Overview

Adult learners may qualify for funding to help pay for basic education, upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL). These learning options help you get an education comparable to a high school graduate.

Learner Income Support is for full-time students, while the Skills Investment Bursary is for part-time students.

You may also qualify for federal funding under Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC). LINC is a Government of Canada program that offers permanent residents and protected people tuition-free basic language classes to reach the citizen language requirement.

If you're interested in ESL, the best way to maximize the amount of funding you qualify for is to apply for LINC first.

Eligibility

Before you apply, see if you meet program eligibility requirements for:

Employment status

To get full-time funding, you must also be either:

  • unemployed, or
  • working an average of fewer than 20 hours per week over the last 12 weeks

When you are unemployed

If you are:

  • eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), you must apply for EI before starting full-time training
  • already getting EI benefits and were assessed with a training need, your benefits continue until your claim ends

Find out about Employment Insurance Benefits that may be available to you.

When you are employed

If you are employed and want to leave your job to attend full-time training, discuss your options with a Career and employment consultant at an Alberta Supports Office.

Learn more about employment status.

Length of training

Before you consider a training program, be aware of the maximum number of months you can be funded to attend full-time training, and any exceptions that may apply to you.

Learn more about how the length of training affects funding.

How to apply

Step 1. Get accepted into an approved program

You must be accepted into an approved program before you apply for funding.

Your training provider will complete a Training Provider Information form (PDF, 397 KB) when you are accepted. We require this completed form to process all funding applications.

Approved programs include:

Program Purpose
English as a Second Language (ESL) Training for those whose first language is other than English.
Basic skills Training in:
  • literacy and numeracy (grades 1 to 6)
  • adult basic education (grades 7 to 9)
Academic upgrading Learning at a grade 10 to 12 educational level, to help you:
  • pursue post-secondary study
  • get a job
Integrated Foundational Pathways (IFP) Supportive and interactive learning that blends:
  • essential skills
  • academics
  • applied skills development
Occupational training Greater than 2 weeks but less than 12 weeks of training helps you:
  • build work-related skills
  • improve your job prospects
Transitional Vocational Program If you have a mild developmental disability, this program provides training that:
  • increases your chances of getting a job
  • helps you be more independent
Integrated training This training combines academic and general employability skills with occupation-related skills.

Step 2. Read the instructions

The training provider will indicate on the Training Provider Information form if you are full-time or part-time.

Step 3. Apply online or in writing

Submit your application at least 2 months before your training starts to make sure your funding will be in place. It can take up to 8 weeks to process a funding application.

How to apply online

Follow these steps to apply online using myAlbertaSupports:

  1. Create your account with a username and a password to access the portal. If you already created an account, you can use your existing username and password to log in.
  2. Answer all questions in the application.
  3. Submit your completed application.
  4. You will get a reference number when your application is accepted. Keep this number in a safe place. You will need it to get updates about the status of your application.
  5. Mail all required forms, schedules and a signed, printed declaration to:

Learner Income Support Office
Box 17000, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R4

You must answer all questions and include all required documents for us to process your application.

How to apply in writing

Follow these steps to apply in writing:

  1. Fill out the correct form for your situation. You may either fill it out on your computer then print it, or print it and use an ink pen to fill it out by hand.

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.
  1. Attach all required forms and schedules to your application, including the Training Provider Information form.
  2. Mail your application and all documents to:

Learner Income Support Office
Box 17000, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4R4

You must answer all questions and include all required documents for us to process your application.

After you apply

We will contact you by mail in 6 to 8 weeks about the status of your application. Applications with missing or incorrect information may be returned to you.

A letter will tell you:

  • the amount of money you may get, or the reasons you will not get funding
  • your right to appeal
  • where and when you can expect to receive funding

If costs for training were included in your assessment:

  • books and supply costs will be included in your first payment for each training period
  • tuition and fees will be paid directly to your training provider on your behalf

Government will also send you a tax slip that reports all training benefits and/or income support you got that year. You will get the tax slip early in the calendar year, so you can include it in your tax filing for the previous year.

Find out more about tax information for training programs (PDF, 40 KB).