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Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: August 19, 2021
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Financial Benefits Decision

Financial Eligibility Overview


Income Support, Training and Health Benefits (ISTHB) Regulation, sections 47, 48 and 49
Full Time Learners:  Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Advanced Education)
Full Time Learners:  Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Labour and Immigration)
Federal Child Benefit Amounts (Advanced Education)
Federal Child Benefit Amounts (Labour and Immigration)


To be eligible as a full-time learner, an individual and their spouse/partner cannot have:

  • more than the ‘allowable liquid assets’. 

    Allowable Liquid Assets for a learner household must be less than (3 x Monthly Core Benefits) + $10,000

    Monthly Core Benefits for learner household = Monthly Core Essential + Monthly Core Shelter + High School Incentive Benefit + Handicap Benefit.

    Monthly Core Benefits for a Non-EI learner includes the federal child benefit amounts.

  • any non-exempt assets  

    In the case of a household unit with an adult member who is a sponsored immigrant and the sponsored immigrant is not being fully maintained by a sponsor, the adult members of the sponsor's household unit cannot have any non-exempt assets, unless the sponsor is in default and in the Director's opinion the sponsor has abandoned or abused the sponsored immigrant.

Exception to non-exempt assets

If the learner is applying for a transitional vocational program or self-employment approved program, then they can have non-exempt assets and the liquid assets test does not apply

  • income (after all applicable exemptions/partial exemptions have been given) that equals or exceeds their assessed needs over the funded period of study.

Exemptions for certain assets and income are provided when determining eligibility for income support benefits.

Certain types of assets are exempt to ensure that:

  • learners are encouraged to manage their funds and save for their children’s futures
  • learners may have some resources they can use to purchase items that are not available through the Income Support program
  • awards made to redress wrongs are not recovered unfairly
  • learners can maintain a certain standard of living.

Certain types of income are fully or partially exempt to ensure that:

  • learners have incentives to earn money from employment
  • learners get the benefit of specific federal and provincial financial supports available to other Canadians
  • learners may have some resources they can use to purchase items that are not available through income support
  • dependent children are encouraged to save for post-secondary and/or technical training.