Alberta.ca » Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual


Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: April 01, 2006
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01 Income Support Program Principles


“Alberta Works Because We Invest in People”

Key principles for the Alberta Works Income Support system:

  • Improved outcomes for clients

    Benefits and services focus on assisting Albertans and their families to participate successfully in the workforce, and to have sustainable employment, to the greatest extent possible given the individual’s situation. The system of services and supports ensures that clients are better off working.

  • Supports are based on what people need

    The benefits and services provided to Albertans and their families are based on an assessment of the person’s individual situation, and are responsive to the clients’ unique needs.

  • Supports encourage personal responsibility

    Albertans are supported to become independent through a system of supports that focus on employment as the route to independence. The system of services and supports includes services that: help people move off of the Income Support program into employment, stay off Income Support, or never enter the Income Support system; these services including extending health benefits to former clients, and providing child support services.

  • Supports assist in Building Alberta’s workforce

    Income Support provides the financial supports and services that assist Albertans and their families to obtain successful and sustainable employment, thus ensuring that employers are able to fill their jobs with qualified people.

  • Those in need receive the supports they require

    Albertans who are unable to work to provide for themselves or their families will continue to receive Income Support and health benefits to meet their basic needs.

  • Recognition of client’s rights

    The program recognizes that clients are honest, trustworthy, and accountable and respect their right to autonomy, dignity and personal choice.


There may be individual complex client situations where various policies apply, or where policy is unclear, or where a variety of solutions are possible. A response to the situation that takes these principles into account is appropriate, even when other solutions are also possible.

Substantiation is primarily required in instances where it is necessary to ensure that the appropriate service is provided and that services are being administered correctly. Documentation beyond what policy requires should be requested only in individual situations, and should not become a general requirement.