The Alberta government overhauling the AISH program is a step in the right direction. However, more steps are needed. Albertans who are currently on the program have not seen an increase in 5 years. It’s time to end the gap between AISH and the poverty line. Hall members react to today's announcement to overhaul the Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.
"I would like to see AISH to go up. The cost of living is going up.
People should not have to fight to get it. When I came from Ontario, I had to wait. It’s a great thing to look at shorter wait times. There are people who apply who have to wait and wait, so less wait time is better, especially when they turn 18 and have severe disability. It is great to improve the wait times and measure how long it takes. If you already have the label, why make people to jump through hoops who already have a diagnosis. They should not have to more evaluations in order to get on it."
- Tammy Poirier, Disability Action Hall member and AISH recipient
"We applaud the government for reviewing AISH.
A recent study shows Albertans with disabilities incomes are the worst in Canada...
We need to see them review the rates as well as the efficiency and efficacy of the program. It is important to review how well the program works, as well as to ensure it is enough to live on."
-Denise Young, Disability Action Hall member and Ally
"On the income of people with disabilities, Alberta has the poorest showing among the provinces—in Alberta, people with disabilities earn 66 per cent of the income of people without disabilities. "
The overhaul is a step in the right direction. However, a significant change people need is for the base amount to be indexed to the cost of living. Currently the base amount is not built on what it costs to live a life with dignity in Alberta.
It's time Alberta! When our province scores a “C” on income for people with disabilities, we need to take action.