Although funds will not be affected for those classified as Severely handicapped under the AISH program, Alberta is keen to cut funding off the income support program, which currently supports individuals with disabilities and injuries that cannot find employment opportunities.
In the 2021 budget, the province plans to shave off $66 million. Authorities say this is indicative of a decline in the case of figures due to a short-lived shift to federal assistance and the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program has been helping people overcome challenges that prevent them from achieving full-time employment. The program is seeing a $53.5 million drop in its budget compared to last year. Overall, the 2021-22 fiscal year is looking at a budget of $242 million. Marie Renaud, MLA for St. Albert and the NDP opposition critic for social services and community, said that a lot of people are not eligible for AISH since their situation is not thought to be lifelong get the benefit anyway.
The budget has also cut income support to persons who are working or expected to work by close to $13 million for the fiscal year 2021-22. The new estimate stands at $428.5 million.
The press secretary for community and social work, Rob Williams, trashed claims that they had cut the program. He added, there is no change to benefits or the program that he is aware of.
Before the budget was the table on the 25th of February, most AISH beneficiaries were anxious that the government would eventually terminate the funding. Rather, funding went up by about $33000, although this was accompanied by a reduction in income support.
Renaud added that the cuts are monument and might worsen the situation for some people.
Each person on the program received $866 each month. The program offers additional sums for childcare, medical transportation, and well as dietary requirements. For instance, persons who are immobile due to inclement health received up to $307 each month if they cannot any longer keep up with rent.
She added that the government had been slowly removing supplements it added to basic support. On its part, the government noted that is projection account for pre-COVID figures if relief dries out.