Poverty Continues to be a Part of Living with a Disability in Saskatchewan – DISC Media Release

DISC MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                                                            January 20, 2011

Poverty Continues to be a Part of Living with a Disability in Saskatchewan

REGINA – Despite the economic growth currently taking place in the province, many individuals with disabilities continue to live in poverty, says the Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC).

“We are advocating for the provincial government to increase the benefit levels for individuals with disabilities,” said Judy Hannah, Chair of DISC. “The difficulties faced by people with disabilities are many, and they are made worse when combined with financial struggle.”

DISC brings together 38 disability advocacy organizations and individuals to speak with one voice in support of a more respectful income program, with increased funding for people living with disabilities.

Currently, a single person with a disability receives, on average, $784 per month from social assistance, a childless couple receives $1,161 and a single disabled parent of one or two children receives $950 monthly. This leaves the single person with a disability on welfare supporting him or herself on roughly $26 a day. Not surprisingly, the majority of this amount is put toward life’s necessities, with shelter coming first and food and transportation taking whatever is left over.  Disability can create added costs, as well. Medication is a major expense for many individuals with disabilities.

“DISC is working with the Government of Saskatchewan, and progress is being made,” said Hannah.  “In the fall of 2009, the government announced the creation the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID). As recently as this past December, the Ministry of Social Services took steps to expand support for people with disabilities. The Government of Saskatchewan is moving in the right direction, and Minister June Draude and the Ministry of Social Services deserve credit for this. But, there is so much more that is left to do, and the sooner it is done, the better.

“Our message is not complicated. In fact, it is as simple and as straightforward as possible,” Hannah added. “People with disabilities who cannot work need to be supported to live a life with dignity, and despite all the measures the government has taken, this still is not the case. We have people living in substandard housing, and relying on places such as the food banks and soup kitchens for food. I know of people with a disability who have been forced to find meals out of a dumpster.”

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For further information on the tour, please contact Lindsay Thorimbert with Benchmark Public Relations at (306) 522-0903 or [email protected]

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