Applying for Funding & Supports

Once you turn 18, you are legally an adult. If you are receiving children’s services and funding, you will have to apply for adult supports. Alberta has four programs that offer funding and/or support to adults. To apply for these, you will need a social insurance number (SIN), bank account, and government photo identification (ID). 

Each program offers different kinds of support and has different requirements. It is important to review what funding and supports you are getting now to learn what you will need and can apply for as an adult. 

If you want to learn more about programs that cover expenses like prescription drugs, eyeglasses, dental care, medical supplies, or ambulance trips, see Health Insurance.

Here are some important things to know about:

1. Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)

AISH provides money for living and health-related expenses to adults with a disability or ongoing health condition. To be eligible, your condition must be permanent and limit your ability to earn a living.

  • Apply for AISH six months before you turn 18.
  • Your family doctor or pediatrician will need to fill out a medical form to send in with your AISH application. Your doctor may charge a fee to fill out this form.
  • Open a bank account in your own name. Money cannot be deposited into your parent's account, but having a joint account with your parent is okay.

To learn more, go to the AISH website or call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.

2. Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD)

PDD funds services that allow adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, and access services or programs in the community. They also offer funds for respite.

To qualify, you have to have a psycho-educational assessment done that shows you have an IQ of 70 or less. Registered psychologists do these assessments. Your school or specialty pediatric clinic can sometimes offer these assessments. If this is not possible, you will need to pay for a private assessment, which can be expensive.

  • Although funding does not start until you turn 18, you can apply for PDD when you turn 16.
  • PDD services are provided in two ways:
    • by agencies in the community who specialize in helping people with disabilities
    • through a Family Managed Services (FMS) agreement

To learn more, go to the PDD website or call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992.

3. Home Care

Alberta Health Services (AHS) offers Home Care to help people with disabilities or health conditions safely stay in their homes. A Home Care case manager will assess your needs. Services may include professional supports, personal care (like bathing, toileting, and dressing), medication management, home support, or respite.

You can self-refer to Home Care; you do not need a referral from a healthcare provider. 

If you are on Home Care before you turn 18 and it is decided you will still need Home Care services as an adult, your Home Care case manager will coordinate a transfer to the appropriate Adult Home Care team.

AHS staff will come to your home to assess if you meet the requirements for Home Care Services. Contact them at least 6 months before you turn 18. 

  • Home Care services are provided in two ways: 
    • by a home care provider paid for by AHS
    • through a Self-Managed Care (SMC) agreement. If the Home Care Case Manager determines that SMC is an option for you and you are interested in doing self-managed care, you will need to go to an orientation.

To learn more about Home Care programs and services in your area, contact Health Link at 811 or go to the Home Care website. 

4. Income Support Alberta

Income Support Alberta provides financial support for people who are physically able to work but are not working right now or not earning enough money to pay for their basic needs.

  • Several things can affect if you are eligible (e.g., age, where you live, if you can work and your financial resources).
  • Funding through Income Support Alberta only covers your basic needs.

To learn more, go to the Income Support website or call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992. They also offer a 24-hour Emergency Income Support Centre at 1-866-644-5135.