Budget Focuses on Quality of LIfe for all Citizens

Government of Saskatchewan News Release – March 21, 2012

BUDGET FOCUSES ON QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL CITIZENS

Significant Assistance Increases for Low-Income Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

The government is delivering on its commitment to improve quality of life in Saskatchewan through significant increases in programs and services for the province’s most vulnerable people.

“I am very proud of the work we have already done to make life better for people with disabilities, seniors and those with low income, and in the 2012-13 Budget, we will continue to invest in programs and benefits to help those who need it most,” Social Services Minister June Draude said. “We want to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities, and the investments we are making will help us make this vision a reality. Our government will fulfill our campaign commitments to significantly increase assistance for persons with disabilities and for low-income seniors.”

The 2012-13 Budget includes $17.8 million to enhance the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program for people with significant and enduring disabilities. Through a new assessment process, as many as 7,000 more people with disabilities who live independently could become eligible for SAID, bringing total enrolment in the program to 8,000 to 10,000 people.

Benefits will increase over the next four years, with the largest increase in June 2012, when couples living independently will receive a $230 per month increase, single individuals living independently will see a $200 per month increase, and people in residential care will get a $40 per month increase.

A further investment of $3.4 million in 2012-13 will ensure that the remaining 67 of the 440 people with intellectual disabilities who had been waiting for specialized residential and day programs will have services in place or in development by March 2013. This investment will also provide programming for 20 new clients.

The government will also fulfill its commitment to improve the Seniors Income Plan (SIP) for low-income seniors. Maximum monthly benefits provided through SIP to more than 16,000 seniors will increase effective July 2012 by $50 per month, a cost of $3.3 million in 2012-13. The government has further committed to increase this benefit by $10 per month in each of the next three years.

“The Seniors Income Plan benefit was doubled in our first term of office and it will have tripled by the end of our second term,” Draude said. “Our government is committed to making life more affordable for low-income seniors.”

In addition, about 1,500 seniors with low income will receive the new Personal Care Home Benefit to assist with the cost of such homes. The benefit will be introduced in July, at a cost of $3.5 million for 2012-13.

Also in 2012, the government will continue its commitment to adjust shelter rates based on average market rent, benefiting up to 10,000 low-income households at a cost of $600,000 for the year.

“With this budget, we are keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage by ensuring all Saskatchewan people benefit from our strong and growing economy,” Draude said.

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For more information, contact:

Trish Alcorn
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0916
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 306-536-1479

http://gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=dc691ad7-1510-413d-bafd-0781858bd09d

Backgrounder to this article can be found here:
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