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All the changes the UCP made to this year’s AISH manual

Someone recently emailed me to tip me off to several changes made to the Your guide to AISH document available on the Alberta government website. I thought I’d list all the changes here.

Someone recently emailed me to tip me off to several changes made to the Your guide to AISH document available on the Alberta government website. I thought I’d list all the changes here.

My source pointed me to differences between the January 2020 version and the July 2019 version, but I’m going to compare the July 2019 version to the most recent version: May 2020.

Standard living allowance

Removed from this allowance section on page 4 was this sentence:

The maximum standard living allowance is $1,685 per month.

Modified living allowance

This sentence

The modified living allowances includes a personal allowance paid to you and an accommodation amount paid directly to the facility.

Replaced this:

You may also get a personal needs benefit up to $322 per month. AISH modified living allowance accommodation rates are:

a private room rate of $2,074 per month for:

• nursing homes
• auxiliary or active treatment hospitals when a daily rate is charged
• approved DSL facilities

a standard room rate of $1,705 per month for approved DSL units in lodges

Child benefit

In the Child benefit section, this sentence

You may receive $200 per month for your first dependent child and $100 per month for each additional dependent child.

was replaced with

You may also receive a monthly child benefit for your dependent children.

Personal benefits

In this section, the following sentence was added:

Eligibility for these benefits is determined on a case-by-case basis. Talk to your worker to understand how they might apply to you and what rates you might be eligible for.

The old version of the guide listed all the health-related personal benefits. The new guide no longer lists them. I won’t list all of the specific benefits here (it’s 5 pages long), but here are the areas the benefits covered in the old guide:

  • Addictions treatment
  • Arch supports or foot orthotics
  • CPAP device and supplies
  • Wheelchair/scooter equipment maintenance
  • Alternative health services (acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, physiotherapy, etc)
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Large medical equipment
  • Medical alert service
  • Medical supplies
  • Nebulizer and supplies
  • Oxygen supplies
  • Seasonal affective disorder light
  • Service animal
  • Small medical equipment (blood pressure monitor, cane, crutches, etc)
  • Specialized clothing
  • Special diet
  • TENS machine
  • Personal benefits for dependent children
  • Emergency benefits
  • Leaving an abusive home benefits
  • Employment and training costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Living in a remote community costs
  • Moving costs
  • Travel costs (health-related, court costs, training, etc)

Income

In the Income section under Financial eligibility criteria, these sentences:

If you are eligible for the standard living allowance, the amount that is counted is subtracted from the $1,685 AISH monthly living allowance. Depending on your situation, you may get all of the $1,685 or less. This is because the AISH monthly living allowance is meant to be added to income that is counted to make sure you have at least $1,685 per month.

was replaced with this:

If you are eligible for the standard living allowance, the amount that is counted is subtracted from the AISH monthly living allowance. Depending on your situation, you may get all of the monthly living allowance or less.

Single and family income exemptions

The new manual removes the Single income exemption amounts table that was in this section, as well as the Family income exemption amounts table.

Employment and AISH

In this section, the examples and tables for the single income exemption amounts and the family income exemption amounts are missing in the newer guide.

Applying for AISH

In this section, this paragraph

Once your application is complete, we review the personal and financial information to determine if you meet the age, residency and financial eligibility criteria. If you meet all of these criteria, then we decide whether you meet the medical eligibility criteria by considering the medical information you and your doctors provided. If you do not meet the age, residency and/or financial eligibility criteria you will not be approved for AISH and your application will not be reviewed for medical eligibility.

was changed to

Once your application is received, we review the personal, medical and financial information in that order to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria. If you meet the age and residency criteria, then we decide whether you meet the medical eligibility criteria by considering the medical information you and your doctors provided. Last, we will review your financial eligibility. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria at any stage of the application, you will not be approved for AISH and your application will not be further reviewed.

AISH payment details

The following paragraphs

You are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit and AISH will put your money into your bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you can open one at any bank or credit union. Contact your AISH worker if you need assistance.

Once you have a bank account, there are two ways to set up direct deposit:

were replaced with:

AISH benefits are paid via direct deposit into your bank account.

If you do not have a bank account, you can open one at any bank or credit union. Contact your AISH worker if you need assistance or you are unable to set up direct deposit.

Once you have a bank account, there are two ways to set up direct deposit:

The following paragraph was removed:

If you do not have a bank account or you are unable to set up direct deposit, your cheques will be mailed to you.

Overpayments, underpayments and debts

This sentence was removed from the “Debt collection” subsection:

This means if you get $1,685 from AISH each month, you would repay $168 each month.

Contact information

In the “Other help” subsection, the following was added:

AISH Application Processing Centre
If you want to submit an application for the AISH program or if you have an inquiry about the status of your application:
PO Box 17000 Station Main
Edmonton, AB T5J 4B3
Phone: 1-877-759-6810 (toll free) or 587-759-6810
Fax: 1-877-969-3006 (toll free) or 587-469-3006

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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