Alberta boosting support payments to disabled and those on low incomes

EDMONTON — Alberta is proposing to increase help for those with disabilities and low-income earners while tying future hikes to keep pace with inflation.

The changes introduced in the legislature would help about 250,000 Alberta residents, including seniors and those who receive benefits under the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program, also known as AISH.

Under the AISH program, the maximum monthly core benefit would rise almost $100 to $1,685 and the monthly Alberta Seniors Benefit will get bumped up six dollars to $286.

If approved, the changes would take effect Jan. 1.

The AISH benefits have not changed since 2012 and the senior benefits have not been increased in almost a decade.

Premier Rachel Notley says it’s critical to help those most in need.

“Rates have been allowed to fall way behind because of inflation,” said Notley Thursday. “This bill will help make people’s lives more affordable.

“It will help ensure fewer people are in need of food banks and it will help to make Alberta a more equal place.”

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