A better life for people with disabilities in Saskatchewan

DISC Media Release – For immediate release March 21, 2012

A better life for people with disabilities in Saskatchewan

The provincial budget released today takes a significant step towards improving the quality of life for 8,000 – 10,000 people with disabilities in Saskatchewan, a development that is welcomed by the 38 member organizations of the Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC). The increased benefits will come into effect along with a major expansion of the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program this summer.

“The budget promises an increase of $200/month for single people with disabilities who live independently in their community” notes Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) Chair Judy Hannah. “For people who have lived on an average income of less than $950/month this increase means that they will no longer have to choose between paying for medication or food. They will be able to afford to buy fresh fruit for some meals; in fact they may be able to afford 3 meals a day instead of 1 or 2 meals.”

The budget notes that income for people living independently will increase on average by a total of $350/month over the next 4 years. For people living in residential care, a total increase of $100 per month over four years is promised.

The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) Program, launched by the Government of Saskatchewan in the fall of 2009, is a mechanism providing income to people with disabilities that is different than social assistance.
The development of SAID has been an innovative process for Saskatchewan that has involved a collaborative partnership between Government and community in all aspects of the design and implementation of the program.
DISC remains committed to working with the Government to see all recommendations for the SAID program implemented, including the recommendation for a Living Income that will include a socially acceptable living allowance along with a benefit that recognizes the specific costs of disability. “Saskatchewan’s SAID program will be unique in Canada because it will recognize that having a disability carries its own costs. People should not have to use their food or rent money to cover those disability expenses” says Merv Bender, chair of the Program Implementation Advisory Team (PIAT). PIAT is comprised of representatives of the disability community who are primarily nominated by DISC.

“Last fall the Premier promised that Saskatchewan will be the best place in Canada for people with disabilities to live” notes Hannah. “Today we have moved closer to that goal”.

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For further information on DISC, please contact:
Judy Hannah at (306) 227-4460

or

Merv Bender at (306) 960-8346.

 

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