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AISH Program Policy

Published Date: June 03, 2021
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Pension Income

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, section 3.2
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped General Regulation, sections 2.01(1)(c); and Schedule 1.1, section 1 and Table 3
Ministerial Order – 2021-006 – Canada Recovery Benefits
Ministerial Order – 2021-020 – AISH Exemption CRB Payments Extension


To define pension income, apply appropriate AISH exemptions and determine net income for Employment Insurance.


AISH applicants and clients must access and claim all income they are entitled to receive to enhance their financial independence. AISH recognizes the mutual obligation of cohabiting partners to support each other. The income of the applicant, client and their cohabiting partner are considered in determining eligibility and level of benefits.

Pension income refers to payments other than wages that are intended to cover basic living needs. Sources of pension income include:

  • Adult support payments (alimony);
  • Alberta Seniors Benefits;
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s (orphan’s/disabled child) for AISH clients 18 to 25 years old;
  • CPP Disability;
  • CPP Retirement (however, clients are not required to apply for CPP – Retirement prior to age 65);
  • CPP Survivors’;
  • Employment Insurance (EI) and related benefits;
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS);
  • Lump-sum payments from pensions;
  • Military pensions;
  • Old Age Security Allowance (spouse);
  • Old Age Security;
  • Old Age Security Supplement (survivor);
  • Treaty Indian pension income;
  • Pension-related annuities;
  • Pensions;
  • Quebec Pension Plan (QPP);
  • Retirement compensation arrangement;
  • Retirement income;
  • Saskatchewan Pension Plan;
  • Sponsorship value – value of support provided by an immigrant’s sponsor; and
  • Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Benefits.

Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB)

Canada Recovery Benefit payments intended as income for the eligibility periods between September 27, 2020 and June 30, 2021, are fully exempt when received by an existing AISH client or their cohabiting partner.
Effective July 1, 2021, CRB income is treated in the same manner as EI benefits.

Pension Income Types That Cause AISH Ineligibility

AISH applicants and clients receiving the following pension income are not eligible to receive AISH:

  • Alberta Seniors Benefits (except for the unusual cases where the applicant or client is 65 years old or older and they have not lived in Canada long enough to receive Old Age Security);
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS); or
  • Old Age Security.

Treatment of Pension Income

Applicants and clients pension income is deducted dollar for dollar because this type of income is intended to cover basic living needs, similar to AISH.

AISH applies the following exemptions to pension income received by cohabiting partners who are not applicants or clients:

  • Alberta Seniors Benefit is fully exempt; and
  • Family Exemption;

Applicants, clients and their cohabiting partner’s passive business income and the cohabiting partner’s pension income are added together before the family exemption is applied.

  • The first $875 is fully exempt; and
  • Any amount above $875 is 25% exempt.

Depending on how much the income changes, clients may report their income and their cohabiting partner’s income on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis in accordance with Income Reporting Policy.

If clients’ Canada Pension Plan – Disability benefits increase to the point where they are no longer eligible for the AISH monthly living allowance, they will continue to receive the same health coverage they had on AISH through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit program.

Calculating Net Employment Insurance Income

To calculate net Employment Insurance income, AISH deducts mandatory income tax.