If you’re a Canadian with a disability, you face unique financial challenges that most others don’t, especially if your disability prevents you from working, or requires expensive equipment or medical treatment. 

That’s why every province in the country offers its own set of disability benefit programs, to help supplement the income of those who can’t work or work fully due to a disability or illness. 

But what if those benefits aren’t enough? Life happens fast, and sometimes you need a little extra money to get through and emergency or weather something unexpected. If you’re wondering how to get approved for a loan while collecting disability benefits, keep reading. 

While the main focus of this article is for residents of Alberta, the overarching themes are also applicable to other provinces in the country, which have their own disability benefit programs. 

Do I qualify for disability benefits in Alberta?

Before exploring whether or not you can qualify for a loan while on disability benefits, let’s talk a look at the two main types of disability benefits available to you. If you’re looking for a loan or need cash fast, it’s worthwhile making sure you also qualify for as many of the benefits available to you as possible. 

There are two types of Alberta disability benefits available—Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL). Under the right circumstances, you can qualify for both at the same time. 

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) 

AISH Alberta is a set of financial and health benefits that are available to eligible residents of the province. To qualify for the disability benefits of AISH, you must have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from earning a living, and which cannot be improved through any medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, or training. You must also be at least 18 years old, not eligible to receive Old Age Security, live in Alberta, and be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident. To explore the full eligibility criteria, visit the official AISH eligibility website

If you qualify for AISH Alberta, you can receive benefits such as a monthly living allowance (up to a maximum of $1,685), monthly child benefit, health benefits to cover things like prescription drugs and dental appointments, and a range of personalized benefits tailored to your specific needs. 

To learn more about the program or apply for AISH Alberta, click here

Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) 

The other disability benefits available to eligible residents of Alberta are the AADL—Alberta Aids to Daily Living. This program is designed to help anyone with a long-term disability, chronic illness, or terminal illness pay for basic medical equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, walking aids, wheelchairs, and more. 

To qualify for AADL, you’ll need to be assessed by a medical practitioner to determine your eligibility for the program and identify your basic medical needs. To qualify for some medical equipment, your assessment needs to be completed by an approved AADL specialist. 

To apply or learn more about eligibility and coverage, visit the official AADL website.  

Disability Tax Credit

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a tax credit designed to reduce the amount of income tax owed by disabled persons and their supporters. By paying less income tax, you can allocate more of your money towards disability costs. 

Furthermore, if you qualify for the DTC, you might also qualify for related programs like the registered disability savings plan, the working income tax benefit, and the child disability benefit.

Can I get a loan while on disability? 

The short answer is yes, you can get a loan while collecting disability benefits. The longer answer is it depends on what type of loan you’re seeking, the interest rates you’re willing to take on, and a few other factors. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look. 

How to get approved for a loan while on disability benefits in Alberta? 

The good news is, the AISH monthly allowance and child tax credit are both considered income, which will help show your ability to repay the loan amount even if you’re not working. 

Also, with AISH, you can qualify for benefits even if you own assets like your residence or a vehicle, so you may want to consider using one of them as collateral on your loan application. Doing this greatly improves your chances of being approved. 

It also helps to get a co-signer for your loan application. This gives the lender more confidence and lowers their sense of risk, which can not only help with getting your application approved but lower your interest rates as well.

What kind of loans are available to someone on disability? 

If you qualify for disability benefits it likely means you’re either not working at all, or not working very much. This can make it difficult to be approved for a loan, especially through a major bank or financial institution. 

Of course, almost anyone can successfully apply for a payday loan, even if you’re on disability and not working. But payday loans are extremely undesirable and should be avoided at all costs. Many payday lenders charge dangerous interest rates as high as 599%—a truly mind-boggling number. 

Instead, your best option is to get a secured, short-term installment loan. These typically offer better interest rates and come with a monthly repayment plan, so budgeting is more straightforward. 

With Fresh Start Finance, you can get a personal loan of up to $15,000 to help with your unique medical needs while on disability benefits in Alberta. It takes just minutes to apply and less than 72 hours to get approved. At Fresh Start Finance, we’re here to deliver the financial assistance you need!