet sooner. This asset limit change, along with increased benefits and indexation, will help so many Albertans who just need a little help.”
~Amber Cannon, Income Support recipient and poverty activist
- An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities came into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
- Benefit recipients saw increased rates on their January benefit payments.
- Quebec, Yukon and Manitoba index disability and income support benefit rates with inflation.
- Yukon is the only other Canadian jurisdiction that indexes seniors benefits with inflation.
- This legislation increased the asset limit for the AISH child allowance to match the asset limit for general AISH eligibility ($100,000 instead of $3,000). It also increased the AISH supplementary personal benefits asset limit ($5,000 instead of $3,000).
The legislation is a key component of Alberta’s Action on Poverty, which includes actions across government to make life more affordable, support wellness and social inclusion, enhance skills and employment opportunities and invest in affordable housing and homeless supports.