AISH Program Policy

Published Date: December 11, 2017
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Eligibility

Applying for AISH

AUTHORITY

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, sections 4 and 5
Applications and Appeals (Ministerial) Regulation, section 2

INTENT

To provide information on the application process and information required to support an application

POLICY


To determine if the eligibility criteria for the AISH program are met, applicants must provide information about their severe handicap, residency, age, income and assets.

AISH Application

An AISH application can be obtained by:

  • Printing the application form. (The form is fillable. Applicants can enter their information electronically and then print and sign the completed form. Applicants should keep a copy of the completed application for their records).
  • Contacting an AISH office. The nearest office can be located by calling a Service Alberta operator toll-free in Alberta at 310-0000 or by referring to "Your Guide to Completing the AISH Application"
  • Contacting an Alberta Supports Centre

The AISH application form has two parts: 

Part A Applicant Information
is completed by an applicant or their personal representative.  This section of the application form collects information about the applicant’s identity, age, residency, employment, training history income and assets. Information about a cohabiting partner and any dependent children is also collected. 

Part B Medical Report
is completed by the applicant’s physician or specialist. This section of the application form collects information about the severity and permanency of the applicant’s medical condition.  Along with the completion of the Medical Report physicians and specialists may provide supporting documentation by attaching them to the Medical Report or submitting them directly to an AISH office. The applicant may also wish to provide additional medical information that would assist in determining eligibility.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to cover the costs associated with the completion of Part B Medical Report. Alberta Works may pay costs associated with completing an AISH Medical only for applicants receiving financial assistance through Income Support or for Albertans experiencing financial hardship. For more information or to inquire, contact the nearest AISH office. Costs for completing the AISH Medical are not paid for applicants enrolled in the Alberta Adult Health Benefit (AAHB) or Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB) programs.

Application Completion and Submission

Depending on applicant’s situation, some sections of the application form may not be necessary to complete or the application process may change. Applicants who are uncertain of what sections of the application to complete are encouraged to use the "Your Guide to Completing the AISH Application" or contact an AISH office.

When applying for AISH benefits, applicants are encouraged to submit both Part A and Part B of the AISH Application (DS2444) at the same time.  AISH reviews the application and attached documentation to assess eligibility and determine the application requirements. In some situations applicants are not required to complete both Part A and B of the application. The application form provides guidance on when Part A or Part B of the application form is not required for eligibility to be assessed. 

Incomplete Applications

If an application is submitted but not entirely completed, it may be returned to the applicant or a worker may contact the applicant to discuss the required information. If more than 12 months have elapsed since the application was submitted and the program has not received the required information to proceed, the application will be closed and the applicant must complete a new application to be reconsidered for AISH.

General Eligibility Situations and Considerations

Applying Before Moving to Alberta

AISH legislation requires a person to be ordinarily a resident of Alberta. The AISH program requires applicants to have an established residence in Alberta prior to proceeding with the application process.

Applying Before the Age of 18

Although AISH legislation requires a person to be 18 years old to be eligible for benefits, applications are accepted up to six months before an applicant turns 18 years of age.

Starting the application process early allows applicants who are eligible for the program to begin receiving benefits once they have turned 18. Early notification supports transition planning for adulthood and helps to ensure that ineligible applicants have time to explore other options.

Status Indians

Status Indians residing on or off reserve may be eligible to receive benefits through the AISH program. The AISH program does not provide health benefits to Status Indians as this is the responsibility of the federal government through Health Canada.

Unique Applicant Situations

Applying from an Institution

Applications are accepted from individuals residing in institutions if they have a confirmed release or discharge date that is within six months of the submission of the application.

Applying from a Hospital

Applications are accepted from individuals receiving treatment in a hospital. However, if the hospital falls under the Mental Health Regulation and is considered an institution by AISH, please refer to Applying from an Institution (above).

AISH Applicants Receiving End of Life Care

To alleviate financial concerns and respond to the time sensitive nature of applicants receiving end of life care, these applications are given priority.

Applicants receiving end-of-life palliative care and/or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness are not required to complete sections 6 and 7 of Part A Applicant Information.  Part B Medical Report is not required if the applicant submits medical documentation that confirms the diagnosis of a terminal illness or are receiving palliative care.

AISH Applicants Receiving Alberta Works Income Support Program

AISH applicants receiving Income Support, must complete and sign Part A with the exception of section 8 Income Information and section 9 Asset Information and submit Part B.

AISH Applicants and Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program

The Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program is a provincial government program that provides funding for staff supports for adult Albertans with developmental disabilities. Since the majority of PDD approved clients are also medically eligible for AISH and generally apply for both programs, a process has been developed to help expedite the AISH application process for PDD applicants/clients. 

AISH will accept the PDD approval after August 2009 as substantiation for determining AISH medical eligibility. This eliminates AISH applicants from having to have a physical complete Part B of the AISH. If the applicant is not eligible for PDD and meets AISH general and financial eligibility the applicant will need to submit Part B of the AISH Application (DS2444) form completed by their physician. AISH will completes the medical eligibility assessment to determine AISH medical eligibility.

Rapid Reinstatement

AISH benefits can be rapidly reinstated within two years for former clients whose employment/self-employment earnings decrease to the point where they are eligible for AISH again and did not leave AISH because of a change in their medical condition.

Eligibility Determination

To qualify for the program, the criteria for general, financial and medical eligibility must be met.  General and financial eligibility are determined prior to assessing medical eligibility. For more information see Eligibility Criteria.

Eligibility Criteria Met

In situations where an applicant is deemed to be eligible for AISH, the documentation previously provided will be reviewed to determine the amount of benefits the client is eligible to receive.

Following this review, a commencement date is set and a commencement meeting is held with the applicant to open the AISH file. Applicants will be notified prior to the commencement meeting if additional information is required by the program to establish eligibility for benefits.

If the applicant has a cohabiting partner or financial administrator (or both), these parties must be present at the commencement meeting.

Eligibility Criteria Not Met

At any stage in the application process, if an applicant does not meet the AISH eligibility criteria, the applicant will be sent a written notice of decision outlining why they are not eligible for the program and provided with information about submitting additional information or information on appealing a decision

In circumstances where an applicant does not meet general or financial eligibility criteria based on the information submitted with Part A Applicant Information, the applicant will be notified in writing of the denial confirming Part B Medical Report was not reviewed. An applicant does not proceed to medical adjudication unless the applicant meets the criteria for general and financial eligibility.

A re-assessment of eligibility occurs if an applicant provides additional information that demonstrates a change in general, financial or medical eligibility within the 12 month time period.  If more than 12 months have elapsed since the initial notice of decision, and the applicant provides additional information, the applicant must complete a new application.

The additional information must be received within 12 months of the date of the letter providing the initial notice of decision. For example, if an applicant’s notice of decision is dated December 15, 2017 additional information will be considered for re-assessment of eligibility until December 15, 2018 without the requirement to submit a new application. If the additional information submitted does not change the initial decision and the applicant continues to be ineligible for AISH, the applicant will be sent a written notice of decision outlining the reason(s) for the decision and information about appealing the decision.

In circumstances where the Appeal Panel renders a decision within the 12 month time period and an Appeal Panel upholds the Department’s decision, the decision is final. Additional information submitted after an Appeal Panel renders a decision will not be considered for re-assessment of eligibility unless accompanied by a new application