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AISH Program Policy

Published Date: November 17, 2023
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Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, section 3.2; Schedule 1, sections 6(b) and (6)(c)
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped General Regulation, section 2.01(1)(c); Schedule 1.1
Ministerial Order – 2020-017 – Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Ministerial Order – 2021-006 – Canada Recovery Benefits
Ministerial Order – 2021-020 – AISH Exemption CRB Payments Extension


To define how income is treated in determining eligibility and the level of AISH benefits.


Income is used to determine eligibility for the AISH program and the amount of living allowance or modified living allowance a client receives. AISH recognizes a mutual obligation of cohabiting partners to support each other. Therefore, income of the applicant, client, and their cohabiting partner are considered in determining eligibility for AISH and level of benefits.

When determining eligibility or level of benefits, AISH considers all income that is reportable to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). AISH also considers the following income:

  • Tax-exempt employment or self-employment income of a Treaty Indian;
  • Pension income of a Treaty Indian;
  • Value of support provided by a sponsor of an immigrant; and
  • Trust income deemed payable to a beneficiary under a trust.

To determine total net income, allowable deductions and appropriate AISH exemptions are applied depending on the type of income. The net amount is then used in determining the applicant or client’s maximum living allowance or modified living allowance.

AISH Allowable Deductions

When calculating net income, AISH uses deductions allowable under the Income Tax Act and deductions that are a Condition of Employment.

Deductions that are a condition of employment refer to payroll deductions that an employee cannot opt out of (that are mandatory).

AISH Income and Exemption Categories

AISH groups income received by an applicant, client, or cohabiting partner into the following categories:

Income in these categories can be fully exempt, partially exempt, or non-exempt for the purposes of the AISH program.


Effect of Income on AISH Benefit Calculation

Fully exempt income Does not affect level of benefits
Partially exempt income A certain amount is allowed each month before it affects level of benefits
Non-Exempt income Deducted dollar-for-dollar from level of benefits


Money an applicant or client saves from one month to the next, including AISH benefits and exempt income, may be included in the $100,000 asset limit the month after it was received.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

When received by the client, the CERB is combined with the client and/or cohabiting partner’s passive business income, if any, and receives the same exemption as Passive Business Income.

When received by a client’s cohabiting partner, the CERB is combined with the spouse’s pension income, if any, and receives the same exemption as Pension Income.

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.

The temporary exemption on CRB income does not apply to AISH applicants or their cohabiting partner when determining initial financial eligibility for the AISH program.

Effective July 1, 2021, CRB income is treated in the same manner as EI benefits.


Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit payments are treated in the same manner as EI benefits and are non-exempt income.

Income and Exemption Tables

  • The Income Categories Table provides an overview of income types grouped according to income category and exemption.
  • The Income Type Exemption Table provides a detailed list of income types and includes explanatory notes, income categories, and applicable income exemptions.