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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: July 29, 2016
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03 Client Categories/Types

One-Time Issues

Income and Employment Supports Act, section 6(1)
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, section 100(1)


After a full service needs assessment of their employment, training, family, health and financial circumstances clients are assigned to the One-Time Issue client category if:

  • They are currently in receipt of on-going income that is sufficient to meet their basic needs but they do not have access to resources to meet their existing emergent need.
  • Their need is emergent in nature and it is unlikely that the client will require assistance in subsequent months.
  • Their needs will likely be addressed through the issuance of Supplementary Non-Continuous Benefits (as Core Benefits and/or Supplementary Continuous Benefits are not normally issued to a One-Time Issue client).

This assessment at the onset will better ensure that clients receive the appropriate type and level of services.

The key distinctions between One-Time Issue and Expected to Work (ETW)/Barriers to Full Employment (BFE)client categories is that recipients in the One-Time Issue client category are currently in receipt of sufficient on-going income to meet their basic needs while recipients in the ETW/BFE client categories are not.


Applicants currently in receipt of sufficient on-going income may receive benefits as a one-time-issue if:

  • A severe emergency exists, and
  • No resources are available to meet the emergency need, and 
  • The worker has applied the program goals and principles and the applicant meets all rules and conditions for eligibility.

A client in sub-type 81 Transient One-Time Issue or 82 Resident One-Time Issue is allowed the same liquid asset and other asset exemptions as an ETW client. Assets beyond allowable levels may be allowed at the discretion of the Supervisor when disposal of the asset would create a hardship.

Benefits beyond those listed in this section require Director Approval. CPAP devices require approval from the Executive Director, Alberta Works Programs.

Applicants and Recipients in the One-Time Issue Client Category have a right to appeal and must be advised of this. Delaying or deferring a client’s access to services and/or benefits could be considered a denial of benefits and as such the client must be advised of their right to appeal in these circumstances.

One-Time issue recipients in client categories 81 and 82 should be reassessed as new applicants for on-going benefits if they require additional income support in the month immediately following the One-Time Issue.

81 Transient

An applicant who:

  • Does not have a fixed addressed in Alberta, and
  • Does not intend to establish a permanent residence within Alberta, and
  • May or may not have sufficient on-going income to meet their basic needs, but
  • Does not have access to resources to meet their existing emergent need(s).

Eligible transient applicants receive benefits limited to the following:

82 Resident

An applicant who:

  • Is not a transient, and
  • Does not have an active Income Support file and 
  • Will not require benefits in the following month. 

    AISH clients should be referred to the AISH program.

Applicants who are deceased and require an indigent burial are assisted as a resident One-Time Issue.

Applicants, who are employed and awaiting first pay, and who, at the time of the application, are not currently in receipt of sufficient on-going income starting a job, and who do not at the time of application have sufficient on-going income to meet their basic needs should be assigned to the ETW client category.

If an emergency exists such that an Income Support (IS) Learner requires immediate assistance and the Learner Income Support Centre is not able to process the emergency request in time due to process limitations, IS Learners may be assisted as a One-Time Issue at a Service Centre. In these situations, the learner has already met the eligibility requirements and needs the specific benefit to be processed in a more timely fashion. These situations will be facilitated by the Regional Specialist.

Eligible applicants receive benefits limited to the following:


A two-parent family with two dependent children applies for assistance on July 20. One adult is employed full time, earning a net income of $1,500 a month. The Canada Child Benefit is their only other income. They have no assets other than household furnishings and personal effects.

The core benefit for this family is less than $1,500 a month. The family has no continuous supplementary needs.

This family unit is not eligible for on-going benefits because monthly income exceeds core needs.

However, they are in need on July 20. The family is out of food, and they have a disconnection notice for their power bill due the following week. Their money is gone and they have tried all other available resources without success.

They are eligible for an emergency food and utility arrears allowance under client category 82.


See One-Time Issue Applicants (Client Types 81 and 82).