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DISC SAID GUIDEBOOK

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID): DISC GUIDEBOOK

Guidebook for Service Users
Written by Julia Holliday-Scott
Contributions and editing by Jason Mercredi, Bonnie Morton, and Cole Pickett

Last revised: October 2017

Download a copy by clicking here: DISC SAID GUIDEBOOK

What is DISC – Sept 2018 update

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

What is DISC?
The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is made up of a large cross section of disability advocates, consumers and organizations from across Saskatchewan who are committed to advocating for a respectful, dignified and adequate income support system. As partners in a non-partisan coalition, DISC members have joined together to speak as one voice, working towards a distinct (or separate) income system for people with disabilities that is built on our common vision and principles.

Our Vision and Principles
Our primary vision is to see an income system that offers both an adequate baseline income for people with disabilities and a user-friendly mechanism to address individual financial needs based on the impact of disability.

We believe that developing a distinct income program for people with disabilities must be a truly joint venture between all stakeholders, each contributing equally to the process. Since 2008 DISC has been working with the Government of Saskatchewan in the development of a new income policy for people with disabilities.

As members of DISC we have laid out key principles for an improved system:

Adequacy– People with disabilities should have an adequate income that truly meets their individual needs, not just basic needs.
Hope and Security– People with disabilities must have financial accommodations so that they can live their lives with hope, respect and dignity.
Person-Centered and User Friendly – A disability income program should be easily accessible with consistent, respectful income workers.
Higher Income Exemptions – Higher income exemptions and rapid reinstatement need to be in place to eliminate disincentives to employment and independence.
Consistent Implementation– People with disabilities should be able to expect a portable and flexible income system.

What Progress Has Been Achieved?
October 2008 – the Government of Saskatchewan announced that they would create a separate, dignified program for people with disabilities: ‘SAID’ (Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability)
December 2008 – DISC joined the joint Government – Community Task Team to develop plans for the new income program.
May 2009 – the Government accepted all 50 recommendations of the Task Team and announced that the new income program would be launched on December 1, 2009.
December 2009 – a limited number of individuals, living in residential care, were enrolled at the launch of the new program.
December 2010 – the earnings exemption for SAID (and people with disabilities on SAP) was increased. A $100,000 life insurance/inheritance exemption for SAID was implemented.
March 2011 – the budget included funding to develop the assessment tool for SAID, to begin assessing individuals for the next phase of SAID enrollment, as well as a $50/month increase to SAID clients in residential care settings beginning in January 2012.
May 2011 – the first SAID office is opened in Saskatoon.
October 2011 – Premier Wall announced that SAID would be expanded to include individuals who live independently in community and that benefits would increase in 2012 – 13 by:
*An additional $40/month for individuals in residential care (this is in addition to the $50/month increase that will begin in January 2012)
*$200/month for single people living independently in community
*$230/month for couples living independently in community
June 2012 – the application process for SAID was opened to anyone with a significant and enduring disability in Saskatchewan.
*The benefit rate increase of a minimum of $200/month began for people living independently in community. Individuals living in residential care received a benefit rate increase of $40/month in addition to the $50/month increase that began in January 2012
September 2012 – over 7500 people are enrolled in SAID
June 2013, June 2014 and June 2015 – the Government honored promises made in the 2011 election campaign by increasing SAID benefits for people living independently by $50/month in each of the 3 years for a total of $150. Benefits for people living in residential care increased by $20/month in each of the 3 years for a total of $60.
February 2018 – over 15,192 households currently receive SAID benefits.

DISC continues to have a role on the Program Implementation Advisory Team (PIAT) and will continue to work towards an adequate income and fair assessment process.

To show your support for DISC sign up as a friend on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/saskdisc and be sure to follow us on twitter for all the latest updates. Just search @DISCsk
For more information go to http://www.saskdisc.ca/

or contact:
Alaina Harrison,
(306) 531-5107
20-425 Winnipeg St.
Regina SK S4R 8P2
[email protected]

OR

Chair Dave Nelson
(306) 525-5601
[email protected]

 

Download this one pager here: What_is_DISC Sept 2018

Community Feedback Loop – Updated Nov 2017

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

How to deal with local service delivery or benefit issues –   the Ministry has provided us with the attached  map (below). The map outlines how concerns with SAID should be dealt with. (map below) 

 If you encounter a service delivery or benefits issue please follow the process outlined on the map:

·        Speak to the SAID Specialist first

·        If that does not resolve the concern, speak to the area manager

·        Then move your concern to the area director

·        The map gives you contact information for managers and directors in all areas of the province

 

Community Feedback Loop – updated Nov 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY – What the Candidates “SAID”: Regina

Monday, March 7th, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

For immediate release                                                                       March 7, 2016

DISC presents What the Candidates ‘SAID’: An all-candidates forum on disability income

 The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) invites you to attend What the Candidates ‘SAID’: An all-candidates forum on disability income on Thursday, March 10, from 7-9 p.m., at the Glencairn Neighbourhood Recreation Centre in Regina (2626 Dewdney Ave E). At this event, representatives of the five major Saskatchewan political parties running in the April 4 Provincial Election will be answering questions about Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), an income support program for people with significant and enduring disabilities.

 DISC is asking all candidates, no matter their political affiliation, to advocate for an increase to the SAID funding program by $250 per month per person, which will help the province reach an appropriate level of income for people with disabilities. To learn how rising costs are creating challenges for daily living for SAID recipients, watch the following video: https://youtu.be/7lq3A4msAdk.

The event will be moderated by Sheila Coles of CBC Saskatchewan. The candidates that will be in attendance are: Victor Lau of the Green Party of Saskatchewan; Tara Jijian of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party; Carla Beck of the Saskatchewan NDP; Donna Harpauer of the Sask Party; and Rick Swenson of the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative Party.

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.

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

 

MEDIA ADVISORY – What the Candidates “SAID”: Saskatoon

Monday, February 29th, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

For immediate release                                                                       February 29, 2016

DISC presents What the Candidates ‘SAID’: An all-candidates forum on disability income

 The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) invites you to attend What the Candidates ‘SAID’: An all-candidates forum on disability income on Thursday, March 3, from 7-9 p.m., at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon (715 Broadway Ave). At this event, representatives of the five major Saskatchewan political parties running in the April 4 Provincial Election will be answering questions about Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), an income support program for people with significant and enduring disabilities.

 DISC is asking all candidates, no matter their political affiliation, to advocate for an increase to the SAID funding program by $250 per month per person, which will help the province reach an appropriate level of income for people with disabilities. To learn how rising costs are creating challenges for daily living for SAID recipients, watch the following video: https://youtu.be/7lq3A4msAdk.

The event will be moderated by Jeff Rogstad of CTV Saskatoon. The candidates that will be in attendance are: Shawn Setyo of the Green Party of Saskatchewan; Roman Todas of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party; David Forbes of the Saskatchewan NDP; Donna Harpauer of the Sask Party; and Rick Swenson of the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative Party.

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.

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

 

DISC Election Tool Kit

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

This Election Tool Kit that has been prepared for DISC. The purpose of the kit is to provide people with questions relating to SAID that they can ask candidates who knock on their door during the election campaign. The kit also includes background information on DISC and the issues we are addressing right now.

Please share this kit with others who might be interested in income for people with disabilities.

Thanks for your help in increasing the visibility of SAID during this election.

Election Tool Kit 

SAID Program Handbook

Friday, November 13th, 2015

The Saskatchewan Assurance Income for Disability (SAID) Program Handbook is available for download by visiting the link below:

http://www.publications.gov.sk.ca/details.cfm?p=75718

DISC – Letter to the Editor – 250 Word Version

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

(Feel free to share this version or the original version HERE on your websites, this is the shorter version as some newspapers requested it be limited to 250 words.)

August 4, 2015

Dear Editor,

Subject: DISC requests government to renew commitment to assist people with disabilities

In 2011, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall stated it was the government’s “vision and goal to make our province the very best place in Canada to live for those with disabilities.” Since that time, the provincial government has increased funding to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program, which provides approximately $1,300 in monthly funding to a person with a disability.

Unfortunately, the cost of living is escalating beyond increases to SAID. The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is asking the government to renew its commitment by increasing monthly SAID funding by $250 per person. Whether it means finding an accessible apartment, paying for a mobile device which provides security and connection to community, or paying for paratransit, SAID funds quickly disappear.

By increasing SAID funding, the government will be providing people with disabilities with the financial ability to pay for basic necessities. We realize the challenges the government faces in balancing the budget, but a commitment to increasing funding on an incremental basis will provide hope for thousands of people. A survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association discovered that 88 per cent of Saskatchewan residents believe people with disabilities should receive $1,600 or more per month, indicating there is public support for this increase.

On behalf of DISC, thank you for the support we have received from the provincial government in recent years. We look forward to working together to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live with a disability.

Yours sincerely,

Judy Hannah

DISC Chair
3031 Louise St
Saskatoon, SK S7J 3L1
Phone: (306) 955-3344
Fax: (306) 373-3070
[email protected]

Government Fulfills Four Year Commitment to Increase SAID Benefits

Monday, June 1st, 2015

https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/june/01/said-benefits

Government Fulfills Four Year Commitment to Increase SAID Benefits

Released on June 1, 2015

More than 13,000 individuals who experience significant and enduring disability will see an increase to the monthly benefit they receive through the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program.  With this latest increase, which takes effect June 1, the Government of Saskatchewan is fulfilling its four year commitment to increase SAID benefits to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that Saskatchewan is a province that leads the nation in quality of life for people with disabilities,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “We are able to continue to increase benefits for those living with a disability because Saskatchewan remains strong.  Our government also believes that the benefits of growth should provide everyone in our province with the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

The amount of benefit increase is based on family size and living arrangements, as follows:

  • Single persons receiving care in a residential care setting (i.e., family home, personal care home, group home, approved private-service home, special care home or long term care facility), will receive an increase of up to $20 per month;
  • Single persons or single parents who rent, own a home, or live in board and room accommodation, will receive an increase of up to $50 per month; and
  • Couples with no children or two parent families who rent, own a home, or live in board and room accommodation, will receive an increase of up to $55 per month.

The 2015-16 Provincial Budget provides $200 million in funding toward the SAID program, which includes $5.7 million for the benefit increase.

“The success of the SAID program is the result of members of the disability community working with Government on the design of the program,” SAID Program Implementation Advisory Team Chair Merv Bender said.  “That’s why we will continue to work collaboratively on the future development of SAID.”

The Government of Saskatchewan continues its commitment to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada for people with disabilities to live.  A Citizen Consultation Team has been working on a comprehensive Disability Strategy, expected to be released at the end of June.

More information about the Strategy can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/disabilitystrategy.

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For more information, contact:

Leya Moore
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3610
Email: [email protected]

SAID Principles

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability

SAID Principles

The principles below should be adopted to guide future development of the new disability income program (SAID).

¶  A well designed disability income program is:

¶  Dignified and respectful to all.

¶  Person-centered and organized around the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities and their families.

¶  Empowering by having people with disabilities take an active role in managing their supports.

¶  Non-intrusive and delivered in a way that respects a person’s dignity and minimizes the degree interference in a person’s life.

¶  Collaborative by engaging the disability community (people with disabilities, their families and support networks, and service agencies) in the design and delivery of the program.

¶  Separate from the welfare system.

¶  Easily accessible for individuals, families and support networks.

¶  Simple to administer, explain, understand.

¶  Individualized and portable in the approach to benefits and services rather than “one-size-fits-all.”

¶  Flexible to address changing needs over the course of life and in different environments and to allow people to be able to move in and out of the program as needs requires.

¶  Timely so that people can access and receive services and benefits when they are most needed without gaps.

¶  Impact-based in that it focuses on the functional impact of disability, not just the medical diagnosis of the underlying condition, with responses matched to degrees of impact

¶  Fair and transparent in terms of administrative and decision-making processes.

¶  Aligned with other supports and service that assist people with disabilities to participate and be included in their communities.

¶  A high quality service delivered by highly valued, supportive, and knowledgeable staff.

¶  Accountable by ensuring that resources are used in ways that achieve the best outcomes for people with disabilities.

¶  Sustainable over the long term.

 

Taken from: Final Recommendations of the Task Team on Income Support for People with Disabilities- May 13, 2009

SAID PRINCIPLES DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD

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