AISH Program Policy

Published Date: March 01, 2014
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Severe Handicap


Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, section 1(i)


To provide the definition and eligibility criteria that must be met for severe handicap.


Having a disability alone does not mean a person is eligible for AISH. Applicants and clients must have a permanent disability that severely impairs them physically or mentally to the extent they are substantially limited in their ability to earn a livelihood to support themselves financially. Applicants and clients are responsible for proving that a severe handicap exists and obtaining the appropriate documentation from a specialist physician.

AISH determines an applicant or client’s work potential based on the impact of their disability on their ability to work. When an applicant and client’s employment potential changes, they are expected to pursue employment or training that will lead to greater financial independence.

Eligibility Criteria

Substantial Limitation

When making a decision on medical eligibility, consideration is given to the:

  • Need for ongoing medical intervention;
  • Need for a major organ transplant;
  • Individual effort made to correct, control or lessen the severity of the disability;
  • Existence of multiple conditions that are not responsive to treatment;
  • Existence of generalized medical conditions that require extensive and extreme treatment, and are not likely to yield a favorable prognosis; and
  • Availability of remedial therapy, including medical and non-medical treatments or rehabilitation that may materially improve the condition.

Multiple Conditions

AISH may consider multiple conditions collectively when each condition alone is not considered severe. In this situation, multiple medical conditions must constitute a severe and permanent handicap that:

  • Substantially limits the applicant and client’s ability to earn a livelihood; and
  • Is not materially responsive, either collectively or individually, to available medical treatment.

Earning a Livelihood

Applicants and clients must seek or accept reasonable employment for reasonable wages, within their ability. Earning a livelihood means being employed a minimum of 30 hours per week at a reasonable wage. Reasonable wage means minimum wage or a wage agreed to under a permit for employment for persons with disabilities.

While AISH applicants and clients may not be able to fully support themselves through work, they may still be able to work or do volunteer work. AISH encourages clients to work to the extent they are able.

Availability of Remedial Therapy and Material Improvement

Applicants and clients must take any action to lessen the severity of the disability. If there is remedial therapy available that would materially improve the applicant or client’s ability to earn a living, they must participate in it. Remedial therapy includes medical and non-medical treatment, rehabilitation, and employment training.