Appeal an AISH decision

Follow these steps to appeal a decision about your Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) benefits.

Before you start

If you don’t agree with a decision AISH makes about your benefits, you have the right to appeal that decision. You can also:

  • appeal on behalf of another person
  • authorize someone to appeal on your behalf

Make sure to appeal within the 30-day deadline:

  • AISH or the Appeals Secretariat must receive your appeal in writing within 30 days of your receiving notice of the Director’s decision
  • if you don’t file your appeal within 30 days you can ask for more time; find out how
  • you can still appeal if you’re waiting for more information

Step 1. Complete the notice of appeal

PDF form instructions

We recommend using Internet Explorer on a desktop computer to download and fill out these forms. They may not work with mobile devices or Chrome.

To file a notice of appeal, you can either fill out an AISH appeal form or write a letter.

A. Fill out an appeal form

OR

B. Write an appeal letter

Make sure to include:

  • your name, or the name of the person you’re appealing on behalf of
  • address and phone number
  • description of the decision you’re appealing
  • date of the decision (if you were sent a letter)
  • date you were told of the decision (or the date you received the letter)
  • why you’re appealing
  • your signature, or the signature of the person you’re appealing on behalf of

If you need more time

If AISH or the Appeals Secretariat doesn’t receive your appeal within 30 days, you can ask for more time.

To request a time extension:

A. Fill out Box 3 on the Notice of Appeal Form.

OR

B. Send a written letter to the Appeals Secretariat asking for more time.

When asking for more time, include:

  • when you were told of the decision you’re appealing
  • when you were told you could appeal the decision
  • when you were told you had 30 days to appeal
  • why you were unable to appeal within the 30-day time limit

The Appeals Secretariat will review your request and decide to either grant or deny a time extension:

  • you’ll receive this decision in writing
  • if your request is denied, your appeal will be closed and will not go to the appeal panel

Note: You can’t appeal the secretariat’s decision to deny your time extension request.

Step 2. File your appeal

Mail, fax or drop off your notice of appeal to:

the AISH office handling your case

OR

an Appeals Secretariat office

Include with your notice of appeal

  • copies of any documents that support your appeal
  • a copy of the decision you’re appealing

If you’re waiting for more medical information, mention in your notice of appeal that it’s coming.

Remember to keep copies of all documents for your own files.

Step 3. After you file

AISH will review your file. A program representative may call to ask if you have anything else to add, and to see if the matter can be resolved informally.

If the matter is resolved:

  • an AISH office will contact you to explain the next steps
  • you won’t need to attend an appeal hearing

If the matter is not resolved:

  • you’ll receive a Review of Decision letter explaining their reasons
  • AISH will send you a package with copies of all the documents you submitted to them (it is important to read these documents and to bring them to your appeal hearing)
  • the Appeals Secretariat will send you a letter with the date, time and location of your appeal hearing

Step 4. Prepare for the hearing

Review the information the Appeals Secretariat and the AISH program sends you as soon as you receive it.

New information

If there’s information that you want the appeal panel to see that wasn’t in the document package sent to you by AISH, you can submit it.

If you have new information:

  • send copies to the AISH office handling your case or to the Appeals Secretariat – at least 3 weeks before the hearing date
  • an appeal hearing may not be needed if the new information changes AISH’s decision
  • your hearing date may need to change if there’s not enough time for AISH or the appeal panel to review the new material

Delayed medical report

If you’re still waiting for a medical report:

  • contact the Appeals Secretariat at least 3 weeks before your hearing and ask for your hearing to be rescheduled after your medical appointment
  • submit the medical report as soon as possible
  • AISH may decide an appeal hearing won’t be needed if the medical report changes their decision
  • if your medical report doesn’t change their decision, a new hearing date will be scheduled

Who can attend the hearing?

You’ll need to decide if you’ll present your own case, or if someone else will represent you at the hearing.

If you decide to send someone else in your place to represent you at the hearing:

  • send a letter to the Appeals Secretariat with the name, address and telephone number of the person who will represent you

If you want to bring other people to the hearing who can speak about your medical reports or other important details:

  • tell the Appeals Secretariat as soon as possible who you’re bringing
  • you’re responsible for making sure these people attend the hearing and for giving them the date and location

All appeal hearings are in English. If you need help finding an interpreter, contact the Appeals Secretariat.

Scheduled hearing date

You’re expected to go to the hearing on the date mentioned in the letter from the Appeals Secretariat.

If you can’t go in person, you can ask for your appeal to be heard by telephone.

If you don’t attend the hearing in person or by telephone, the panel may determine that you abandoned your appeal. Once the appeal panel decides that your appeal has been abandoned, their decision is final. This will end your right to appeal this issue, and your appeal will be closed.

Changing the date

You’re expected to go to the hearing on the date mentioned in the letter from the Appeals Secretariat.

If you have to change the hearing date

Contact the Appeals Secretariat as soon as you get the scheduling letter. Let them know:

  • why you can’t attend on the scheduled hearing date
  • a new proposed date

If you don’t ask to have the date changed

The hearing may be held without you and the appeal panel may make a decision.

Withdrawing your appeal

If you no longer want to appeal, call or write the Appeals Secretariat before your hearing to tell them. If you don’t the panel may determine that you abandoned your appeal. Once the appeal panel decides that your appeal has been abandoned, their decision is final. This will end your right to appeal this issue, and your appeal will be closed.

Step 5. Attend the hearing

An appeal hearing usually lasts an hour. One chairperson and 2 panel members will hear your appeal and make a decision.

During the hearing:

  1. The chair introduces everyone and goes over the rules, then:
    • confirms the decision being appealed with you and the AISH representative
    • asks if anyone objects to the people on the panel or their right to decide your appeal
  2. If there are no objections, the chair asks if there’s any new information or documents. If there’s new information:
    • you or the AISH representative can ask for a short break to review it
    • you or the AISH representative can ask for the hearing to be moved to another day to allow more time to review it
  3. If the hearing proceeds, the chair may ask people you or the AISH representative brought to the hearing to sit outside the hearing room until they’re called in.
  4. The AISH representative and their witnesses speak first. You and the panel will:
    • let them speak without interruption to hear how and why the decision was made
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  5. You or your representative and your witnesses will speak and the AISH representative and panel will:
    • let you speak without interruption to hear why you disagree with the decision that was made
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  6. The chair asks the AISH representative, then you or your representative, to summarize your information and the decision you’d like the panel to make.
  7. The chair makes closing remarks and lets you know when you can expect the panel's decision.

Step 6. After the hearing

The appeal panel will decide to confirm, reverse or vary AISH’s decision:

  • you should receive a written decision within 14 days of the hearing date, but sometimes it takes longer
  • the appeal panels’ decision is final, which means you can’t file another appeal on that decision

If you don’t agree with the panel’s decision

If you feel the appeal process was unfair, you can:

Option 1. Apply for a judicial review

You can apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial review of your appeal process:

  • the court cannot make a new decision
  • if the court agrees the hearing was unfair, it will send the case back to the panel to be re-heard by different panel members
  • your application must be filed with the court within 6 months from the date the appeal panel made its decision
  • you will likely need a lawyer to assist you; if you need help finding one, contact the Law Society of Alberta’s lawyer referral service at 1-800-661-1095 or Legal Aid Alberta at 1-800-845-3425

Option 2. Submit a complaint to the Ombudsman

You can make a written complaint to the Alberta Ombudsman:

  • the Ombudsman’s office can’t overturn an appeal panel decision but they can make recommendations, including that the appeal panel re-hear the case
  • to find out how to file a complaint, call the Alberta Ombudsman’s Edmonton office at 780-427-2756 or the Calgary office at 403-297-6185