Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: October 01, 2015
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Financial Benefits Decision

Determining Financial Income Support (IS) Benefits

AUTHORITY

Income Support, Training and Health Benefits (ISTHB) Regulation, Section 52
ISTHB Regulation, Schedule 4, Section 24
Full-Time Learners: Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Labour)
Full-Time Learners: Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Advanced Education)

INTENT

An individual must meet all program eligibility and financial eligibility criteria in order to be eligible for income support benefits. As part of the financial eligibility assessment, certain assets and income that an individual has may be either exempt or partially exempt.

POLICY

An EMP 5569 Learner Income Support Application (Full Time Study) must be submitted to the Learner Income Support Office (LISO) in order to determine eligibility for IS benefits as a learner. Applications that are incomplete or do not provide the required documentation in order to determine eligibility cannot be processed. Individuals will be sent a Request for Information letter requesting the necessary information in order to make a determination about eligibility. This delay in determining eligibility may also delay the payment of benefits, if eligible, to an individual.

To be eligible for IS benefits, an individual and their spouse/partner cannot:

Financial Payments

Once eligibility for IS has been established, the amount of IS benefits is calculated. This amount is based on the needs and resources of the household unit. The assessed need is determined by subtracting the resources from the needs and dividing over the length of the training period (i.e. number of months).

Individuals will receive a Funding Assessment Decision letter, which indicates the amount of the benefit payment, payment disbursement details, appeal process and other important information.

Non-Employment Insurance and Employment Insurance (EI) full-time learner

Payments for Income Support are provided directly to the learner. Tuition, student association fees, and mandatory fees are sent to the training provider. Books and supplies can be sent to either the learner or the training provider.

Income Tax Deductions (EI learners)

EI benefits are deemed taxable benefits and Human Services is responsible for withholding Income Tax at source. Mobius is responsible to calculate the tax amount and remit a payment to Canada Revenue Agency. This payment is over and above the EI learner’s regular benefit amounts.

Benefits paid to and on behalf of learners during a calendar year are reported on a T4A, with the exception of five benefits: handicap benefit, telephone and transportation - leaving abuse, escaping abuse, relocation allowance and residential addictions treatment benefit which will be reported on a T5007.

Bridge Funding for Expected To Work/Not Expected To Work Clients

In some situations, bridge funding for an income support client designated as ‘Expected to Work’ (ETW) or ‘Barriers to Full Employment’ (BFE) is necessary.

The individual will continue to receive IS as an ETW/BFE until learner funding is received. The individual will also receive a top-up for Core Essential and Core Shelter benefits. The top-up will increase their benefits to the eligible learner amounts for the days within the first month of the client funding period where learner IS has been approved, but for which ETW/BFE Income Support payments have already been received for the month.

Note
This amount will be determined by the LISO.

The formula is:

(Learner IS rate - ETW/BFE rate) x (last calendar date in month - client funding start date + 1) / calendar days in month.

Individuals must continue to report monthly until their funding as a learner commences. The Funding Assessment Decision letter, which is received from LISO, also identifies the commencement date of learner funding.

An individual who ceases to be a learner at the end of the funded period of training and still requires financial support must apply for income support as an ETW/BFE for subsequent months.

Learner Funding Commencement and Pro-Rating Benefits

Learner funding for IS Core and Continuous benefits normally commences the day the program begins if the Income Support Application for Learners was processed by Alberta Human Services before the program start date.

The following applies in the first month of a training program:

  • If the Client Funding Start date is on or before the 10th calendar day of the month, full Core benefits are provided.
  • If the Client Funding Start date is after the 10th calendar day of the month, Core benefits are prorated from the Client Funding start date.
Exception
Core Shelter benefits may be issued for the entire month if the Learner can demonstrate that their shelter costs are not paid.

Late Applications

If the learner applies late, in the second or later months of the training program but before the last day of training, the benefits are calculated for the entire month in which the application is received by LISO.

A late application cannot be used to gain eligibility when the client would not otherwise be eligible (i.e., 12 months out of school).