The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is pleased that the plight of people with disabilities became an issue during the recent provincial election.
For months, DISC and its 38-member organizations have been advocating for more support for people with disabilities since current income programs only provide a meager $26 a day for all expenses including food, shelter, and medicine. This leaves people with disabilities living in poverty, in addition to struggling with the barriers imposed every day by their disability. We are pleased that Premier Brad Wall made this issue the largest announcement in his party’s platform, giving it the attention we believe it deserves.
We look forward to working with the new government of Saskatchewan on increasing the number of people eligible for the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program, as well as increasing the benefits that it provides. SAID operates independently from social assistance and is meant to be responsive to the unique needs of people with disabilities. With SAID, people with disabilities do not need to reconfirm their disability every year, and they are free from the stigmata of receiving welfare.
The government intends to expand coverage to persons with disabilities living outside residential care – about 7,000 people – bringing the total number of people on SAID to around 10,000. As well, the government plans to increase benefits by $150 a month to individuals in residential care, $350 a month to single persons living outside residential care, and $400 a month to couples living outside residential care over the next four years.
It’s a good start for assisting those who are currently struggling to make ends meet.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has indicated that his government intends to make the province “the very best place in Canada to live for those with disabilities.” These are indeed welcome words for our community and we are committed to working with the government to achieving that vision.