How to Apply for Disability In Alberta: Know Whether You Qualify for AISH, FSCD, or PDD

Discover steps to apply for disability programs in Alberta. From meeting eligibility to gathering relevant documents, know how to get approved for the support you need.

Sep 20, 2023

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the Alberta funding supports you need for your child or adult with disabilities.

If you've been approved under any of these funding programs, please book a consultation with an intake co-ordinator to avail the right care for your child or adult.

It can be overwhelming to apply for provincial programs that will pay for services that allow your child or adult to receive the medical and behavioural support they need.

Each program has specific criteria that applicants must meet before funding becomes available. 

Without knowing the steps involved, individuals may have their application delayed or denied. Further worsening the opportunity to restore social contact and stability. 

Alberta offers various disability programs and services for residents. We discuss the application process for programs that help people with behavioural disabilities.

When you receive funding for either respite or longer term residential care, you will often be turned to disability service organizations as they help individuals gain permanent care and support.

Let’s dive into the main disability supports for individuals with behavioural complexities:

What Is Behavioural Disability in Alberta?

Entrust offers comprehensive support for individuals diagnosed with behavioural designations, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, acquired brain injury, Tourette syndrome, FASD, Prader-Willi syndrome and Down’s syndrome.

Intellectual vs Mental Health Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities are life-long medical conditions that do not typically improve with medication. Individuals with a permanent disability in Alberta may qualify for multiple benefit programs. 

Alternatively, mental health disabilities can use various supports, including prescription medicine, therapy, and other programs. Many available mental health disability benefits in Alberta provide a supportive and caring environment for those who need it. 

Moving from BC to Alberta on Disability

Residents of BC relocating to Alberta while on disability benefits will need to notify their existing benefits program. You cannot collect disability benefits in a province where you do not reside. 

Many local disability services are not transferable between these two provinces, making it necessary for new residents of Alberta from BC to apply for disability benefits. The application process can take time since individuals must submit the required paperwork and documentation supporting their claims. 

Moving from ON to Alberta on Disability

Individuals moving from Ontario to Alberta will not be eligible to continue their existing provincial disability benefits. Getting disability supports in Alberta requires new residents to complete the necessary applications to receive local benefits. 

Before applying for disability benefits in Alberta, you must establish residency and obtain an Alberta health care number. Then, you can have a professional complete the medical documents necessary for your application. 

Moving from Quebec to Alberta on Disability

Although federal disability programs in Canada are transferable between provinces, such as relocating to Alberta from Quebec, provincial programs and services are not. Individuals will no longer receive a disability benefit from Quebec once they leave the province.

New Alberta residents must complete the required applications from Alberta Supports after establishing residency. If you currently receive CPP disability benefits in Quebec, it can make the application process in Alberta easier. 

How Much Disability Pays in Alberta

The disability benefits in Alberta cover various needs of its residents. How much does disability pay in Alberta? 

Individuals may be eligible for more than one type of program or service listed below, sourced from the Government of Canada:

  • AISH - Up to $1,787 paid monthly
  • FSCD - Individualized support programs instead of monthly income
  • PDD - Specialized support programs rather than monthly income

Types of Disability Support Programs in Alberta

Entrust utilizes the expertise of behavioural specialists to customize a disability support program to suit each individual. By matching eligible services to clients, Entrust provides a comprehensive and effective solution. 

AISH Application

The AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) application is available online. Alternatively, you can print or request a paper copy for submission. 


To be eligible for AISH benefits, an individual must meet specific criteria. These include: 

  • Between 18 and 65 years old
  • Resident of Alberta
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Not residing in a mental health or correctional facility
  • Possessing a permanent medical condition that interferes with gainful employment
  • Not having more than the asset and income guidelines


The AISH application requires specific documentation to prove eligibility. This necessary paperwork includes the following: 

  • Applicant’s personal and family information
  • Medical report from your doctor
  • Proof of identity, citizenship, or immigration status
  • Current residence and mailing address
  • Trustee or Power of Attorney documentation, if applicable
  • Proof of existing income
  • Recent bank account and investment statements
  • Documentation of current assets

After Submission

Once you submit your AISH application, you will get a notification your application was received. If you missed any supporting documentation, the office will contact you for more information. Your application will be reviewed in order of personal, medical, and financial information to determine eligibility. 

Optional Steps

Individuals who cannot use the online portal to apply for AISH benefits can print off the application and submit it in person at their local AISH office, by mail, or by fax. 


Processing times can vary, and priority is given to applications from individuals with terminal illnesses or receiving end-of-life palliative care. They review applications on a first-come, first-served basis, except for priority cases. It can take up to six months or more to receive approval on your AISH application. 

Next Steps

Once AISH approves your application, you will receive a letter of eligibility and starting date of benefits. Next, the office will contact you to schedule a meeting with an AISH worker to finalize your application and start your disability benefits. 

How Long Can I Receive AISH?

Individuals can receive AISH benefits in Alberta until they reach the age of 65. Alternatively, AISH benefits may stop before then if an individual makes a higher income than the eligibility requirements. 

FSCD Application

Applying for FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities) is simple through the online portal. Applicants who need help filling out an application can contact the Alberta Supports office for guidance.


For an individual to be eligible for FSCD benefits in Alberta, they must meet these requirements: 

  • Be under 18 years of age
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Live in Alberta 
  • Child’s guardian must complete the application
  • Chronic disability or health condition 


The FSCD benefit program requires specific documentation for the application process. These documents include:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • Medical documents confirming the child’s disability 

After Submission

FSCD applications can be submitted online, and an FSCD worker reviews your file for eligibility. They will contact you if there are missing documents or if they need further clarification. 

Optional Steps

FSCD is available to multiple children in a household if they meet the eligibility requirements. Guardians need to be aware that each child will need a separate application for approval. Applicants can submit these documents online, through fax, or in person at a local FSCD office. 


It takes approximately two weeks for an FSCD application to be approved. Individuals can ensure a smooth process by including all necessary documentation. 

Next Steps

Once your application is approved, a file goes to the local FSCD office. Then, an FSCD worker will be in touch to schedule an appointment to create an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP). You will receive an FSCD agreement outlining the support services agreed upon. 

How Long Can I Receive FSCD?

You can receive FSCD benefits in Alberta until a child reaches the age of 18 or no longer meets the eligibility requirements. 

PDD Application

The PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities) application is available online through Alberta Supports. 


The eligibility for PDD benefits in Alberta includes specific parameters. These criteria include: 

  • Applicant is at least 16 years old
  • Benefits start after the applicant turns 18 years old
  • Must reside in Alberta 
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident 
  • Possess a developmental disability that began before the age of 18


Every PDD benefits application must have the necessary corresponding paperwork. Documentation applicants need to include are: 

  • Proof of identity
  • Canadian residency or permanent residency documentation
  • Professional assessment stating the developmental disability
  • Documents from other support programs you currently receive

After Submission

Once you apply for PDD benefits in Alberta, a Disability Services worker will contact you. They will review your information and talk to friends, family, and others who support you through work, school, and the community. 

There could be one or more meetings with a Disability Services worker before your application is approved. 

Optional Steps

Like AISH and FSCD programs, individuals can submit hardcopy PDD application documents as an alternative to online applications. 


The approval process for the PDD benefits program can vary between a few weeks to a month or more. However, individuals can simplify their application by including all supporting documentation. 

Next Steps

Once you receive approval for your PDD application, a Disability Services worker will set up a meeting. Next, they will discuss the various support programs and services available in your area. Then, your worker will help develop your ISP (Individual Support Plan) suited to your needs. 

How Long Can I Receive PDD?

Alberta disability benefits regulation allows individuals to receive PDD from age 18 if they meet the eligibility requirements. Your disability worker may review your file anytime there is a change in your circumstances to suit your unique needs. 

Housing for Adults with Disabilities

Finding appropriate housing for adults with disabilities in Alberta can be challenging. Entrust offers a range of supports to help individuals who need short or long-term accommodations, respite care, or a group home setting. 

Individuals with a permanent disability in Alberta can benefit from various adult housing solutions that support their needs and lifestyle. 

Short-Term Respite 

Short-term respite care can include various community integration activities or at-center respite groups. These short-term programs can be a few hours at a time and continue as needed. Depending on an individual's needs, it can vary as one-on-one sessions or in a group setting.

Long-Term Respite 

Long-term respite care provides an extended break from a few days to weeks. These long-term respite programs allow for more independence and inclusion with a qualified caregiver for optimal support. This setting will enable individuals to function apart from their primary caregiver for a length of time. 

In-Home Respite 

In-home respite care temporarily accepts caregiver duties while remaining at the individual’s home. An in-home respite program can include overnight care or provide support for days or weeks. This arrangement can be ideal for individuals requiring advanced care in their homes.

Out-of-Home Respite 

Out-of-home respite care provides a safe and supportive alternative environment for loved ones with a disability. These out-of-home respite programs may include longer stays of five to 10 days. Individuals who need temporary accommodations due to a caregiver on vacation can benefit from an out-of-home respite program. 

Group Homes for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Group homes in Alberta can be the best fit for adults with developmental disabilities. The group home setting offers independence, community integration, and continuous support in a residential care setting. 

Want to consult with an Intake Coordinator? 

Book a free consultation with one of our intake coordinators today. 

Entrust Disability Services can help you navigate the funding application process and match you with the personalized care your loved ones need. Make sure your loved one receives the right Alberta disability supports that they are entitled to. 

Questions About Disability in Alberta?

How long does it take to get disability in Alberta?

The time it takes to get disability support in Alberta through the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program can vary widely based on individual circumstances. Typically, the application process may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Key factors influencing this timeline include the completeness of the application, the necessity of medical assessments, and the current processing times at AISH offices.

Which mental health disability benefits can I apply for?

In Alberta, individuals with a mental disability may be eligible for various benefits, including Income Support through the AISH program, Health Benefits for essential care, Employment Support for vocational training and job placement, and Community Supports for social inclusion. More detailed information can be found on the Alberta Government's websites for AISH, Health, and Community and Social Services.

How long can you stay on disability support in Alberta?

In Alberta, disability support through the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program doesn't have a specific time limit. Recipients can continue to receive benefits as long as they meet the program's eligibility criteria, including medical, financial, and residency requirements.

Regular reviews may be conducted to ensure continued eligibility, such as confirming the recipient's ongoing medical condition or any changes in financial circumstances. If the condition improves or other eligibility criteria change, benefits may be altered or terminated.

It's essential to maintain communication with the AISH program administrators and provide any requested information or documentation promptly to ensure uninterrupted support.

What services are available for disabled adults?

Disability services for adults in Alberta include various benefits, including financial support, respite care, day programs, tax credits, and residential group homes.

How Much Does PDD Pay in Alberta? 

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How Much Does FSCD Pay in Alberta? 

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