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50 Recommendations

April 30, 2009
Honourable Donna Harpauer,
Minister of Social Services
Legislative Building
Regina, Saskatchewan

We are very pleased to present the final report of the joint community and
government task team on income support for people with disabilities. We would
like to thank you for this historic opportunity to review the issue of income support
for people with disabilities in the province of Saskatchewan.

The terms of reference for the task team was to provide recommendations on the
design of a new, separate income program specifically for people with disabilities,
separate from the Saskatchewan Assistance Program.

The Task Team undertook this project with enthusiasm and with the intent of
recommending the beginnings of a new program that would become a legacy. One
task team member described this effort as the most significant initiative in his 23
year career working in the disability community. This was a sentiment shared by
many members of the task team.

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A Question of Citizenship
The Argument for Adequate Income Support for People with Disabilities

The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) was formed by a broad cross section of disability advocates, consumers and organizations. We have joined to speak as one voice and advocate for a distinct income system for people with disabilities who presently rely on social assistance for their income.

Our primary vision is to see developed and implemented a respectful and separate income system for people with disabilities that offers both an adequate baseline income and a user- friendly mechanism to address individual financial needs based on the impact of disability. An adequate baseline income must be implemented to accommodate and ameliorate for the most significant and common impact of disability, which is poverty.

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DISC Survey Report

A survey of Saskatchewan citizens with disabilities who utilize social assistance was conducted in the winter of 2007. The purpose of this research was to capture stories about the experience of being on social assistance as a person with a disability and to identify their suggestions for change.

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Conclusions from a Review of Eligibility Requirements in Income Security Programs in Canada

This report identifies:

  • Eligibility requirements for Income Assistance programs that are
    typical from province to province
  • Program features that support people with disabilities
  • Program features that should be avoided
  • Points for further consideration

All provinces provide to lesser and greater degrees:

  • Shelter allowance
  • Money for basic needs such as food
  • Basic telephone rental costs
  • Exemptions for employment income
  • Extra benefits for people with disabilities

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SaskDISC.ca - Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition
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