Monthly $100 affordability payments for families, seniors, and vulnerable Albertans will be released soon, the Alberta government said in a news release Monday.
Starting later this month, six months of affordability payments will begin for seniors 65 or older who are not receiving the Alberta Seniors Benefit and eligible parents with children under 18. As of January 18, all can apply online through the government portal or in person at locations across the province for $600 in monthly affordability payments. (Albertans can apply until June 30).
In order to use the portal, eligible parents and seniors will be required to have a Verified Account.
“Our top priorities during development of the inflation relief portal were privacy, security and accessibility," said Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate Glubish, adding many Albertans receiving these targeted relief payments are automatically enrolled for the program and do not need to apply to receive the benefit.
Along with Foster and Kinship Caregivers, anyone currently receiving regular monthly benefits through Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support or Alberta Seniors Benefit, or receiving services through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program will automatically receive their first payment starting January 31.
“Affordability for Albertans is a top priority for our government, especially for seniors and those living with disabilities," added Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Seniors.
All Albertans 65 or older with household incomes below $180,000 will soon be eligible for $600 over six months in monthly affordability payments.
Albertans receiving the Alberta Seniors Benefit are automatically enrolled in the program and do not need to sign up to receive their benefits. The distribution of additional monthly payments will begin January 31.
Eligible seniors who are not receiving the Alberta Seniors Benefit will need to apply for affordability payments by creating or confirming their Verified Account and applying for benefits via the online portal or in person at a registry office or through Alberta Supports when the portal opens on January 18.
Bradley Lafortune, executive director of Public Interest Alberta, says the affordability program is a band-aid solution and the online portal application process means Albertans can expect delays for payments.
“Albertans are struggling to make ends meet, and every day we hear from folks who tell us they don’t know where to turn for support,” said Lafortune. “Once again, the UCP designed a program that experiments with the well-being of Albertans and fails to get at the root of the problem. It’s being rolled out in a confusing and incompetent way.
Albertans don’t need another new UCP app like the old vaccine record QR code. Many Albertans, including seniors and others don’t have access to the internet or smart phones, and if they do, they want to be able to trust existing processes that are proven to work.”
Additional information, including a video and answers to program questions, is available at alberta.ca/affordable.