» Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual


Published Date: April 01, 2006

2006-04-01 General Policy

IESA Section 6(1) 
ISHTB Regulation Section 2
ISHTB Regulation Section 3


The client categorization system provides a framework for workers to group clients according to their characteristics and employability.

Client types are arranged on a continuum to reflect the clients’ current and potential relationship to the labour market. Client types are divided into client sub-types with specific client characteristics.

Client categorization is a dynamic system that enables the worker to revise the client’s sub-type as the client’s relationship to the labour market changes. Both formal and informal assessments are used to determine the client sub-type and form the basis of the mutually agreed upon actions to follow.

Clients are categorized for several reasons:

  • Each client sub-type has unique expectations. By following the expectations a client moves towards the maximum level of self-sufficiency anticipated for his or her circumstances.
  • Each adult in a household unit is categorized individually and then the household unit is assigned a household unit type, which determines benefits. Asset limits also depend on the household unit type.
  • The sub-type of the adult closest to independence drives a household unit’s benefits, with the exception noted in the Determining Household Unit Sub-Type section below.
  • Client sub-types allow for benefit administration to be standardized. Clients in some sub-types receive specific benefits (e.g. supplementary dental coverage) that clients in other categories do not.
  • General characteristics of Income Support (IS) recipients are summarized and provide a sound basis for reporting to the Minister, the government and the public at large.
  • Planning and contracting with agencies and other government departments to provide intervention services is made easier and more responsive when the general characteristics of current IS recipients are documented.

Detailed characteristics of each client sub-type are described further in the Definitions of Clients Expected To Work and Not Expected To Work sections.



The following terms are used in the Client Categories/Types sections.

Client Sub-Type (CT)
The grouping assigned to an individual, which reflects their current work or training activities, and their potential for full-time employment.

Household Unit Sub-Type (HT)
The grouping assigned to a household unit, determined by the client sub-types of the household’s adult members and the rules for Determining Household Unit Sub-Type below.

Employability Assessment
A formal or informal assessment conducted by a Career and Employment Consultant (CEC) or a designated worker to determine an individual’s employability. Factors of employability include but are not limited to employment history, work skills, education, life management issues such as addictions and housing, career goals, physical and mental health, and family related issues such as childcare and family violence.

Depending on an individual’s circumstances, an Employability Assessment includes the use of the EMP 2104 Action Plan, the EMP 3508 Client Investment Plan, or a medical report/note.

  • EMP 2104 Action Plan: A written and mutually agreed upon plan of activities between the client and department, based on an informal assessment. Is part of the intake procedure but can also be used by the Support and Financial Services Coordinator (SFSC) or CEC.
  • EMP 3508 Client Investment Plan: Details the commitments being made by the client and department after participating in formal assessment with the CEC. Timelines and costs associated with the plan should be included.
  • HRE 207 Medical Report, SCS 2066 AISH Medical Report or a clear, concise note provided by a physician detailing the condition, treatment and duration.

Physician is defined as a Medical Doctor (MD), Osteopathic Physician or a Specialist (i.e. as listed in the Medical Professions Act).

Benefits recommended by a doctor do not automatically have to be issued. Staff has discretion to deny the benefit, to request clarification, or request a second opinion to verify why the medical condition warrants issuing a benefit.

The conclusion made as a result of an assessment of employability factors, weighing of strengths and barriers identified, and taking into consideration training or employment programs which the individual may benefit from. The conclusion determines whether an individual is assigned to the Expected To Work (ETW) or Not Expected To Work (NETW) client category/type.

Determining Household Unit Sub-Type (HT)
When there is one adult in a household unit, the CT is also the HT.

In order for the household unit to be assigned to an NETW sub-type both adults must be in an NETW CT except as noted above. When both adults are in the same client type the sub-type of the adult closest to independence is used to determine the HT. A Household Type Matrix has been developed to determine which CT has priority when assigning a HT.

When there are two adults in a household unit, and at least one adult is assigned to any Expected to Work (ETW) sub-type, then the household unit is assigned to that ETW HT unless one adult is assigned to the Not Expected to Work (NETW) Severe Handicap sub-type. In this case, the HT is NETW Severe Handicap.


CT fields for each adult in the household unit and HT are mandatory fields in Eligibility Determination (ED) and Client File.

The worker:

  1. Determines the CT of each adult on the file.
  2. Enters it in the CT fields in ED or Client File.

LISA automatically defaults the appropriate HT from the Household Type Matrix established by policy. The HT field is Display Only in ED, Client File and Client Budget.

LISA uses the HT along with household composition, living arrangement, and ages of any dependant children to determine the asset levels and benefits for the household unit.

Client and Household Sub-Types

Income Support (IS) Sub-Types

10     Expected To Work (ETW)

11 Self-Employed
12 Employed Full-Time
13 Employed Part-Time
14 Available for Work/Training
15 Attending Short-Term Program
17 Temporarily Unable to Work/Train – Health Problems
18 Temporarily Unable to Work/Train – Family Care

40     Not Expected To Work (NETW)

42 Medical or Multiple Barriers
43 Severe Handicap
44 Self-Employed
45 Employed Full-Time
46 Employed Part-Time
47 Attending Short-Term Program

80     One-Time Issue

81 Transient
82 Resident

Alberta Adult Health Benefits Sub-Types

70    Alberta Adult Health Benefits (AAHB)

72 AISH Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income
73 AISH Leaver Due to Excess CPP-D Income
74 ETW Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income
75 NETW Leaver Due to Excess Employment Income (Except HT 43)
77 NETW Severe Handicap Leaver Due to Excess Employment or CPP-D Income (HT 43 Only)

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) Sub-Types

90    AISH

91 Straight AISH
92 Modified AISH
93 In Government Group Home