Status: Bill 26 received Royal Assent Dec. 11, 2018
Ministry responsible: Community and Social Services
All Albertans deserve to live with dignity and provide for their families.
Bill 26: An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities has increased financial supports for 250,000 Albertans – including people with disabilities, low income families and seniors.
This is one of the many actions being taken to reduce poverty and ensure the economic recovery reaches all Albertans.
The following changes came into effect on Jan. 1, 2019:
- Core and supplementary benefit rates increased for people who receive:
- Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
- Income Support
- Alberta Seniors Benefit and related special needs assistance program
- minimum monthly disposable income while living in lodges, long-term care and designated supportive living
- Benefit rates will go up each year to keep up with inflation – as measured by Alberta's Consumer Price Index – to help people manage rising costs of living.
- The amount of income an AISH recipient or their spouse can earn from employment or passive sources without affecting their benefit amount has increased. The exemptions for pension income earned by the spouse of an AISH client have also increased.
- The child allowance benefit for AISH increased from $100 per child to $200 for the first child and $100 for each subsequent child.
- The amount of savings or assets a person can have when determining eligibility went up for:
- AISH child allowance
- AISH supplementary personal benefits
- Income Support
Examples of benefit rate increases
The following benefits went up on Jan. 1, 2019. Benefits will be indexed annually to keep pace with inflation.
Rates will change depending on a person’s needs and family size.
The table shows examples of the core monthly rate increase for single people with no children.
|Benefit - core rate examples for single people with no children||Old rate||New rate on Jan. 1|
|Income Support (expected to work, private housing)||$627||$745|
|Income Support (barriers to full employment, private housing)||$809||$866|
|Income Support (learners, private housing)||$847||$866|
The table below shows examples of the core monthly rate increase for single people with two children.
|Benefit - core rate examples for single people with two children||Old rate||New rate on Jan. 1|
|AISH||$1,788||$1,985 (includes $200 for first child and $100 for each subsequent child)|
|Income Support (expected to work, private housing)||$997||$1,293|
|Income Support (barriers to full employment, private housing)||$1,208||$1,414|
|Income Support (learners, private housing)||$1,527||$1,568|
Examples of eligibility changes
- The value of a person’s assets (vehicle, savings accounts, etc.) are considered when determining if they are eligible for benefits.
- The asset limits to access the following programs went up on Jan. 1, 2019 to allow people to save for their future and regain their independence:
|Benefit||Old asset limit||New asset limit on Jan. 1|
|AISH child allowance||$3,000||$100,000 (same as general AISH eligibility)|
|AISH personal benefits||$3,000||$5,000|
AISH income exemptions
- Income that AISH recipients and their spouses earn from other sources are also considered when determining their AISH benefit amount – including employment, pension or passive business income from interest or investments.
- The income exemption thresholds for AISH also went up on Jan. 1, 2019:
AISH employment income
The following income exemptions now apply, making it possible for clients and their spouses to earn more employment income without affecting their AISH benefits.
|Fully exempt||50% exempt||Maximum total exemption|
|Single||Up to $800||Up to $1,072||$800 - $1,500||$1,072 - $2,009||$1,150||$1,541|
|Family/Couple (combined income)||Up to $1,950||Up to $2,612||$1,950 - $2,500||$ 2,612 - $3,349||$2,225||$2,981|
AISH passive/spousal pension income
The following income exemptions now apply, making it possible for clients and their spouses to earn more passive income without affecting their AISH benefits.
|Fully exempt||25% exempt|
|Single||Up to $200||Up to $300||Remaining amount||Remaining amount|
|Couple (combined income)||Up to $775||Up to $875||Remaining amount||Remaining amount|
Bill 26 has passed in the Alberta legislature.
Clients began receiving the new benefit rates on Jan. 1, 2019.
- Helping the economic recovery reach all Albertans (Nov 8, 2018)