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AISH Program Policy

Published Date: January 02, 2020
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Benefits

Indexing of Benefits

The following policy is not currently in effect.

The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act has been amended to suspend indexing of AISH Benefits. Core and personal benefits will not be indexed in 2020.

AUTHORITY
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, sections 1(a), (c.1) and (c.2)
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, section 3.1
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, Schedule 1
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped General Regulation, section 1.1


INTENT

To allow AISH benefits to be adjusted to reflect the increased cost of living over time.

POLICY

AISH benefits are adjusted annually using the Alberta Consumer Price Index (CPI) starting on the CPI adjustment date of the CPI adjustment year, once determined.

Indexing applies to AISH benefits as follows:

Core Benefits

  • The following core benefits are indexed:
    • Living allowance
    • Personal allowance of the modified living allowance
    • Child benefit


Personal Benefits

  • Personal benefits are indexed except in the following circumstances:
    • when they are provided for the actual cost of an item;
    • when they are based on an amount set in an agreement between the Minister and another party; or
    • when they are based on an amount set in legislation separate from AISH or by another government program.


Health benefits are not indexed as they are provided for the actual cost of an item or based on amounts set under agreements between the Alberta government and another party.

How Benefits are Indexed

Annual benefit rate changes are calculated using the Alberta CPI (All-items, not seasonally adjusted). The Alberta CPI is published monthly by Statistics Canada and measures the change in price for goods and services bought by Albertans. The Alberta CPI is calculated by comparing the cost of a fixed set of commodities purchased by Albertans across time. This set, or “basket,” of commodities includes food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other average household expenditures.

If the CPI is not available to calculate the annual indexation of benefits, the Minister, in consultation with the Minister responsible for the Financial Administration Act, will determine the amount benefits will be adjusted.

Calculating Annual Benefit Increase Amounts 

Benefits are adjusted annually starting on the CPI adjustment date of the CPI adjustment year, once determined. The increase in benefit rates in a given year is the percentage change in the average monthly Alberta CPI from the most recent 12 month period from October 1 to September 30 over the previous 12 month period from October 1 to September 30.

Adjusted amounts are determined by taking the previous year’s benefit amounts and multiplying them by the change in the Alberta CPI.

Change in the Alberta CPI is calculated using the following formula:  

X=A/B-1

X is the change in the Alberta CPI
A is the sum of the Alberta CPI indexes for each month of the 12 month period ending on September 30 prior to the adjustment date.
B is the sum of the Alberta CPI indexes for each month of the 12 month period ending on September 30 preceding the 12 month period referred to in A

Subtracting 1 from the ratio identifies the percentage increase in the CPI used for indexing benefits.

The benefit rates effective each CPI adjustment date are calculated by taking the previous year’s benefit amount and adding the percentage increase determined by the above calculation.

See also: Rounding Benefits.  

Note:
In rare circumstances, the change in the Alberta CPI may be a negative number (e.g. where the cost of the “basket” of commodities decreases from one year to the next).  Benefits are not adjusted in a year where the change in the Alberta CPI is a negative number to ensure there is not a decrease in benefit amounts.