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Government increases AISH benefit by $400 per month

The Government of Alberta is increasing the maximum monthly financial benefit for Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) clients by $400 per month to $1,588, effective April 1.

“A healthy society looks after its most vulnerable,” said Premier Alison Redford. “This increase reflects the compassion of Albertans and will help individuals on AISH enhance their quality of life.”

The program also provides employment income exemptions to clients and their spouses, enabling them to retain a portion of their earnings. The thresholds for the employment income exemptions will double, from $400 to $800 per month for single AISH clients and from $975 to $1,950 per month for AISH clients with cohabiting partners or dependent children. Doubling the employment income exemptions for AISH clients will also come into effect April 1. About 17 per cent of AISH clients and/or their cohabitating partners (more than 7,500 households) report some form of employment income.

“We value all AISH clients, including those who have the opportunity to earn some form of employment income,” said George VanderBurg, Minister of Seniors. “Allowing AISH clients to keep more of their paycheck will give them more freedom to live a better life.”

In 2012-13, the AISH program will provide financial assistance and health benefits to about 46,000 Albertans with a severe and permanent disability that substantially limits their ability to earn a living.

Budget 2012 provides $271 million to cover the cost of increasing the maximum monthly benefit for AISH recipients by $400 per month and doubling the AISH program’s employment exemption thresholds. The total 2012-13 budget for the AISH program is nearly $1.1 billion.

Budget 2012 invests in people. It allocates approximately 75 per cent of provincial funding to the core programs of health, education and human services without raising taxes, while forecasting a return to a balanced budget by 2013-14.

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Backgrounder: Previous AISH increases and comparisons to other jurisdictions

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Carolyn Gregson
Alberta Seniors
780-415-9950

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Backgrounder

Previous AISH increases and comparisons to other jurisdictions

Since 2005, the maximum monthly financial benefit for the AISH program has increased six times:

  • From $850 to $950 on April 1, 2005
  • To $1,000 on April 1, 2006
  • To $1,050 on April 1, 2007
  • To $1,088 on January 1, 2008
  • To $1,188 on April 1, 2009
  • To $1,588 effective April 1, 2012

Currently, the average financial benefit per AISH client is $1,050 per month. The average health-related benefit per AISH client is currently $370 per month.

Other provinces have income support programs for persons with disabilities. The most comparable programs are those in Ontario and British Columbia. In most other provinces, persons with disabilities receive a “supplement” to the basic social assistance rate to account for extra costs associated with their disability.

   

Provincial Income Support Programs for Persons with Disabilities

Maximum Monthly Benefit for Persons with Disabilities

Alberta (AISH)

$1,588 April 1, 2012

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

$1,064 February 2012

British Columbia  Employment & Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (BCEA)

$906 February 2012

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Carolyn Gregson
Alberta Seniors
780-415-9950

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.