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Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: January 02, 2020
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Learner Income Support Benefits

Policy Governing All Benefits – General


To provide general rules and considerations applying to all Learner benefits.


There are a number of general policies that govern how income support benefits are provided to a learner. These policies are as follows:

Arrears and Recovery

Benefits are not issued to pay off debts, loans or arrears. Benefits are not issued on a repayment basis except when authorized in policy.

Authority for Issuing Benefits

Authority for issuing benefits resides with the Learner Benefit Coordinator or equivalent unless otherwise stated.

Awaiting Appeal

Benefits that have been refused are not issued pending an appeal before the Income and Employment Supports Appeal Panel. Benefits are not issued to pay for an individual to attend an appeal hearing.

Benefit Indexing

Income Support benefits will be indexed as per the Income and Employment Supports Act using the Alberta Consumer Price Index. This will occur as determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Benefit increases will be calculated using a rounding formula to the next dollar, where applicable. Further detail of how this is calculated can be found in the Act.

Duration of Benefits

Learner funding normally commences the day the program begins if the application was received by LISO before the program start date. If the application was received by LISO after the program commenced, then the funding is assessed according to the Timeline for Applications Policy.

If the learner’s program start date is on or before the 10th calendar day of the month, the full amount of the Core and Continuous benefits is provided. If the learner’s program start date is after the 10th calendar day of the month, the amount of the Core and Continuous benefits is prorated to the learner’s program start date (ISTHB Regulation, Section 52(3).

Core Shelter may be issued for the entire month.

For the last month of the learners program, the learner receives benefits for the entire month.

The date of full-time learner eligibility, as shown above, is determined by the Minister and cannot be appealed to the Income and Employment Supports Appeal Panel (ISTHB Regulation, Section 97(1)(a) and (j)).

Least Cost Alternative

Unless otherwise specified in policy, the worker issues benefits by the most reasonable and economical means.

Medical Opinion

Benefits recommended by a doctor or nurse practitioner are not automatically issued. The Government of Alberta has the discretion to deny benefits, to request clarification, or request a second opinion to verify why the medical condition warrants issuing a benefit.

Mismanaged Benefits

Income Support is not re-issued if found to have been mismanaged or used for purposes other than intended. An overpayment may be assessed when a Supplementary Benefit, a Health Benefit, or a Training Benefit is used for a purpose other than the one for which it was issued.

An exception may be made if a learner’s cheque was lost, stolen, or never received, and was not cashed by the learner. In this instance, the original payment instrument is stopped and a replacement is issued.


The Learner Income Support Office (LISO) can issue underpayment benefits retroactively for all periods of assistance in which the underpayment occurred. Retroactive payments cannot predate the date the learner was initially deemed eligible for income support.

Rounding of Benefits and Income

Benefits or income with a cents value are rounded down to the nearest dollar. For a full-time learner, payments will be made if the amount is greater than or equal to $1. 


The individual, including a recipient of Income Support as an “Expected to Work” or “Barriers to Full Employment” must submit a Learner Income Support Application (Full Time Study) or a Change in Circumstances form for Learners and meet all Financial Eligibility criteria, in order to receive income support.

Standard Procedure for Issuing Benefits and Entering Notes and Tasks

Unless otherwise stated in policy the standard procedure for issuing benefits and documenting is, the worker:

  1. Reviews Mobius or CCD/LISA (e.g., Scratch Pad).
  2. If eligible, issues the benefit.

Records the circumstances into the appropriate Notes section in Mobius.

  • Notes that are related to Plan Items to assist the client should be entered into the “Plan Item” Notes;
  • Notes related to the Assessment should be in the “Assessment” Notes;
  • Notes that are directly related to the Service Plan should be entered into “Service Plan” Notes;
  • Notes that are related to changes in product delivery, (i.e. impacts to Learner funding) should be in “Product Delivery Case” Notes;
  • All other Notes (i.e. running record) should be entered into the “Integrated Case Home Page Notes”.

Documentation in Mobius is based on the recognition that the information belongs to the client. Therefore, notes should only contain information necessary to provide the service and only to the detail required by policy.

By default all Mobius Notes have level 1 sensitivity, meaning they may be viewed by anyone who has access to the client’s file. If it is necessary to record confidential information, staff must ensure the proper sensitivity restriction is assigned.

Created the Task in the appropriate Task Section in Mobius.

To allow others to view and work on Tasks assigned to a client, Tasks can be linked to a client’s Home Page so they are in one centralized location in Mobius. When creating a new Task from the Integrated Case Home or Service Plan, select the client’s name as a Case Participant under the section labeled Concerning. This will link the Task to the clients Home Page in the Task section on the Left Navigation Menu.

Substantiation and Verification

Unless otherwise stated, verification of client circumstances requires staff to view the applicable documents and record this activity in Mobius Notes including any relevant details that might not be otherwise captured in any of the systems.

Documents provided by the client that are not required are to be returned to the client.