More financial security for families who have children with disabilities

June 13, 2018

Bill 5 is introduced by Minister Irfan Sabir, with Inclusion Alberta CEO Bruce Uditsky and families on hand.

Inclusion Alberta CEO Bruce Uditsky and families join Minister Irfan Sabir for the introduction of Bill 5. Photo credit: Government of Alberta

Inclusion Alberta and the thousands of families we represent are very pleased that Bill 5, The Act to Strengthen Financial Security for Persons with Disabilities, has been proclaimed. Bill 5 amends the Assured Income for the Severely Disabled Act to enable families to establish trusts that do not jeopardize their child’s AISH eligibility. Parents will no longer have to live in fear that providing for their child in a Will or inheritance results in their son or daughter with disabilities losing their AISH and being put at risk.

“Bill 5 provides some very needed peace of mind as every parent of a child with disabilities worries most about ‘what will happen when I’m gone’,” said Barb MacIntyre, President, Inclusion Alberta and also a parent.

“We’re grateful that Bill 5 was supported by every party.”

Inclusion Alberta wants to express appreciation to the Honorable Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services, for his leadership in introducing Bill 5. We also thank Brian Malkinson, MLA Calgary-Currie, for responding to the concerns of parents and initially proposing such changes in a Private Member’s Bill.

Bruce Uditsky, Inclusion Alberta CEO and a parent, said, “While we sincerely applaud the Legislature for listening to parents, too many children and adults with developmental disabilities currently experience limited opportunities for a meaningful and inclusive life. We also need action now that dramatically advances inclusive education and employment while we are still here as parents, to see our sons and daughters grow and flourish.”

Under the new legislation, a one-year grace period will allow people time to move an inheritance or other lump sum payment into a discretionary trust or exempt asset. This would provide Alberta’s 60,000 AISH recipients and their families adequate time to make financial decisions instead of immediately becoming ineligible for benefits.

For more information on Bill 5, please see the Government of Alberta’s media release about the introduction of the Bill.