Gateway Gazette

Help for Seniors Travelling to Medical Appointments

Improvements to the medical trip benefit will help low-income seniors who travel from rural or remote areas of the province for treatment or care.

Budget 2017 invests an additional $550,000 to help low-income seniors cover costs, like transportation and accommodation, associated with travel for specialist medical appointments.

The following changes to the Special Needs Assistance medical trip benefit will be effective July 1, 2017:

  • Overnight accommodation support increases from $75 to $100.
  • Minimum travel distance is reduced from 100 to 80 kilometres round-trip in order to qualify for the benefit.
  • A one-time benefit of $85 is provided to help with medical transport costs for a resident moving from a long-term care facility to another care facility.
  • Increased funding is available for seniors who travel more than 400 kilometres to their appointments.

“Seniors built our province and they deserve to retire in dignity. Our government is making life better by protecting and enhancing seniors’ benefits. Today’s announcement will help seniors afford to get the care they need.”

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“Our council supports the enhancements to the medical trip benefit and applauds the government’s commitment to providing greater supports to rural seniors who must travel to larger centres for care.”

Fred Olsen, president, Alberta Council on Aging

Quick facts

  • Seniors may apply for up to $5,000 per year in medical trip benefits.
  • Approximately 1,800 seniors receive assistance each year for medical trip benefits.

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