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AISH Program Policy

Published Date: April 09, 2020
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Personal Benefits


Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act, sections 3(1)(a) and 3.2; Schedule 1, section 7
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped General Regulation, sections 2(c), 2.01(1)(d)(ii), 2.01(2)(b), and 8; Schedule 3 section 12


To describe what assistance is available to clients with the costs of funeral expenses.


In order to receive a funeral benefit, the eligibility criteria as outlined in the Personal Benefits section must be met.

The funeral benefit is paid directly to a funeral provider to cover funeral costs for a client, their cohabiting partner, or their dependent child through an agreement between the Minister and funeral homes in Alberta. The funeral benefit covers expenses for burial or cremation in Alberta only if the financial resources of the client and their cohabiting partner are inadequate and there are no other means to pay. The funeral home will provide information regarding costs that are covered by AISH. Authorization must be obtained from AISH before any arrangements are made with the funeral home.

All funerals for AISH clients are processed by the Health and Funeral Benefit (HFB) unit. Clients or family members may contact the HFB unit to get a list of approved funeral homes. Authorization must be obtained from the HFB unit before any arrangements are made with the funeral home. The HFB unit can be reached at:

  • Telephone: 780‑638‑4443 in Edmonton or toll free at 1‑855‑638‑4443 outside Edmonton.
  • Fax: 780‑643‑9228 in Edmonton or toll-free at 1‑855‑643‑9228 outside Edmonton.

Responsible Survivor(s)

A responsible survivor is expected to financially contribute toward the cost of basic funeral services. AISH does not pay funeral expenses if the responsible survivor has assets over $5,000 and refuses to pay, or refuses to provide the information required showing their inability to pay.

A responsible survivor is defined as:

  • the cohabiting partner of the deceased (providing that the cohabiting partner is not formally separated or in divorce proceedings);
  • the legal parents of a deceased child less than 18 years old; or
  • the legal sponsor of a sponsored immigrant.

Non-Responsible Survivor(s)

Any individual or group of individuals other than responsible survivors may enhance the funeral by adding or upgrading an item or service that AISH does not provide. In this situation, the individual or group of individuals must pay the full cost of any item or service that is added, enhanced, or upgraded.

For First Nations AISH clients, Bands may not provide enhancements to funeral goods or services. Any funds provided will be applied to the cost of the non-enhanced funeral expenses.

Other Available Resources

AISH does not cover the cost of funeral expenses if available resources are sufficient to pay for basic funeral costs. Other available resources are to be used to pay for as much of the basic funeral services as possible. These resources include:

  • Canada Pension Plan - Death Benefit;
  • life insurance benefits;
  • insurance benefits if the death was caused by an insured motor vehicle; or
  • the Last Post Fund, if the deceased was a Canadian Forces veteran.

Out-of-Province Situations

When a client, their cohabiting partner or dependent child will be buried or cremated outside Alberta, the funeral benefit may only be provided to transfer the remains within Canada. 

If a client, their cohabiting partner or dependent child dies outside of Alberta (but within Canada), a benefit may be provided to return the remains to Alberta for burial or cremation.