COVID-19 response

AISH recipients who have lost work and income because of COVID-19 can exempt a portion of the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), if they receive it. This means a portion of the CERB payment will not affect their provincial benefits. Find out more.

Age and residency criteria

  • You are at least 18 years old and not eligible to receive an Old Age Security pension.
  • You live in Alberta and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You are not in a correctional facility or some mental health facilities such as Alberta Hospital Edmonton.

Medical criteria

  • You must have a medical condition that is likely to remain permanent.
  • Your medical condition must be the main factor limiting your ability to earn a living, not other factors such as your education level.
  • AISH looks at medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation and training that are available to help improve your ability  to earn a living.
  • Find out more about how AISH considers your medical situation in the Your Guide to AISH and the AISH Adjudication Guide.

Financial criteria

  • AISH looks at the income and assets you and your spouse or partner have.
  • You can work and be eligible for AISH – clients are encouraged to work to the extent they are able.
  • When you apply for, or get AISH, you and your spouse or partner must:
    • apply for all other income you may be eligible for, such as Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D), employment insurance (EI) or Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) benefits.
    • not have income or assets that are higher than the AISH program allows


  • AISH typically considers income reported on your income tax form and your spouse or partner’s income tax form.
  • AISH does not consider a dependent child’s income.
  • How AISH treats income depends on:
    • the type of income
    • whether you are single or in a family with a spouse or partner and / or dependent children, and
    • who receives the income
  • Some income is exempt – this means it is not counted and does not affect your AISH monthly living allowance. It includes things like:
    • cash gifts
    • income tax refunds
    • registered disability savings plan (RDSP) payments
    • registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) payments
  • Some income is non-exempt – this means it is counted at full value and subtracted dollar-for-dollar from your AISH monthly living allowance.
  • Some income is partially exempt – this means it is counted at part of its value and may affect your AISH monthly living allowance.
  • These are examples of non-exempt and partially exempt incomes:
    • employment income such as a wages paid by an employer, a training allowance or severance pay
    • self-employment income such as business, farming or professional income
    • passive business income such as interest, dividends, capital gains, trust and rental income
    • pension income such as Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D), employment insurance (EI) and Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) benefits
  • Before exemptions are applied, allowable income deductions are applied such as most Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employment deductions like CPP and EI.
  • Find out more about how AISH treats income in the Your Guide to AISH.


  • Assets are items of value like cash, investments, property and vehicles that you and your spouse or partner have.
  • Some assets as exempt – this means they are not-counted and include things like:
    • a home or quarter section you live in
    • a vehicle
    • a second vehicle adapted for a disability
    • clothing
    • reasonable household items
    • registered disability savings plans (RDSPs)
    • a trust
  • Some assets are non-exempt – this means they are counted.
  • Non-exempt assets cannot be worth more than $100,000 when they are added together and may include:
    • cash
    • chequing or savings accounts
    • tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs)
    • registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)
    • cash inheritances
    • a recreational property or home
    • recreational vehicles
  • When you receive money that AISH does not consider income, you have 365 days to invest it in an exempt asset or it will be counted as a non-exempt asset. This money may include:
    • an inheritance
    • a gift
    • funds from selling the main home or quarter section where you lived and that AISH already considered exempt
    • funds from selling your main or adapted vehicle that AISH already considered exempt
    • funds from an insurance pay-out to cover damages to, or loss of, your main home or vehicle that AISH already considered exempt
  • Find out more about how AISH treats assets in the Your Guide to AISH.


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