Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH): What You Need to Know
Operated by the Government of Alberta’s Human Services ministry, the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program is designed to provide a spectrum of financial and health benefits to eligible Albertans. Reflecting the core Canadian value of community, AISH improves the lives of disabled Albertans by guaranteeing a level of personal dignity and financial security.
Am I Eligible for AISH?
While the eligibility criteria for AISH are subject to program changes and review, in general you may be eligible for AISH if you satisfy the following requirements:
- you have a permanent (or likely to be permanent) medical condition that substantially limits your ability to earn a living;
- there is not any form of medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, or any other type of training currently available that could reasonably improve your ability to earn a living.
- you are at least 18 years of age, and not eligible to receive an Old Age Security pension;
- you currently live in Alberta and are a Canadian citizen (or permanent resident);
- you are not in a correctional facility (or certain mental health facilities, such as Alberta Hospital Edmonton); and
- you meet the program’s financial criteria (which includes applying for all other income you may be eligible for, including Worker’s Compensation Board benefits).
For more detail on AISH eligibility, please refer to the Government of Alberta’s AISH Eligibility page.
What Does AISH Give Me?
Depending on the specifics of your claim, AISH coverage may include:
- a monthly living allowance to pay for your costs (such as food, rent, and utilities);
- a monthly child benefit to assist in the costs associated with a dependent child
- health benefits to assist with costs associated with prescription drugs, dental and optical costs, diabetic supplies, emergency ambulance trips, and some types of medical devices; and
- personal benefits that provide money over and above the living allowance to cover specific needs, such as special diets, routine veterinary services for service animals, and emergency assistance.
For more detail on AISH benefits, please refer to the Government of Alberta’s “What you get with AISH” page.
How Can I Apply for AISH?
An application to AISH requires multiple steps, an investment of time, and may even have a direct financial cost. Broadly speaking, the steps to apply for AISH are as follows:
- Review the information made available by the Government of Alberta regarding the AISH program—in particular, the material covering AISH eligibility, AISH benefits, and the step-by-step instructions for applying to AISH.
- Complete the AISH Application Part A.
- Have your doctor complete AISH Application Part B.
- Submit your application and all relevant files, making sure to maintain a copy for your own records.
If your AISH application is approved, you will be put in contact with an AISH worker, and your benefits will be backdated to the month AISH received all the information necessary to approve your application.
If your AISH application is rejected, you will receive a letter detailing why you were deemed ineligible and next steps available to appeal or resubmit your application.
For more detail on applying for AISH, please refer to the Government of Alberta’s “How to apply for AISH” page.
As tireless advocates for Albertans living with disabilities both in, and out of, the courtroom, Pipella Law fully supports the AISH program—a medical condition should never be an impediment to dignity and independence.