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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: May 06, 2014

06 Core Shelter

General Policy

Income and Employment Supports Act, section 5(1)(a); Schedule, sections 4(b), 8 and Tables 2 and 3
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 2(1), 2(2) and 2(4)


To cover the costs of rent, mortgage, utilities (except for electricity in social housing) heating fuel, municipal taxes, insurance, condominium fees, lot rental, homeowner’s maintenance, and damage deposit.


Core Shelter is determined by household composition and living arrangement.

Clients residing in private housing or social housing are eligible for Core Shelter at the rate specified in the Core Shelter Payment Table.

Core Shelter rates are regulated and cannot be exceeded by Community and Social Services staff or Appeal Panels. No additional allowance may be issued for an item covered by Core Shelter, unless specific provision is made elsewhere in the ISTHB Regulation.

Single persons without accommodation are referred to a shelter in locations where they exist. Duplicate Core benefits are not issued to individuals residing in government-funded shelters.


For all benefits issued in this section, substantiation is as reported and signed by the client on their EMP 3428 Income Support Application or EMP 1886 Client Reporting Card.

Verbal notification from the client may be accepted as confirmation of an address change depending on the worker knowledge of the situation and if the change does not represent a change in eligibility for or the amount of the Core Shelter benefit.

Recording Shelter Benefits

LISA makes automatic adjustments if rates change or there is a household unit size change and ensures the client receives the correct Core benefits.

To ensure the proper amount of benefit is issued, shelter information entered in LISA must accurately reflect the client's shelter situation.

Living Arrangement Codes

Private housing:
Living Arrangement 1
These Core Shelter rates vary by household composition.

Social housing:
Living Arrangement 6
These Core Shelter rates vary by household composition.

Clients who live with family:
Living Arrangement 2

Clients who do not have accommodation costs:
Living Arrangement 7
Are not eligible to receive Core Shelter.


The worker will:

  1. Ensure the Client File reflects accurate shelter information and information impacting the shelter amount.
  2. Enter the mailing address of the accommodation and the residence address (if different than the mailing address or if there is a financial administrator).
  3. Enter the appropriate Living Arrangement and the correct household composition.
  4. Update the Client Budget to reflect the actual shelter costs. Enter the actual shelter and press PF10 to default the appropriate shelter benefits.
  5. Update Mobius to reflect accurate shelter information.

Specific Core Shelter Adjustments

Child Out of Parental Home
When a child is taken into the care of Child and Family Services and will be outside the parental home for more than 3 months, the Core Shelter is reduced for the second and subsequent benefit period.

Decrease in Family Size
If the worker knows in advance a household member is leaving the family, that individual is deleted from Client File and the difference between new Core Shelter and previous Core Shelter is issued under Need Code 1109 Additional Shelter for one benefit period.

When an unforeseeable decrease in the size of the household unit occurs because one member is incarcerated or dies, the Core Shelter is reduced for the second and subsequent benefit periods.

Increase in Household Size
Core Shelter for a household unit living in private housing may be increased to reflect the presence of an additional child, three months prior to the birth or adoption of that child or the return of that child who has been in the care of Child and Family Services or living elsewhere.

Clients can verify the addition of the child to the household unit with one of the following documents:

  • Note from a doctor or nurse practitioner confirming the due date of the child
  • The Alberta Health Care Card, the baby’s hospital bracelet, or birth certificate
  • Adoption papers
  • Documentation from Child and Family Services
  • Other suitable indication of a child’s expected arrival/return  

    Need Code 1135 Shelter for Expected or Returning Child(ren)

When issuing shelter for expected or returning children:

  1. The worker enters a Task in Mobius to ensure it is deleted off the budget appropriately.
  2. The worker deletes Need Code 1135 Shelter for Expected or Returning Child(ren) from the budget when the child is added in Client File.

Parenting Agreement/Order

If a client has a Parenting Agreement/Order (that indicates the child's place of residence is approximately equal time with each parent), the child is included in the household unit to determine the Core Shelter benefit rate.

If both parents are Income Support recipients, the full Core Shelter is paid to each parent only if a Parenting Agreement/Order exists. If no Parenting Agreement/Order exists, only one parent is entitled to the child’s portion of the Core Shelter or the child’s portion may be divided between both parents.

One-Time Issues
Clients in client type 82 may be issued Core Shelter for the actual amount of their shelter cost for one month only, not to exceed the ETW rate in the Core Shelter Payment Table.  

Need Code 1868   Core Shelter/One-Time Issue

Reducing Shelter Rates
One month’s notice is provided to clients to allow time to find alternative accommodations when their core shelter will be reduced.

If Rent or Shelter is Paid by Another Party
See Income - Third Party Payments