Changes to AISH benefits

Albertans who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) will now be able to earn more money and still remain eligible for financial assistance. On July 21 it was announced that the upper limit of the employment exemption formula increased by $500 to $1,500 per month for single AISH clients and to $2,500 per month for couples and clients with children.

  • Jul. 30, 2008 10:00 a.m.

By Tiffany Williams

Editor

Albertans who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) will now be able to earn more money and still remain eligible for financial assistance. On July 21 it was announced that the upper limit of the employment exemption formula increased by $500 to $1,500 per month for single AISH clients and to $2,500 per month for couples and clients with children.

In Alberta there are approximately 37,000 people receiving AISH and of that 7,000 are currently employed. As of June there were 199 AISH clients in Ponoka. With the new formula, according to Jennifer Guzzwell, communications officer of seniors and community support, AISH clients can earn their first $400 fully exempt and from $401 to $1,500 it is 50 per cent. She says that this means they can now earn $250 more per month.

Executive director for Family and Community Support Services Joanne Comeau thinks that the new changes are wonderful for people on AISH.

“Some AISH clients are employed and this is allowing them to receive more income and work more hours without being penalized with their AISH benefits,” said Comeau. “Before they were limited to their income. It allows them more income, which is a very positive thing. It also gives AISH recipients an incentive to have a part time job if they are able to work more.”

She also thinks that it will help boost their confidence and help them in the workforce.

“They will be able to gain skills, knowledge and education to completed intergrate into the workforce,” said Comeau.

The Champion Centre in Ponoka is a home for low-income people with significant barriers to independent living and also has built in supervision. Manager Fred Klooser says that the majority of residents are on AISH but they can’t work due to their mental challenges.

He says that two of their residents do work; one at a cleaning company and one at the Rising Sun Clubhouse.

“This new change will allow them to work more if they want to. Depending on their mental challenges they can only work a few hours per day,” said Klooser. “The people I employ to do cleaning here, but their main goal is to stay on their medication.”

Klooser applauds the government for making the increase but still feels that more could be done.

“I think they could have made it more equal to increase the amount they make and the AISH benefits,” said Klooser.

He stresses that he feels some of the residents at the Champion Centre would like to work but they just can’t.

AISH clients receive up to $1,088 per month as well as comprehensive health benefits that include coverage for prescription drugs, dental, eye care, emergency ambulance services, essential diabetic supplies and a waiver of fees for Alberta Aids to Daily living.

In Ponoka AISH applications are available at Ponoka Neighbourhood Place and Association on 5119-49th Ave. People can go there to get help to fill out the forms but they still need to be delivered to Wetaskiwin. For more information they can also call Cara Christopher at Alberta Employment and Immigration and Alberta Seniors offices in Wetaskiwin at 780-361-5878.

Just Posted

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Ponoka mayor & council takes on province for recreation funding

Mayor Rick Bonnett wants school requisition for three years

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nova Scotia fixes online workaround of age requirement for cannabis sales

The problem popped up hours after the use of cannabis became legal

Carr, Morneau off to China next month to deepen commerce

Carr says Canada and China aren’t embarking on formal free trade talks

Most Read