Alberta.ca » Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual

Skip To Navigation

Skip To Content



Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: January 01, 2019
Bookmark this page

Learner Income Support Benefits

Emergency Benefits

AUTHORITY

Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 4, section 26
Delegation of Minister's Authority to Directors/Staff Ministerial Order (Labour)
Delegation of Minister's Authority to Directors/Staff Ministerial Order (Advanced Education)
Full Time Learners:  Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Advanced Education) MO 306/2018
Full Time Learners:  Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Labour) MO 2018-32

INTENT

The Government of Alberta assists learners and/or members of their household who do not have the resources to deal with an emergency need.

POLICY

An emergency allowance may be provided for food, accommodation, replacement clothes, unpaid utility bills, repairs to home or major appliances, or other goods and services of an emergency nature when:

  • The situation is beyond the control of the household unit, and
  • The learner or a member of the household unit is in a situation that presents a serious health or safety risk, and
  • The person cannot wait until the next payment date, access other available resources, or make alternative arrangements.


In all cases, the worker must review Mobius Notes to ensure that an emergency allowance has not already been issued for the same emergency situation under any IS client type (Expected to Work, Barriers to Full Employment, or Learner).

Note
In addition to the emergency benefits listed, learners in an emergency situation may be issued child care and/ortransportation for safety reasons if they are otherwise eligible for these benefits.

Substantiation

  • Verbal statement of the client, or
  • Workers’ knowledge or observation, or
  • Evidence from a reliable source that the item is essential. (e.g., Trailer Park Management requires a mobile home to be skirted or the owner will be evicted, Fire Department states a home has unsafe wiring, etc.)
  • In the case of the Emergency eviction benefit, a statement of arrears or notice of eviction.
  • In the case of the Emergency damage deposit, a lease agreement or notice of rental details.
  • In the case of unpaid utility bills, a utility bill or statement.
Note
In the case of an essential appliance or home repairs, a written estimate is required.

Workers may ask for further substantiation and verification in situations where:

  • Eligibility cannot be determined without further documentation (e.g., medical need), or
  • The worker has reason to believe the client is withholding information or providing inaccurate information.


Rates for Eligible Emergency Situations

Rates: see Benefit Rate Table

An allowance may be considered to cover the following expenses:

  • Replacement clothes

  • Food
    • when member(s) of the household unit are required to travel outside the community where they reside for more than a 24 hour period   
    • where the member(s) of the household unit are within the community they reside

  • Accommodation:
    • actual cost of reasonable motel, hotel or shelter
    • for up to one month, two weeks at a time
    • emergency shelter beyond one month requires the approval of the Learner Income Support Office (LISO) Supervisor.

  • Home and major appliances repairs:
    • actual cost of essential repairs on a repayment basis only

  • Damage deposit:
    • actual cost of the damage deposit to establish a residence to prevent homelessness where there is a lease agreement or notice that a damage deposit is required, up to the maximum.
      • issued one time only within 3 years
    Note
    For singles and childless couples, an amount may be provided to assist families in the preparation of the addition of a child to the household by birth or adoption or when a child is returning to the household after being in the care of Child and Family Services or living elsewhere.  This benefit amount can be issued when the child is within three months of becoming a member of the household unit.
  • Eviction:
    • actual cost of outstanding rental arrears to prevent homelessness where there is a statement of arrears or eviction notice, up to the maximum.
      • issued one time only without repayment
      • subsequent coverage is on a repayment basis only 
      • Learners residing with a family member are not eligible for this benefit

  • Utility arrears:
    • actual cost to pay unpaid utility bills when there is a disconnection notice
      • issued one time only for each utility without repayment
      • subsequent coverage is on a repayment basis only 

  • Other emergency issue:
    • an amount may be issued up to the maximum by the Manager, Benefits Administration, Common Service Delivery (CSD), for each set of circumstances


PROCEDURE

If a learner or a member of the learner’s household has an emergency situation, the learner should contact the Learner Income Support Office (toll free at 1‑800‑222‑6485, or in Edmonton at 780‑427‑3722. If outside working hours the learner should contact the Income Support Contact Centre (toll free at 1‑866‑644‑5135, or in Edmonton at 780‑644‑5135).

Considerations Before Issuing an Emergency Allowance

In all cases, the following questions should be addressed before issuing an emergency allowance:

  • Have Mobius Notes been checked to ensure that an emergency allowance has not already been issued for the same emergency situation?
  • When will the next funding be received by the learner? Examples include:
    • Child Support Payment,
    • Canada Child Benefit, 
    • Alberta Child Benefit,
    • GST Rebate,
    • Income Tax Refund,
    • monthly income support disbursement,
    • part-time earnings.
  • Does the learner’s training provider have an Emergency Fund that can be accessed until funding through learner income support is available?


PROCEDURE

  1. LISO will document in Mobius Notes the reason for issuing the benefit, the amount of the benefit(s) issued to the learner, and any other relevant information.
  2. If the benefit is for “Other Emergency Issue”, the request is forwarded to the Manager, Benefits Administration, CSD for approval.


Funds for emergency allowance are payable to the learner by direct deposit whenever possible.

APPROVAL

Learner Benefit Coordinator, LISO - unless specified otherwise
Supervisor, LISO - Emergency Shelter beyond one month
Manager, CSD - Other Emergency Issue