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Learner Policy & Procedures

Published Date: July 09, 2018
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Financial Benefits Decision

Assets – General

Overview

AUTHORITY

Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 5(2)(a)(b)
Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 15
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Section 47 and 48
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Section 54(1)(a)(c) and (2) 
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Schedule 1, Section 2(3)
MO 302/2018 Federal Child Benefit Amounts (Advanced Education)
MO 2018-14 Federal Child Benefit Amounts (Labour)

INTENT

Training is a joint responsibility between government, the learner, and the learner’s spouse/partner. Where possible, learners are to contribute as much as possible financially to their training.

Certain types of assets are exempt to ensure that:

  • learners are encouraged to manage their funds and save for their children’s futures, and
  • learners may have some resources they can use to purchase items that are not available through the Income Support program.


POLICY

To be eligible as a full-time learner, an individual and their spouse/partner:


Monthly Core Benefits for learner household = Monthly Core Essential + Monthly Core Shelter + High School Incentive Benefit + Handicap Benefit.
Note
Monthly Core Benefits for a Non-EI learner includes the federal child benefit amount.

Exceptions:

Sponsored Immigrants
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.

Transitional Vocational or Approved Self-Employment Program
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.

Changes to Assets During the Period of Training

Sale of Assets
In most cases, when an exempt asset (e.g. principal residence) of a learner and or spouse/partner is sold, there is an expectation that the asset will be disposed of for fair market value.

Unlocked’ Assets
When a Learner Income Support Application (Full Time Study) is reviewed, an exemption may be granted for an asset because it is not accessible to the learner at the time (e.g., property locked into divorce proceedings, money in trust).

If an asset, which previously was exempted as inaccessible, is ‘unlocked’ (e.g., money becomes accessible) during the funded period of training, the money is not exempt as an asset. The funds are not to be placed in another locked-in account.

PROCEDURE

An individual and their spouse/partner, who are applying to attend Government of Alberta funded training must declare their assets on their application. Individuals provide information about their assets when they complete their Learner Income Support Application (Full Time Study). If there is a change in assets, the learner must report the change by submitting a Change in Circumstances for Learners form.

In most cases, the individual’s and their spouse/partner’s written statement and signatures on the Learner Income Support Application (Full Time Study) is considered as substantiation of their declared assets. Additional documentation requirements, if any, are identified for the applicable type of asset.