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Short for Assured Income For The Severely Handicapped, AISH is an Alberta government-sponsored arrangement that provides ongoing funds to Canadians living with a severe disability.

Employment rates decrease as the severity of the disability increases. The worse the issue, the less able the AISH recipient is to work and thus to provide for themselves. As a result, tens of thousands of Albertans rely on these funds to survive. 

If you are looking into AISH for yourself or someone in your care, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the program.

Key Takeaways

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)AISH offers financial assistance to those living with severe and permanent physical and/or mental health disabilities that limit their ability to work.
Eligibility CriteriaApplicants must be at least 18 years old, Canadian citizens or permanent residents residing in Alberta.
Applicants must have a permanent disability.
AISH Payment DatesAISH payments are paid once a month. Exact dates are listed in the table below.
Application Applicants can apply for AISH online or through a paper form and will require a medical report from their doctor.

What Is Assured Income For The Severely Handicapped (AISH)?

A financial and health-focused program, AISH is offered to Canadians living in the province of Alberta who are living with a severe disability. It offers financial assistance to those living with severe and permanent physical and/or mental health disabilities that limit their ability to work. 

What Does AISH Cover? 

The program offers many supports, including: 

Monthly Living Allowance

These are funds used to cover the cost of rent, utility bills, and food. Typically, the amount will be sufficient to help the recipient afford the necessities to live. 

The specific amount issued varies depending on where the recipient resides and how much income and/or their spouse makes. 

Child benefit

This is meant to assist those who are raising dependents under the age of majority. These funds can be put toward the cost of childcare professionals or items like diapers and formula. 

The amount issued depends on the number of children under the care of the AISH recipient. It can be used in conjunction with other child care subsidies. 

Health Benefits

These funds are designed to cover healthcare requirements for the AISH recipient, their spouse, or dependents. This benefit can help cover costs such as dental care, optical care, diabetes supplies, ambulatory costs and prescription drugs. 

This is a particularly useful form of assistance since those living with a disability tend to need to spend more on medical care due to the disability itself. 

Personal Benefits

Funds issued for this category are more than the monthly living allowance. They are meant to account for disability-specific needs and include emergency assistance for sudden, unexpected requirements. 

Access to the personal benefits depends on the amount of assets held by the AISH recipient. 

Who is Eligible For The AISH Benefit?

In order to access the Assured Income For The Severely Handicapped benefit, recipients must meet all of the eligibility requirements. The criteria include: 

Age & Residency Requirements

  • The recipient must be 18 years old, at least, and not be an eligible recipient of Old Age Security (OAS).
  • They must be a citizen of Canada or have permanent residency status. 
  • The recipient must reside in the province of Alberta. 
  • To qualify, the AISH recipient must not be in any type of correctional or mental health facility. 

Disability Requirements

To qualify, there must be a medical condition that is likely permanent. It must represent the key reason for the disabled person to be unable to work, meaning unemployment cannot be a result of limited education or other issues

To assess the validity of the disability, AISH investigates your medical history, treatment schedule, and rehabilitation or training available to help with employment. 

Financial

To qualify for AISH, the assets and income of the potential recipient and their spouse must be lower than the AISH income and asset thresholds. 

Both the applicant and their partner must apply for any other financial services for which they are eligible such as Employment Insurance or Workers’ Compensation.

AISH Payment Dates 2024

AISH Payment Date 2024Covered Period
February 1, 2024February 2024
February 26, 2024March 2024
March 25, 2023April 2024
April 25, 2024May 2024
May 28, 2024June 2024
June 25, 2024July 2024
July 26, 2024August 2024
August 27, 2024September 2024
September 24, 2024October 2024
October 28, 2024November 2024
November 26, 2024December 2024

Note. Recipients registered with direct deposit will receive the payments on the exact dates. Those receiving payments via cheque will get it on or within 3 business days of the payment date.

How to Apply For The AISH Benefit

You can apply for AISH online or via paper application. 

OnlineApply online
Paper ApplicationApplication form
Mail To: AISH, PO Box 17000 Station Main, Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4B3

Documents Required To Apply 

Medical Report – You’ll need to ask your doctor for a complete Medical Report. You can either submit this document yourself when applying online or via mail, or you can ask your doctor to submit it via fax or mail. 

  • FAX – 1-877-969-3006
  • Mail – AISH, PO Box 17000 Station Main, Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4B3

Keep in mind that your doctor may assign a fee for this service. You will be responsible for paying this amount unless you are on income support and can claim the cost. Be sure to keep your receipts and a copy of the document for your records. 

What Happens If You’re Approved For AISH?

There will be a waiting period once you submit your application to allow the AISH administrators to process the application. If you are approved, you will receive a phone call as well as a letter indicating your eligibility. 

AISH will schedule a meeting with a staff member to establish your file in full. Benefits are backdated to the point at which AISH received the file. 

How Much Can You Receive With AISH?

When considering AISH, it is important to have real facts and figures with which to work. The amounts are broken down into four categories, each offering a different monetary amount. Per the AISH requirements, you need to spend the funds on matters for which they are allocated. The categories include: 

Monthly Living AllowanceThe standard living allowance is for those who live in the community and can be as much as $1,685 every month.

For those living at a facility, the amount is as much as $322 for personal expenses and up to $2,120 for accommodation costs.
Monthly Child BenefitFor the first child, AISH offers a benefit of $200 every month.
Additional children are offered a benefit of $100 per month.
The total benefit varies based on how many children the AISH recipient has.
AISH Health Benefits This is effectively an insurance card that gives AISH recipients access to health services such as dental care, prescriptions, chiropractors, and physiotherapy.

It also covers things like ambulance fees and optical care, reducing the burden of expenses on those with disabilities.
Personal benefitsRepresenting one-time payments that cover sudden expenses, the personal benefit can offer extra support for dependent children, health issues, and other personal concerns.

To qualify, the AISH recipient must have assets less than $5,000 and express hardship in terms of finances

Final Thoughts

AISH is an important program that sustains the lifestyle of thousands of Albertans every year. It is designed to support those living with a severe disability who would otherwise not be able to make their expenses. If you, or someone in your care, is struggling and you feel that AISH may assist, the application process is fairly straightforward. So long as you plan ahead and honestly communicate with the AISH administrators, it is likely that you will be approved. For those who need it, the service assists with everything from medical expenses to basic living costs, making Alberta a safer, easier place to live. 

AISH FAQs

Can you work and receive AISH?

Yes, you can work while receiving AISH and are encouraged to do so. However, the amounts you qualify for may decrease based on the amount you make. Similarly, if you and your spouse make over the AISH income threshold, you may no longer qualify for the program.

What are the asset thresholds?

You cannot have assets over $100,000. However, some assets are excluded from this amount, such as the house you live in, a vehicle you own, a trust and clothes.

Can I appeal the decision if I’m rejected for AISH?

If you are deemed ineligible to receive AISH, you will receive a letter in the mail indicating the reasons for the denial. Potential causes for a denied claim can be financial or medical. If your income covers your expenses or your medical report indicates a non-permanent disability, you may be denied AISH.  There is an appeal process, and the letter will indicate how to follow up with AISH to indicate a change in your situation. It will also recommend other, better-suited, programs that you may be able to access.
Corrina Murdoch avatar on Loans Canada
Corrina Murdoch

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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