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AISH Program Policy

Published Date: January 02, 2020
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Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, section 3.2
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped General Regulation, sections 2.01(1)(d), 2.01(2), Schedule 2


To define assets and how the AISH program classifies them.


Assets are valuable items such as cash, securities and investments, stocks, shares, bonds, inventory, equipment, real estate, vehicles, and other property. When determining eligibility for AISH, the value of assets of an applicant, client and cohabiting partner are taken into consideration. As AISH uses assets to determine eligibility, applicants, clients, and their cohabiting partner are required to declare their assets and provide appropriate documentation to substantiate the value of those assets.

AISH classifies assets as either exempt (not counted) or non-exempt (counted). As a program eligibility requirement, the total value of all non-exempt assets owned by an applicant, client, and their cohabiting partner must not exceed $100,000. The non-exempt asset limit for Personal Benefits must not exceed $5,000, except in situations of financial hardship.

Exempt assets are not counted in the $100,000 limit. These include:

  • One principal residence, or one home quarter section of a farm (including buildings on the quarter section) in or on which an applicant or client resides. If the applicant or client is residing in a facility or institution, one principal residence where his or her cohabiting partner or dependent child principally reside.
  • One vehicle that is not primarily used as a recreational vehicle.
  • One vehicle adapted for the disability of the applicant, client, cohabiting partner, or dependent child if required for the disability.
  • A Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), Life Income Fund (LIF), Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF).
  • A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
  • The value of any assets that are held in trust in which an applicant, client or cohabiting partner is named as a beneficiary.
  • Clothing and reasonable household items.
  • A pre-paid funeral.
  • Assets held by a trustee in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • A non-commutable annuity purchased on or before February 1, 2002.
  • Money received, or assets purchased with that money, from specific Government payments. However, interest earned from this money is not exempt.    
  • Money that is not considered income by AISH.
    • The money is exempt for 12 months from the date an applicant, client or cohabiting partner receives the money. 
    • The exemption is intended to give applicants, clients and cohabiting partners time to invest the money into an exempt asset.
  • Assets exempted by a director if it is disposed of within the time specified by the director.

    Per capita distribution (PCD) payments issued to members of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation under the Calgary Ring Road Agreement must be forwarded to the Director for consideration of an exemption.

Non-exempt assets are all other assets the applicant, client, and their cohabiting partner have.

The assets of an incorporated business are legally separate from its shareholders. The assets of an incorporated business are not a factor in determining eligibility for AISH benefits. However, all shares of an incorporated business owned by a client or cohabitating partner are considered an asset and may affect eligibility for AISH benefits.