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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: November 08, 2023
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15 Administrative Procedures

Application Process

Career and Employment Consultant (CEC)


To outline the CEC intake process


The worker completes a thorough assessment of the applicant’s:

  • Financial circumstances;
  • Household circumstances;
  • Health factors;
  • Employment and education history; and 
  • Training plans, if applicable.

The worker uses the assessment to determine the following:

  • Benefit eligibility;
  • Core benefit level;
  • Client type; and
  • The appropriate initial support services and employment planning required to assist the applicant to reach his or her potential for self-sufficiency.

The worker:

  • Advises the applicant (and spouse/partner) of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Advises the applicant (and spouse/partner) of the requirement to access all income they are eligible to receive. Clients can access federal incentives such as the Disability Tax Credit, Canada Child Benefit or quarterly GST Credits through the annual filing of income tax. When income tax is filed, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sends out a Notice of Assessment (NOA). Clients must submit their NOA annually to confirm this has been done.
  • Issues initial benefits, if appropriate.
  • Advises ineligible applicants of alternate resources, and
  • Advises ineligible applicants of their right to appeal, the appeal process and the time limit for appeal.

Alternate Financial Resources

While determining eligibility for Income Support (IS) benefits, the worker examines alternate resources with the applicant, which for most applicants are better options than IS, including:

  • Liquidation of assets above exemption levels (i.e., bonds, pensions, RRSP’s, etc.)


  • Aids to Daily Living


  • Blue Cross premium reduction if the applicant only has medical needs.


  • Alberta Child Health Benefit


  • Family and friends


  • Application for early retirement Canada Pension Plan (CPP) pension at age 60 but only if doing so will increase current CPP income. If a person receives CPP disability benefits, their income may decrease if they switch to CPP early retirement benefits.


  • CPP Credit Splitting for clients who have been separated from a spouse/partner for 12 months or longer. CPP pension credits which the couple built up during the time they co-habited together can be divided equally between them.


  • Workers Compensation Board (WCB) for benefits and for retraining if the applicant can no longer work in current occupation because of permanent injuries.


  • Student funding for applicants who want to pursue education under the Student Financial Assistance Act (SFAA) i.e. Alberta Student Aid, Foundational Learning Assistance.


  • Benefits through Section B of the applicant’s motor vehicle insurance policy (an applicant has 60 days from the date of the motor vehicle accident to access funds through their insurance company).


  • Community resources.



To prepare for the application interview, the worker reviews the following documents to determine if further action is required before meeting with the applicant:

The worker may view all previous payments made to or on behalf of a client for each period of assistance after July 1993, by accessing Case Information function 3 on CCD and selecting Payment History option 8.

The worker reviews all alerts on CCD, and if appropriate, follows through, updates, adds or deletes them.

The worker consults with:

  • The Supervisor to discuss difficult case decisions or to request approval as required by policy.
  • The previous Alberta Works Centre when necessary (i.e., to discuss a non-compliance alert).

The worker explains the intake purpose and process and conducts a personal interview with the applicant and spouse/partner, where applicable.

For application interviews conducted outside the Alberta Works Centre, the worker:

  1. Gathers as much information from the applicant as possible by telephone.
  2. Enters the data in Eligibility Determination (ED) function 1 to generate the EMP 2503 Eligibility Determination Information (ED Call Sheet), if applicable before the applicant is seen by the worker.

    The worker will review the Declaration of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application with the applicant at the time of the interview to ensure that the applicant understands the information.

    If it is not practical to meet in person, the interview can be conducted over the phone and verification of information such as personal identification can be deferred.
  3. Record the reason that information (such as identity) was not authenticated in person in Compass Comments. Include details about any substitutions to the requirements that are being temporarily used.

    Set a reminder to review the file at a later date to ensure that if the household receives ongoing assistance, that identification is authenticated.

Language Interpreters
Applicants who speak English as a second language may need interpreter services to interpret communication between the worker and applicant. When an interpreter is used, the worker confirms and records the following information about the interpreter in Compass Comments:

  • First and last name;
  • Phone number; and
  • Address.


The worker gathers personal identification and verifies the applicant’s personal circumstances, income, assets, eligibility, and needs by examining substantiating documents.

The file can remain in hold status in ED while the worker is waiting for substantiating documents.

Eligibility Determination

The worker enters all required information in ED function 1 for all applicants, including one-time issues and makes a decision whether the applicant meets all policy eligibility criteria.

Eligible Applicant

If the applicant is eligible, the worker enters all additional required information into:

  • Add Client function 3 for new clients, or
  • Reopen Client function 4 for clients with closed files.

Ineligible Applicant

If the applicant is ineligible, the worker:

  1. Enters all required information on the Rejection/Referral screen in ED function 1.
  2. Explains the following clearly to the applicant:

    • Why the applicant is ineligible for IS benefits
    • What other resources are available to assist the applicant
    • The appeal process and timelines to appeal.

  3. Assists the applicant with referrals to other resources, as required.
  4. Records the Intake Summary information in Compass Comments.


If an ineligible applicant re-applies, the worker determines if a change in circumstance has occurred and whether a formal interview is required.

If the applicant’s circumstances have not changed and they remain ineligible, the worker records:

  • The reason for ineligibility on the Rejection/Referral screen in ED function.
  • The reason why the applicant was not granted a formal interview in the Intake Summary in Compass Comments.

If the decision has not previously been appealed advises the client of their right to appeal, the appeal process and the timelines to appeal.

If the applicant’s circumstances have changed and they are eligible, normal intake procedures are followed.

File Date

When adding a client, the worker enters the date benefits begin in the Application Date field.

When reopening a file, the worker enters the date benefits begin in the Reopen Date field.

The worker backdates an application only if the client is eligible for a benefit before the date the application is taken (e.g., the client asks for IS on February 15, 2011). The worker determines the client is eligible for rent from February 1, 2011. The CEC enters 20110201 in the Application Date or Reopen Date field. However, if no benefit is to be issued until February 15, the worker must enter 20110215 in the Application Date or Reopen Date field.

Workers do not back date in order to avoid completing ED function 1.

The worker may take an application from an applicant who is not in need or who does not qualify at the time of application, but will be in need or will qualify within a short time. For example, the applicant does not need assistance until the first of the month, but makes application five days before month-end. The application is dated for the first of the month. Postdating does not result in a delay in benefits.

One-Time Issue Applicants (Client Types 81 and 82)

For one-time issues, the worker enters information in the mandatory fields in Add Client function 3 or Reopen Client function 4, which leads to the Transient One-Time Issue screen. This screen allows the worker to create a cheque or voucher without going through the full budget and payment functions.

If drug coverage only is provided, the worker enters need code 1901 Prescription Drugs, issues $1 and provides this to the client. The worker completes an EMP 1976 Drug Authorization and records the reason in Compass CommentsWhen the cheque prints LISA will void the Health Benefits Card. The system will close the file the following month.

One-Time Issues Living Outside Alberta Works Centre Boundaries

When an applicant (with no active file) who is a resident of Alberta is completely destitute and without means to travel to the appropriate Alberta Works Centre, the worker:

  1. Assesses the emergency and alternate resources.
  2. Refers the applicant to other resources, if applicable.
  3. Refers the applicant back to the CD-AS for normal client direction processing, if issuing emergency one-time benefits.

One-Time Issue Recipient

If a recipient who is receiving benefits as a transient or resident one-time issue requests further benefits, their eligibility should be reassessed as a new applicant to determine if they require ongoing benefits. The worker must:

  1. Use Client File function 7 to update:
    1. Alberta Health status, medical card, medical coverage, client type, education, occupation, and
    2. Any other information that has changed

  2. Update the budget on Client Budget function 9.

Unit and Caseload Assignment

The worker enters the financial worker’s unit and caseload.

If the cheque is to go to the Intake unit for sorting and releasing, the worker assigns the file to his or her unit and caseload after the first cheque is printed and then assigns the file to the financial worker.

All files must be assigned to a Support and Financial Services Coordinator (SFSC) caseload within 5 working days.


The worker creates the proper number of budgets to the roll over cycle (until a MC payment) using the client’s needs and income on Client Budget function 9 and explains the budget to the client. Function 9 is accessed directly from the last screen in Client File function 7.

The worker determines the appropriate method of payment.

Outstanding Recovery at Intake

If a recovery is indicated for the applicant or spouse/partner on CCD, the worker informs the client their monthly benefits will be reduced by the appropriate default rate. If appropriate, the recovery rate may be varied. The client must be informed of the new recovery rate.

If the closed file is still on LISA, the recovery deduction will be deducted from the first month’s benefits.

If the first benefit period is prorated the recovery rate may be decreased.

If the closed file is not on LISA the recovery deduction will not commence until the next benefit period.

When a reopen is downloaded from CCD to LISA it does not include the outstanding recovery. LISA receives the downloaded information from the Recovery System the day after the file is downloaded and does not allow the entry of the recovery deduction if the outstanding recovery is not present.

Repayment at Intake

Specific IS benefits may be issued at intake subject to repayment.

Underpayment at Intake

An underpayment from a previous period of assistance may be issued to a client at intake.

Individual Planning

The Worker:

  • Informs the client of appropriate department programs and services available (e.g., Career and Employment Information Services (CEIS), Child Support Services (CSS)).


  • Identifies appropriate external resources and provides information to assist with the referral (e.g., Children’s Services, subsidized housing, childcare subsidy, etc.).


  • Assists clients in completing their Individual Plan.

Client Education

The worker:

  • Provides their worker’s name, title, phone number and address.


  • Explains Core Essential rates are based on the assumption that households with children are receiving the maximum NCBS on behalf of their children.


  • Explains Direct Deposit policy and identifies exemptions.


  • Explains the purpose of the Automated Reporting for Clients (ARC) and how to enter information in the ARC.

  • Advises the client that unless they are exempted from monthly reporting, they will receive a Client Reporting Card (CRC) each month attached to the direct deposit statement/cheque but they do not complete and return the CRC.


  • Explains that the Director has the rights to any adult or child support for that person or the person’s dependents.


  • Explains the Employment Insurance Assignment of Benefit Process, if applicable.


  • Advises of information sharing (data matching) arrangements with other organizations including EI Post-audit Data Match, EI On-line Inquiry, SF Data Match, Inter-provincial Data Matches, Alberta Justice Data Match


  • Provides debt education.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires the applicant be provided the title, business address and phone number of an employee who can answer questions about the collection of the information.

Completing Documents

EMP 2068 Signature Verification

The worker discusses whether the client is able to cash a cheque or whether they require an EMP 2068 Signature Verification form to facilitate cheque cashing.

A list of all financial institutions and credit unions that have signed the Indemnity Agreement which authorizes the used of the EMP 2068 Signature Verification form is maintained by Finance.

EMP 3428 Income Support Application

The worker:

  • Reviews the completed EMP 3428 Income Support Application with the applicant.


  • Explains the meaning of the Declaration to ensure the applicant (and spouse/partner) fully understand their rights and responsibilities.


  • Has the applicant (and spouse/partner) read and sign the Declaration Section 9 of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application.

  • Provides a copy of Section 9 Declaration and Acknowledgement of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application to the applicant (and spouse/partner) after it has been signed and witnessed.
The worker is not required to witness the applicant and their spouse/partner signing the EMP 3428 Income Support Application; however, the worker must indicate on the application that they:
  • witness the applicant and their spouse/partner read the Declaration or
  • the worker read the Declaration to the applicant and their spouse/partner.

In addition, the worker has the “appropriate person” applicant (and spouse/partner) read and sign the following schedules, when applicable:

  1. Schedule A – EMP 3428A Child Support Services – is signed when required to pursue child support from a responsible party.
  2. Schedule C – EMP 3428C Declaration of 18/19 Year Old Dependent – is signed when an 18 or 19 year old, who is attending school, is included in the EMP 3428 Income Support Application.

When a spouse/partner is not able to attend the application interview for valid reasons (e.g. illness, working):

  1. The spouse/partner must have reviewed the EMP 3428 Income Support Application before benefits are issued.
  2. If necessary the worker makes an appointment for the spouse/partner to ensure they have read the Declaration or so the worker can read the Declaration to the spouse/partner.
  3. Leaves the Cheque Release Flag for the next period of assistance at N.
  4. Records in Compass Comments the spouse/partner is required to sign the EMP 3428 Income Support Application and the date of the appointment.

In rare situations when a spouse/partner cannot review the EMP 3428 Income Support Application (e.g. severely ill, hospitalized, working in another location), the worker may exempt the spouse’s/partner’s review of the Declaration until they can attend an interview. The worker records the circumstances in Compass Comments.

When it is not feasible for transients or stranded Albertans to attend the Service Centre to complete and sign the EMP 3428 Income Support Application the worker:

  1. Reads the declaration to the applicant over the telephone.
  2. Records the reason for absence of applicant signature in Compass Comments.

Issuing a Second Cheque at Intake

If a client applies for benefits after the cut-off date, and expects no income or changes in circumstances, the CEC will:

  1. Create a budget; set CRC and Cheque Release flags to “Y” for the current month and for the following month.
  2. Advise the client not to monthly report for the second month of assistance.

If a client applies for benefits before the cut-off date, or the client expects income or circumstances to change before the end of the month, the CEC will:

  1. Create the budget for the current month and set the CRC and Cheque Release flags to “Y”.
  2. Create the budget for the following month and leave the CRC Cheque Release flag at “N”.
  3. Advise the client once all income is received for that month, they are to enter in ARC to determine eligibility for the following month.

Exemption of Client Reporting

To exempt ARC the worker:

  1. Enters the information in LISA on the last budget created by rollover. The worker uses function 5 in LISA to access the CRC processing screen. Then the worker:

    1. Enters the CRC Date Received 
    2. Enters the CRC Exempt End Date 
    3. Sets the Release Cheque flag to “Y”.

    The exemption month entered on LISA in the “CRC Exempt End Date” field, will be the next client monthly reporting period.

    If a March 2011 date is entered, the client will automatically receive a CRC attached to their February 2011 Direct Deposit Statement and Health Benefits card. The CRC is for March 1 to March 31, 2011 reporting period. The client reports on ARC rather than completing and returning the CRC.

  2. Places a reminder in Compass the month prior to the Exempt End Date to review whether the exemption should be extended. Once the exemption is entered in LISA, the exemption will continue until either the Exempt End Date passes or until it is manually changed by the worker.  LISA will automatically stop the monthly reporting exemption from continuing once the Exempt End Date passes. 

  3. Reviews the CRC Exemption Report when printed and follows up for a review of the monthly reporting exemption status as appropriate.

If Household Type (HT) changes, the worker will see a message on the Client File Screen – “File is Exempted from the CRC”. The worker will need to decide if the monthly reporting exemption is applicable, and if it is necessary to re-enter the information in LISA.

Substantiating Information

The worker advises the applicant of their responsibility to provide all required substantiating information about their situation.

The worker informs the applicant they have a period of time to present missing documents which:

  • They do not possess; and
  • Are not essential to determine their budget; and
  • Are not essential to determine their identity.

The worker informs the applicant that failure to provide the documents within the specified time will result in those benefits lacking substantiation being terminated.

Other Documents

The worker completes other documents depending on the applicant’s circumstances. Some examples are listed below:

  • EMP 0207 Medical Report
  • EMP 0509 Financial Administrator Appointment
  • EMP 1976 Drug Authorization
  • EMP 2240 Signature Verification Working Copy

If the applicant requests a copy of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application the worker provides the applicant with a copy and retains the original for the file.

If the applicant is ineligible and requests a copy of the EMP 3428 Income Support Application the worker provides the applicant with a copy and retains the original for the file.

Verification of Assistance Letter

When requested by the client, the worker may complete an EMP2470 Verification of Assistance (Letter) to verify the client is receiving assistance from the program and to confirm the client’s monthly benefit rate. The worker provides the original letter directly to the client and retains a copy for the file.

Intake Summary

The worker records the Intake Summary information in Compass Comments. The Intake Summary information provides the rationale for eligibility and assignment of client type.

EMP 2409 Financial Document Control

The worker completes the EMP 2409 Financial Document Control if the applicant’s DOC is to be held or picked up and not mailed.

Compiles Documents

The worker compiles all documents, attaches together and gives to Unit AS staff for file creation.

Issuing to Active Clients in Other Service Centers

When a client from another Alberta Works Centre requests benefits, but is not moving, the worker:

  1. Consults with the owning service center, allowing the client to discuss circumstances with the financial worker at the owning Alberta Works Centre if possible.

The client’s financial worker at the owning Alberta Works Centre:

  1. Advises what benefits, if any, are to be issued.

If benefits are issued, the worker:

  1. Uses the Issue to Active in Other Office function 67 to enter information in the mandatory fields.


  2. Issues benefits by manually completing an EMP 0018 Purchase Authorization and Invoice. Uses only Need Codes 18 and/or 19.


  3. Forwards the District Office Copy of the voucher and any supporting documentation to the owning Alberta Works Centre.