By VCC and the Disability Action Hall
Members of the disability community, including those in the social service sector, have expressed concern over perceived changes made to the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program since the release of the first provincial budget in the fall of 2019. Vibrant Communities Calgary and the Disability Action Hall would like to unpack these changes to provide more clarity and understanding.
People on AISH have a permanent medical condition that prevents them from earning a living, and advocates have worked hard to ensure that benefit levels enable people in the program to meet their basic needs. Albertans are proud that AISH benefit levels now match the cost of basic needs, ensuring that no one with a disability has to live in poverty. Years of advocacy also paid off in November of 2018 when the provincial government tabled Bill 26 An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities indexing all income support programs so benefit levels would keep pace with the cost of living. This recommendation was more than 20 years in the making going back to an MLA committee review of Alberta’s income support programs in 2001.