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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: January 01, 2019
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12 Assets

General Policy


Income and Employment Supports Act, section 6(2)(c)
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits (ISTHB) Regulation, section 20, 21 and 28
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits (ISTHB) Regulation, section 100
Income Support. Training and Health Benefits (ISTHB) Regulation, Schedule1
Ministerial Order 2018-19 Appendix B: Schedule 1 – Exempt Assets
Ministerial Order 2016-17 Damage or Loss Caused by a Disaster
Ministerial Order 2016-18 Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Settlement
Ministerial Order 2016-24 Castle Mountain Land and Timber Claim Settlement
Ministerial Order 2017-03 Clegg Class Action Settlement
Ministerial Order 2017-13 Agricultural Benefits Settlement Agreements
Ministerial Order 2017-17 Piikani Nation Grazing Leases Specific Claim Settlement Agreement
Ministerial Order 2018-15 Lubicon Lake Band No. 453 Treaty 8 Lands and Benefits Claim Settlement Agreement


Certain assets are exempt to ensure:

  • Applicants/Recipients who are eligible for on-going benefits are not placed in total poverty by being deprived of everything valuable they own.
  • People have some resources they can use to purchase items that are not available through income support.
  • People are encouraged to save for their and their children’s futures and manage their funds.


Liquid Assets
Liquid asset” means cash on hand or cash in a financial institution or held by a third party that must be paid to the applicant or recipient on demand, and assets readily convertible into cash such as stocks, term deposits, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), bonds and other securities.

Workers must determine whether:

  • The asset is a form of money rather than an item of merchandise, and
  • The applicant or recipient can access it immediately.

Readily Convertible

Readily convertible means that within the next two banking days:

  • A local business is open and willing to cash the applicant’s cheque, or
  • A bank, Treasury Branch or Credit Union is open and the applicant has the required identification, or   
  • The applicant has an automated teller card and access to the account through an available automated teller machine (ATM), or   
  • In the case of a savings bond, an individual or business is willing to redeem it for its full cash value, or   
  • By some other means, the applicant or recipient can access the value of the asset without delay.

Temporary Exemption

Some financial assets cannot be readily converted to cash and can be temporarily exempted.

Further information regarding exempting assets temporarily can be found in Asset Exemptions.


Applicants and recipients must declare all assets.

Recipients must declare all changes in their assets.

If an applicant or recipient declares excess liquid assets, they are not eligible to receive IS. (This does not apply to clients receiving a one-time issue.)

Compensation and Extraordinary Assistance Payments
The following payments are exempt over and above an applicant’s or recipient’s cash and liquid assets, no matter when they are received, how much the amount or how long they are kept:

  • Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement payments,
  • Extraordinary Assistance Plan payments, 
  • Financial benefits under the Victims of Crime Act, 
  • Provincial or territorial compensation for HIV infection through the blood supply, 
  • Payments received under Schedule A or B to the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement except for payments received under Section 4.02 (loss of income payments) and Section 6.01 (loss of support payments) of the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement which are not exempt, 
  • Common Experience Payments (CEPs) and Independent Assessment Process Payments (IAPs) under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, 
  • Roth/Fifield Class Action Settlement Agreement from the Government of Alberta, 
  • A Slave Lake Wildfire Relief payment or a payment under the Emergency Accommodation Program to persons subject to the mandatory evacuation order issued by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency in May 2011.
  • Compensation issued by the Government of Alberta pursuant to a Disaster Recovery Program for the June 2013 floods. 
  • Government payments as designated by the Minister.
  • Compensation issued by the Government of Alberta for damage or loss caused by a disaster as determined by the Government of Alberta.  
  • Payments issued by a charitable organization for a disaster as determined by the Government of Alberta.
  • A non-recurring per capita distribution payment received from the First Nation and paid equally to each band member, from proceeds of the following agreements:
    • Agricultural Benefits Settlement Agreements (ABSAs);
    • The Piikani Nation Grazing Leases Settlement Agreement; and
    • The Lubicon Lake Band No. 453 Treaty 8 Lands and Benefits Claim Settlement Agreement.

IS benefits and income, saved from one month to the next, become part of liquid assets and may affect eligibility.

Savings of a dependent child are not taken into consideration when determining the household unit’s liquid assets.

An applicant cannot dispose of assets for other than fair market value in order to qualify for IS.

A recipient must report the sale of an asset. Recipients have one month after the sale of the asset to convert the proceeds of the sale of the asset to another asset before the proceeds of the sale are considered liquid assets.  Any asset is subject to limits allowable by exemption.

Assets for One-Time Issue Clients
Applicants with sufficient on-going income may receive benefits only as a One-Time Issue if an emergency exists, and no resources are available to meet the emergency.

An applicant in client type 81 or 82 is allowed the same liquid and other asset exemptions as an Expected to Work (ETW) applicant.

If non-exempt liquid assets are not adequate to meet the emergency need, the worker issues the difference between the need and the household unit’s non-exempt liquid assets.


  • Applicants are required to declare their assets and the assets of their spouse/partner on their signed EMP 3428 Application for Income Support.
  • Recipients are required to declare changes in their assets and the assets of their spouse/partner through their monthly reporting. 
  • Recipients who are exempt from monthly reporting, inform their worker of changes in their and their partner’s assets by telephoning or writing their worker immediately. These recipients are also required to report changes in their circumstances on their EMP 0110 Annual Report
  • Clients are required to provide any additional substantiation the worker determines necessary in accordance with the guiding principles for substantiation and verification to verify the client’s assets.


Recording One-Time Issue in LISA

If the client has excess liquid assets, the worker:

  1. Records the maximum exempt liquid assets in the Liquid Asset field in Eligibility Determination.
  2. Uses the remainder of liquid assets to reduce the amount of the emergency need on the budget.


The worker verifies assets by:

  1. Obtaining the standard substantiation and any additional documentation determined necessary.
  2. Reviewing the substantiation to ensure it contains all the information necessary to determine eligibility.   
  3. Documenting all relevant information in Mobius Notes.