DISC Seeking Additional $250 a Month for Disability Funding Program

DISC
Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                                                                                              June 23, 2015

DISC Seeking Additional $250 a Month for Disability Funding Program

REGINA – With the cost of living continuing to escalate in Saskatchewan, people with disabilities are having difficulties making ends meet. That is why the Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is asking the provincial government to increase the funding to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program by $250 a month per person.

“In 2011, Premier Brad Wall stated it was the Saskatchewan Party government’s ‘vision and goal to make our province the very best place in Canada to live for those with disabilities.’ While major steps have been taken toward this goal, increasing SAID funding by $250 per month will help us reach the next level in quality of life,” said DISC Chair Judy Hannah.

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. DISC was part of the Government and Community Task Team that launched SAID in 2009.

Currently, a single person with a disability receives, on average, $1300 per month from social assistance. This leaves the single person with a disability on welfare supporting him or herself on roughly $43 a day. Whether it means finding a wheelchair accessible apartment, paying for paratransit, or spending extra money on medication or healthy food to adhere to a doctor-ordered diet, it does not take long for this money to disappear.

“We already know that low oil prices are beginning to have an impact on the province’s economy. That impact is even more significant among Saskatchewan’s must vulnerable populations,” Hannah said. “Increasing funding by $250 will provide disabled people with the financial ability to cover the costs of the basic necessities to live.”

A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association indicated there is substantial public support for increased funding to people with severe and long-term disabilities. Approximately 39% of 2,237 people surveyed throughout the province indicated that $2,000 per month was a socially acceptable amount of funding for these individuals.

“The results of this survey indicate that more adequate funding is required for people with severe and long-term disabilities to have a life with dignity,” said Dave Nelson, CEO of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

DISC was formed by a large cross section of disability advocates, consumers and organizations across Saskatchewan who are committed to advocating for a respectful, dignified and adequate income support system. DISC members have joined together to speak as one voice, working towards a distinct (or separate) income system for people with disabilities that will be built on our common vision and principles.

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For further information, please contact Pat Rediger at (306) 522-9326 or [email protected].

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