The Alberta NDP says people are waiting too long to find out if they qualify for benefits under the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.

A minister's briefing note from October 2012 that was released to the NDP through Freedom of Information shows that applicants have waited from 7.38 to nearly 23 weeks to learn if they are eligible.

The average wait time in 2011 ranged from 6.74 to 14 weeks. The document says the volume of AISH applications started to increase in April 2012 when the province increased benefits by $400 each month.

NDP MLA Rachel Notley says the government needs to take action.

"If the number of people applying are going up,  then hire more people to be able to treat those people with the respect and the dignity that they deserve as Albertans," Notley said.  

The document says the province increased the number of AISH administrators last July and plans to hire more people in the next fiscal year.