Alberta changes AISH, Income Support payment dates after feedback

Albertans who rely on the Assured Income for the Severly Handicapped (AISH) and Income Support programs will get their payments four business days before the first of the month, the province said Friday.

The change comes after feedback from Albertans on AISH and other income supports, according to the province, and will give people more time to pay their bills and help prevent unnecessary late charges.

March will be the first month with the new payment date.

The province says those receiving payments will get a notice to update any automatic bill payments when they get their February direct deposit slip or cheque.


The full payment schedule can also be found online, it adds.

Greg McMeekin, an advocate for persons with disabilities, says payments on the first of the month, which took effect in 2020, have created financial challenges for Albertans.

“I am pleased that the Government of Alberta has listened to Albertans who receive AISH or Income Support by changing the benefit payment date,” he said in a statement. “Implementing this change will greatly assist people in meeting their financial obligations.”

The Opposition NDP says it has been advocating for changes for several years.

“In 2020, we wrote to the Auditor General (AG) asking them to look into this harmful change,” Marie Renaud, community social services critic, said in a statement. “In November 2020, an AG report clearly stated that the UCP changed the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and Income Support payment schedule to make their balance sheet look better.

“The payment schedule changes should have been reversed immediately after the AG report — and with an apology,” she continued. “Instead, Albertans with disabilities faced eviction notices, non-sufficient funds charges, and late rent penalties.

“In some cases, folks relying on AISH payments sought out payday loans in order to pay their bills on time.”

According to the province, about 76,000 Albertans receive AISH benefits and around 50,000 people receive Income Support benefits.

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