Seniors living with a small budget can get money from the government to pay for someone to shovel their snow, or to help with light housekeeping chores. All they need is a doctor’s note.
“If you have lower income and are unable to do your snow removal or your housekeeping all you need is a doctor’s note and you get up to $100 a month,” said Tara Burnett, seniors’ services coordinator with the St. Albert 50+ Club.
The service is made available through Alberta Seniors special needs assistance for seniors program.
The program provides a lump-sum payment of up to $100 to eligible Alberta residents, 65 years and older, and can help with the cost of appliances, minor home repairs and some health and personal supports, such as housekeeping, yard maintenance, laundry and respite care.
The doctor’s note ensures that the senior is not physically able to do the work on his or her own.
Low-income seniors are those who earn below $21,800 a year, or a senior couple with a combined annual income of $34,300 or less. Some support is also available to those who earn more, between $21,801 and $26,200 for single seniors or $34,301 and $42,500 per couple.
“It’s based on the income tax they file every year,” said Burnett. “It doesn’t depend on whether they are still working, it’s based on their old age security and what-not.”
Burnett can assist seniors with their application or questions. The 50+ Club also has a list of snow removal and yard care services offered by St. Albert businesses. Some offer discounts for seniors.
The club encourages friends and family to gift seniors with snow removal or other useful services this year. Seniors can also nominate an individual who helps them shovel their snow for a snow angel award.
“It’s nice to give gifts like that to seniors who perhaps don’t need any more stuff,” she said.
Apply to program
To submit a claim for special needs assistance you must first apply to the Alberta Seniors Benefit Program or submit a Seniors Financial Assistance (SFA) application.
Those already enrolled in the program must send their receipt or estimate for a service to the program. Each receipt or estimate must include the full name, personal health number, address and phone number of the senior.
For assistance contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 780-644-9992 (1-877-644-9992 toll free). Seniors can also contact the 50+ Club for help with their application at 780-459-0433.
Snow removal services
For information on the city’s snow clearing and ice control services, contact public works at 780-459-1557 or check their website at stalbert.ca/getting-around.