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Alberta auditor general sharply criticizes aid program for severely handicapped

Last Updated Nov 8, 2016 at 6:31 am MST

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EDMONTON – Alberta’s auditor general says the government is failing severely handicapped people who cannot earn a living on their own.

Auditor General Merwan Saher, in a new report, says the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program is rife with duplication, roadblocks, subjective decision-making, and poor oversight.

The program provides living allowances for those who demonstrate their disability impedes them from earning a living.

Saher says it’s clear the process is fundamentally flawed given that a high percentage of applicants who are rejected get approved if they fight for the money through the appeals process.

Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir says he accepts and will work to implement all of the recommendations from Saher.

Sabir says it’s been a challenge, adding that when he took over the program from the former Progressive Conservative government, he was inheriting, in his words “a broken ship.”
(The Canadian Press)