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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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:
- 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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