Province tables bill to increase income support payments

By Charles Lefebvre
November 8, 2018 - 4:33pm Updated: November 8, 2018 - 7:12pm


EDMONTON, AB — The provincial government has tabled a new bill that would increase the amounts people receive from income assistance program.

Bill 26, An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities, was introduced on Thursday. If it passed, it would provide an increase to Income Support programs, such as the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.

“An economic recovery that doesn’t reach every kitchen table is no recovery at all,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a news release. “We are committed to helping make life better for all Albertans and this bill would make life more affordable for our most vulnerable citizens, and help ensure everyone has the chance to succeed and live with dignity.”

Under the new program, a single person with no children receiving AISH would see their monthly payment move from a maximum of $1,588 to $1,685. A single person with two children would qualify for a maximum monthly payment of $1,985, up from $1,788.

Income support for those expected to work would go up from $627 to $745. For those with barriers to full employment, they would receive $866 (up from $809).

The seniors benefit would also increase from $280 to $285.

Future increases would be set to inflation to keep pace with the cost of living, a news release from the province states. Rates change depending on a person’s needs or family size.

Proposed increases can be found here. 

AISH payments have not been updated since 2012, while Seniors Benefits have not increased since 2009.

If the bill passes, the new rates will take effect on January 1, 2019.

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