Informal Benefits Administration Program

This free program from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) helps you manage your AISH and CPP-D money to pay your bills.

Overview

The Informal Benefits Administration Program:

  • is free
  • is voluntary
  • can be cancelled at any time
  • helps you manage money received from the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program or Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) benefit
  • doesn’t manage money you earn at a job or get as a gift
    • you’ll need a separate bank account for that money

When you join this free program, your:

  • monthly AISH or CPP-D cheque is sent to the OPGT instead of you
  • funds are deposited into an account the OPGT has set up for you
  • bills can be sent to the OPGT to be paid with your money
  • budget is followed by the OPGT

This program is a combination of the former AISH Benefits Administration Program and the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit Administration Program.

Other available supports

Trusteeship

If additional support is needed, someone can apply to become a trustee to make financial decisions.

Learn more about trusteeship

AISH

AISH is Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped. People who qualify for AISH receive:

  • a monthly cheque to help with living expenses
  • health benefits, such as dental care

Learn more about AISH

CPP Disability

Canada Pension Plan - Disability (CPP-D) provides disability benefits to people who:

  • have made enough contributions to the CPP
  • are disabled and cannot work at any job on a regular basis

Learn more about CPP-D

Your OPGT account

  • has no service fees, unlike a bank account
  • earns interest on your savings

We follow your budget

The money in the account is yours. You decide how you want to spend it with a budget. A budget usually includes things like:

  • rent
  • phone
  • utilities
  • spending money

Spending money

You can transfer money to your personal bank account so you have cash to buy groceries and do things you enjoy.

One-time expense

You can request extra funds for special purchases as long as you have enough money in your OPGT account.

Eligibility

This program is only for people who:

You can join this program if you:

  • receive AISH or CPP-D
  • need help budgeting your money
  • have less than $5,000
  • are less than 65 years old
  • have a worker from one of these groups:
    • Alberta Health Services (this includes Addictions and Mental Health Services, Supportive Living, and others)
    • Persons with Developmental Disabilities
    • Public Guardian
    • Alberta Brain Injury Initiative

Apply for the program

Step 1. Talk with your service provider

The group you get services from will have given you a person to work with. That person is your service provider. An example of your service provider may be a:

  • social worker
  • mental health worker
  • public guardian

Talk to your service provider about the Informal Benefits Administration Program. They’ll show you how to apply.

Step 2. Choose someone to help you make money decisions

Primary contact person

Ask someone you trust to help you make good decisions about money for as long as you’re in the Informal Benefits Administration Program. They’ll be your ‘primary contact person.’ It could be someone like a:

  • social worker
  • friend
  • family member
  • group home staff member

Your primary contact person:

  • helps you make a budget for the program
  • deals directly with the government departments that run the program

Alternative contact person

If your primary contact person is not always available when you need them, ask a second person to help. This person is called your 'alternative contact person'.

Step 3. Sign the trust agreement

The trust agreement is a legal document which makes sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. Your service provider will review the trust agreement with you and your primary contact person, then you’ll sign it.

After you apply

It can take up to 4 months to do the paperwork and set up your OPGT trust account.

Your medical services card is sent to the OPGT when you join the program.

Make your first budget

Step 1. Talk with your primary contact person

When you start the program, you and your primary contact person will make a budget. The budget tells the OPGT which bills to pay each month. Your budget can include things like:

  • pay my rent
  • pay my utilities (water, gas, telephone, etc.)
  • give me $X for my groceries
  • give me $X for spending money
  • I want to save $X for something special

Personal bank account

You’ll probably want cash for some items. To do this, you need a personal bank account. We’ll transfer some of your AISH or CPP-D money into your personal bank account, where you can take it out as cash.

A weekly deposit to your personal bank account can be made on one of these days:

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday

Sample budget (PDF, 0.3 MB)

Step 2. Fill out the form

Ask your primary contact person to help you fill out one of these budget forms:

Few bills to pay each month: fill out the Short Expenses Instruction form (PDF, 188 KB)

Many bills to pay each month: fill out the Long Expenses Instruction form (PDF, 189 KB)

Step 3. Submit the form

Ask your primary contact person to give the form to your service provider.

After you submit the form

Your bills are paid based on the budget you provided.

Change your budget

You might need to change your monthly budget if, for example, your rent goes up. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill out the form

Ask your primary contact person to help you fill out one of these budget forms:

Few bills to pay each month: fill out the Short Expenses Instruction form (PDF, 188 KB)

Many bills to pay each month: fill out the Long Expenses Instruction form (PDF, 189 KB)

Step 2. List the expense changes

On the budget form, list each monthly expense that’s changing.

Step 3. Submit the form

Ask your primary contact person to give the form to your service provider.

After you change the form

Your bills will be paid, based on the changes you’ve made to your budget.

One-time expense

If you have savings, you can take money out of your OPGT account for things that are not listed in your budget. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill out the form

Ask your primary contact person to fill out the ‘One Time Expense’ section of the Short Expenses Instruction form (0.2 MB).

Step 2. Submit the form

Ask your primary contact person to give the form to the OPGT.

After you submit the form

It takes at least 2 business days for your money to be transferred to your personal account.

Leave the program

If you don’t want to continue in the program, follow these steps.

Step 1. Talk to your primary contact

Tell your primary contact that you want to leave the program.

Step 2. Fill out the form

Fill out the form(s) for your situation:

Stop managing AISH cheques: AISH Termination Notice form (PDF, 60 KB)

Stop managing CPP-D cheques: CPP-D Termination Notice form (PDF, 82 KB)

Step 3. Submit the form

Ask your primary contact person to send the form to:

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee
4th Floor, John E. Brownlee Building
10365-97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3Z8

Hours: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2744 
Fax: 780-422-9136

Open in Google Maps for directions

The OPGT will send termination notices to all the other parties.

After you leave

The OPGT will close your trust account. If you have savings, they’ll be returned to you.

Contact

Find an OPGT office near you