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Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB)

Published Date: June 21, 2012
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Initial Eligibility

A completed EMP 2939 Alberta Child Health Benefit Application form and if applicable, the AEHB 3654 Declaration of 18-19 Year Old Dependant form, are generally required for enrolment in the Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB) program. The Consent and Declaration section of the application form must be signed and dated to ensure Community and Social Services has permission to contact Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax information.

The parent or guardian who claims the child as a dependant, and receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit on behalf of that child, is considered the applicant. This rule applies to joint/shared custody and 16-17 year old parents.

The ACHB program provides health benefits for children in the following circumstances, provided the household meets the Additional Eligibility Criteria listed in the next section:

  • Children in households with low income are eligible for ACHB, if the household income is equal to or less than the ACHB qualifying income level for their household type. If an applicant’s income as reported on their last income tax return is higher than the qualifying income level, but their current income is significantly lower, they can apply for an exception to the qualifying income levels.

    Income is defined as the total combined household net income (line 236) plus non-taxable child support payments (line 156 minus line 128) as reported by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Line 156 is the actual amount of child support received and line 128 is the taxable child support that must be reported.


  • Children of Income Support and AISH leavers, not receiving health benefits through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit program, are eligible for ACHB and households are exempt from the qualifying income rules until the annual date of renewal, if application is made within 90 days of file closure.

    Coverage is retroactive to the day following IS/AISH closure.


  • Children of applicants approved for Full-Time Learner benefits are eligible for ACHB, unless the applicant fails to start the training program. These households are exempt from the qualifying income rules until the date of annual renewal.

    The EMP 2939 Alberta Child Health Benefit Application is not required for Full-Time Learners. Their approved application for funding as a Learner, the EMP 3238 Income Support Application for Learners Full-Time Study, contains the necessary information to automatically enroll their children into the ACHB program.


  • Children of applicants who are low income refugees or refugee claimants are eligible for ACHB as long as they are legally entitled to stay in Canada.

    If the applicant is a refugee or refugee claimant they will be responsible for providing income verification through alternative sources other than CRA as they may not have filed taxes within their first year of residence in Canada.  If the refugee or refugee claimant has been in Canada for more than one year then income verification will be requested from CRA.

    Refugees and refugee claimants must provide substantiation of their status in Canada by providing with their application documents from the Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) indicating their status. 

    Additional Eligibility Criteria
    ACHB applicants/clients are expected to:

    • Maintain residence in Alberta.


    • File annual income tax returns with Canada Revenue Agency


    • Have a Personal Health Number (PHN) from Alberta Health and Wellness for each child.


    • Refrain from abuse of the ACHB, for example lending or selling their HBC or any goods obtained with the HBC.


    • Promptly inform ACHB of any changes in household unit members, address, or other health plan coverage.

    Failure to abide by these expectations may result in suspension or termination of the ACHB, and/or a debt being assigned for any health benefits provided under the program.

    The following persons do not qualify for the ACHB:

    • Status/Registered Indian and Inuit children eligible for the Non-Insured Health Benefits provided by Health Canada, including non-status children living on reserve who receive health benefits from the band


    • Children of sponsored immigrants, unless a breakdown of sponsorship has been confirmed
    • Children in the care of Child Intervention Services


    • Dependent children of AISH or IS recipients, with the exception of children of full-time learners


    • Dependent children of household units covered under the Alberta Adult Health Benefit

      An eligible child cannot be active on more than one ACHB file.