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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: August 01, 2011
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03 Client Categories/Types

General Policy

Income and Employment Supports Act, section 6(1)(a)
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 1(2)(5), 4, 8 and 9


Client categorization provides a framework for workers to group clients according to common traits and employability level. It is a dynamic system that allows the workers to revise a client's sub-type as his/her relationship to the labour market changes.


Clients are categorized as either, Expected to Work (ETW) or Barriers to Full Employment (BFE).  After an Employability Assessment is completed and the client is assigned to an ETW or BFE Client Category/Type, the individual’s client sub-type is established.

Criteria specific to each client sub-type are the basis for developing mutually agreed upon actions and goals contained in a client’s Service Plan.

Individuals are placed in client sub-types for several reasons:

  • Each client sub-type has specific expectations. By meeting these expectations a client is able to move towards the maximum level anticipated, given his/her unique situation.
  • An adult’s client sub-type is used to determine the household unit sub-type Income Support (IS) benefit levels and assets limits are based on household unit sub-types.
  • The use of clients sub-type allows for a standardized system of benefit administration.  For example, certain client sub-types are eligible for additional benefits (supplementary dental coverage) whereas other client sub-types are not.
  • Characterization by sub-type is a means of recognizing commonalities between different groups of IS recipients and provides a basis for reporting to the Minister, the government and the public at large.
  • Determining appropriate intervention services in conjunction with other agencies an government ministries is also made easier when established criteria for IS client sub-types are documented.

Determining Household Unit Sub-Type (HT)

The household unit sub-type is based on the client sub-type assigned to adult members of a household.  Specifically, the client sub-type for an adult in the household that is “closer to employment” is used to determine the household unit sub-type.

In a one-adult household, an individual's client sub-type (ETW or BFE) and the household unit sub-type is identical.

In a two adult household, where one adult is assigned to an ETW sub-type, the household unit sub-type is designated as ETW.

If one adult in the household is categorized as BFE client sub-type 43 Severe Handicap, the household unit sub-type is designated as BFE.

Aside from the exception noted above, both adults in a household must be assigned to a BFE client sub-type in order for the household unit sub-type to be designated as BFE.

A Household Type Matrix has been developed to determine which client category/type has priority when assigning a household unit sub-type.


A client must be re-categorized to another client sub-type if his/her circumstances change and a different sub-type more accurately reflects the individual’s situation.


Client Type and Household Unit Sub-Type fields are mandatory in Eligibility Determination (ED) and Client File.

The worker:

  1. Determines the client sub-type of each adult in the household.
  2. Enters the client sub-type fields in ED or Client File.

LISA automatically defaults to the appropriate household unit sub-type from the Household Type Matrix. The household unit sub-type field is Display Only in ED, Client File and Client Budget.

LISA uses the household unit sub-types along with household composition, living arrangement, and ages of any dependant children to determine the asset levels and benefit amounts for each household.

Client and Household Unit Sub-Types

Income Support (IS) Sub-Types

10     Expected To Work (ETW)

11 Self-Employed
12 Employed Full-Time
13 Employed Part-Time
14 Available for Work/Training
15 Attending a Program
17 Temporarily Unable to Work/Train – Health Problems
18 Temporarily Unable to Work/Train – Family Care

40     Barriers to Full Employment (BFE)

42 Medical or Multiple Barriers
43 Severe Handicap
44 Self-Employed
45 Employed Full-Time
46 Employed Part-Time
47 Attending a Program

80     One-Time Issue

81 Transient
82 Resident

Alberta Adult Health Benefits Sub-Types

70    Alberta Adult Health Benefits (AAHB)

72 AISH Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income
73 AISH Leaver Due to Excess CPP-D Income
74 ETW Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income
75 BFE Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income (Except HT 43)
77 BFE Severe Handicap Leaver Due to Excess Employment or CPP-D Income (HT 43 Only)
78 Health Benefits Card Only – Pregnancy
79 Health Benefits Card Only – High Drug Needs

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) Sub-Types

90    AISH

91 Straight AISH
92 Modified AISH
93 In Government Group Home