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Alberta Seniors - Special Needs Assistance Program

From the AFREAs:

I received the information attached regarding a press release on the temporary change to the Special Needs . Until May 31, 2003 the program will assist seniors with rising utility costs. I have also included this change on the listing of assistance programs.

Sandi Trohan, Business Manager, AFREAs

Assistance Programs

There are no specific programs to offset the high electricity rates as there was in 2001. However, there are programs available to Albertans who are unable to meet their non-discretionary, basic needs.

* Alberta Seniors - Special Needs Assistance Program
<http://www.seniors.gov.ab.ca/financial_assistance/special_needs/> -

Eligible seniors who are experiencing financial difficulties can apply for a lump sum cash payment of $5,000 per year. To qualify for this assistance, seniors need to show they are unable to meet their non-discretionary, basic needs. Seniors can obtain an appliction form by contacting the Seniors Information Line toll free at 1-800-642-3853.

March 3, 2003: The Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program has been temporarily changed to include "rising utility costs" as an allowable expense for those seniors experiencing financial hardships due to increases in natural gas and electricity costs. The temporary change will consider applications to the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program received prior to May 31, 2003 and take into consideration utility costs for the months of January to April. To obtain an application, seniors can pick one up at a Seniors Information Service Office, by calling Alberta Seniors at 1-800-642-3853 or from the Alberta Seniors website at: www.seniors.gov.ab.ca 

* Alberta Human Resources and Employment

<http://www3.gov.ab.ca/hre/sfi/index.asp> - HR & E has a program under the Supports for Independence Program. It provides financial support if people have no other way of providing for themselves and their families. For more information, contact HR & E's information line at 780/ 415-0733. To call toll free, first dial 310-0000.

 Farm Assistance Programs

A new $324-million Farm Income Assistance Program (FIAP) will help Alberta's agricultural producers, who face some of the driest conditions in 133 years.   Application forms will be mailed out directly to Alberta producers who applied for acreage payment programs in 2001. Those who did not claim in 2001 must ask for a form from one of the following locations:

* Rural Services Division of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development (AFRD)
<http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/agdisaster/drought_programs.html> - phone 780-422-9167 (within Alberta, dial 310-0000 then the number for toll-free access),

* most AFRD hub offices <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html> (excluding Brooks, Lacombe, Leduc, and Oliver),

* Alberta Financial Services Corp. offices

* rural MLA offices
<http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/employee_listings/browse.cfm?item=17623>, and * will soon be available online <http://web.archive.orghttp://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/fiap2002/index.html>.

An immediate advance payment of 85 per cent will be issued as soon as completed applications are received. This will move funds quickly into the hands of those producers who, in some cases, have been selling stock or land, or going into debt. The final 15 per cent will be issued after all applications are received and assessed.

The FIAP 2002 program is a further supplement to Alberta's extensive agriculture safety net system. Other existing programs available to help producers include:

* water programs <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html> that help provide funding for long term water projects and access to emergency pumping equipment, (application deadline is Jan. 31/03)

* a grasshopper control program <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html> that helps fund spraying and treatment, (application deadline is Jan. 31/03)

* crop insurance programs <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html>, whose flexibility and accessibility have recently been increased, (application deadline is Jan. 31/03)

* loan programs <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html>for disaster assistance, beginning farmers, developing farmers, and farm development. (application deadline is June 30/03)

More information

* Agriculture Drought Risk Management Plan for Alberta - Strategic Plan
<http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/agdisaster/plan.html> (no dates given)

* Grasshopper program <http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/grasshopper.html> (application deadline is Jan. 31/03)

* News release <http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html>

* Alberta Financial Services Corp. <http://www.afsc.ca> (for Jan. to Dec. 2001 taxation year)

For more details see the news releases at:
<http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200207/12816.html#loan> and <http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/news/dsp_feature.cfm?lkFid=170>

The Salvation Army's

Working Families Housing Assistance Program

The W.F.H.A. Fund was started in Calgary on April 15, 1999. A donation was received from an anonymous donor who wanted the money to go to the working poor who were in need of their rent, utilities or damage deposit to be paid.

The donor gave specific guidelines for the Salvation Army to follow.  Individuals who DO qualify are:

* Working (a minimum of 3 months full-time) and have dependant children living with them.


* On Employment Insurance but going back to their original workplace and have dependant children living with them


* Subsidized by Support for Independence but are working full-time and have dependant children living with them


* Living within the city limits of Edmonton or Calgary.

For more information, contact Shauna Pauls in Edmonton at (780) 424-9222 or Major Emma Compton in Calgary at (403) 220-0445.


Scott Hood
Policy Advisor, Consumer Programs
Alberta Government Services
3rd Floor, Commerce Place
10155 - 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4L4

Phone (780) 422-8166
Fax: (780) 427-3033
Email: [email protected]

If you have concerns about these and other issues related to the condition of seniors, visit, contact and perhaps even join:

SUN Seniors United Now

The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization for seniors (55 years and over) in Alberta

There are in the order of about half a million or more people of age 55 and over in Alberta. If all of them were to join SUN, they would become the most powerful advocacy organization in Alberta; and seniors would no longer be robbed of their comforts and otherwise ignored.
   At the price of one package of cigarettes seniors will be able to gain a voice that will be heard by a government that otherwise can and will take from seniors what they worked for all their life to enjoy in their old age.

If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the planned, systematic destruction of our families and society, a search at google.com (for elderly OR seniors OR grandparent OR grandfather OR grandmother site:http://fathersforlife.org) will provide you with the links to about 80 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.

Posted 2003 03 05
2004 06 24 (added entry for SUN — Seniors United Now)