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Alberta affordability payments application portal open, 120,000 children approved

By CityNews Staff

After the Alberta Affordability Plan (AAP) opened Wednesday and will remain until June 30, the Alberta Minister of Affordability and Utilities says 120,000 children have been approved for the payments.

“As of 5 p.m., affordability payments for over 120,000 children had been approved,” said Matt Jones in a tweet.

Most Albertans eligible for the affordability payments will automatically get them if they are signed up for income supports.

The $100 monthly payments begin at the end of January and will continue for six months.

Albertans who are already receiving support payments such as Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), the Alberta Seniors Benefit, Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD), or Foster and Kinship Caregivers will not need to apply for the payments, because they will be automatically deposited starting Jan. 31.

Anyone else who is eligible will have to apply through the online portal.

To apply, you’ll need to sign up for an account through the province’s website.

Your household must earn less than $180,000 per year to qualify for the $100 payments per child under 18.

Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate Glubish says all you need is your driver’s licence or Alberta ID to apply.

After submitting an application, payments will be either directly deposited or paid by cheque at the end of the month. The province says cheque payments will take longer to be processed.

Late applications submitted after the beginning of the application period will be “retroactive to the first month you are eligible,” and all payments will be made by the end of the year.

The program is expected to cost the province $900 million and will deliver payments to around 2.5 million Albertans.

Public Interest Alberta (PIA) previously criticized the AAP, saying the measures are not enough and do not address the root cause of the province’s affordability crisis.

“Food banks can’t keep food on their shelves, homelessness has more than doubled across the province, and families are sinking further and further into debt,” said Bradley Lafortune, executive director at PIA. “Albertans deserve better than sleepless nights with their stomachs in knots wondering how they will pay their utility bills, feed their families, or make rent or mortgage payments.

“While the $100 per month for six months offered to seniors, AISH recipients, and children will provide some temporary relief, it will not address the problem at the root,” he explained. “Albertans are suffering with sky-rocketing costs as grocery stores and utility companies are posting record-breaking profits. The pay gap between CEOs and Canadian workers recently hit an all-time high.”

–With files from Toula Mazloum and Alejandro Melgar

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