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Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: August 01, 2011
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Service Management: Learner Income Support

Recoveries: Defaulting Sponsor


Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 31, 32, and 92


Identifies immigrants and refugees and their children as ineligible for income support and benefits while being maintained by their sponsors in accordance with a sponsorship agreement under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).


Sponsors are required to meet the financial needs of individuals they have sponsored. The Government of Alberta may recover the cost of benefits paid on behalf of sponsored immigrants and their dependants where sponsorship defaults have occurred. The process to verify if a sponsorship default exists is outlined in Sponsored Immigrants.

The Learner Income Support Office (LISO) calculates the total benefits excluding training benefits.

If the Sponsored Immigrant (who is the learner) is part of the sponsor’s household unit (spouse/partner), the assessed overpayment (automated liability case) is 50% of the benefits issued.

If the Sponsored Immigrant (who is the learner) is not part of the sponsor’s household unit (spouse/partner), the assessed overpayment (automated liability case) is 100% of benefits issued.


Reports will be provided to advise LISO staff when sponsorship defaults occur for open (report provided quarterly) and for closed files. When it has been determined a sponsorship debt exists, or when a defaulting sponsor contacts the Government of Alberta to repay the debt owed to the province:

  1. LISO staff calculate the total benefits issued, including health benefits.


    • If the sponsor was part of the sponsored immigrant’s household unit (spouse/ partner) at the time of the debt, the debt is recovered at 50%.
    • If the sponsor was not part of the sponsored immigrant’s household unit (spouse/partner), the debt is recovered at 100%.


  2. As the overpayment (automated liability case) can only be entered into the Non-IS Debt Group portfolio by Service Alberta, LISO staff must first notify the defaulting sponsor using the EMP 3911 Notice of Assessed overpayment (Sponsorship) of:


    • The amount of the overpayment (automated liability case),
    • The period of the overpayment (automated liability case),
    • The reason for the overpayment (automated liability case), and
    • The right to appeal.

      A contact name and phone number is included in the letter in case the defaulting sponsor requires more information or wishes to appeal.

  3. Once the appeal period has elapsed or the appeal has been concluded by the Income and Employment Supports Appeal Panel, LISO staff must notify the defaulting sponsor in writing (by creating a letter in Mobius using the MS Word blank template) that the overpayment (automated liability case) is now a debt owing to the government and that full (or partial) payment can be made at any Service Centre or by mailing payment directly to:


    Service Alberta
    Collections Unit
    PO Box 11417
    Edmonton AB T5J 3E4

  4. LISO staff sends the information requested on the EMP 3898 Service Alberta Third Party Debt Information form to Service Alberta at


  5. Service Alberta enters the overpayment (automated liability case) as a Non-IS Debt Group in the Recoveries System and sends an Initial Collection Letter (system generated).


  6. When the debt is paid in full, Service Alberta:

    • Advises Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) (by fax, if requested by the defaulting sponsor) that the debt is paid in full, and
    • Provides a copy of this confirmation to the defaulting sponsor (if requested by the defaulting sponsor).


      CIC may be notified by faxing CIC at
      905-803-7833 or completing any forms supplied by CIC.


Learner Benefit Coordinator , Learner Income Support Office (LISO)