Why Don’t We Have A National Disability Strategy?

It’s almost 2020 and Canada still does not have a National Disability Strategy. Why? When? How? Do we get such a program into Canada as soon as possible.

Right now it looks like the majority of the Provinces based Disability Programs are running around 50% under the poverty line and it’s just beyond unacceptable. How can someone survive at 50% under the Poverty Line especially with a disability?

Using Ontario for an Example your Shelter amount is just under $500 a month. So if you just hit 18 and have to move out on your own or if your 55 and been living at the same place for the past 30 years it’s just not enough to live off. Show me where someone can live a comfortable life at $500 a month in Ontario let alone Toronto. Hint it’s not suitable for someone to be stuck with roommates till they die…. That should be your younger days period and even then those with disabilities might need more privacy to begin with. Imagine being stuck with a disability where you have bowl issues, chronic pain, living in a Basement with 3 other people of both sex’s and having an embarrassing problems and then someone like a PSW coming to this place and helping you shower in such an environment… Beyond Disgusting.

Another thing I hear a lot is people asking the Government to try living like someone on Disability, etc for 30 days and call it the 30 day Challenge. Sorry, but that is not how that works at all. Try the 30 year challenge instead. Just imagine the conditions above on top of the worst foods for your body over a 30 year period. People actually end up with other disabilities because of the conditions their forced to endure. Then factor the types of disabilities someone might have like movement, pain, etc. There is so many other costs on top of that.

This is why universal basic income (UBI ) programs out there are suggesting a minimal of 25% increase to those with Disabilities. So that idea is you are on the Poverty Line and then those with disabilities get a bit more because of many factors in their life tends to make their costs of living more expensive because of their needs and requirements.

We have very few programs to help those with Disabilities and most of them are at the child level and tax paying level (the Rich). You have special programs for Children with Autism who are under funded. You have a Caregiver Tax Break for the Rich… Yes I said the rich, how the heck can someone be a full time caregiver and be bring in a big enough Income to use an almost $7000 Tax Break that is dedicated just for Caregivers… I guess those who are legitimately Caregivers can’t commit fraud and claim such a bonus. There is also money for Kids with Disabilities and it’s Doubling and on top of that there is just money for having kids. I understand helping mothers and families and how Canada must have children and have immigration to strength our economy in the long run… But why do you keep forgetting about Disabled people?

The list goes on and on and it’s just beyond crazy. Why are “people” with Disabilities treated inhumanely? Why is there such a gap on age or wealth when it comes to helping those with Disabilities. It makes no sense that we literally give breaks to those who have money and can afford to live way higher then the Poverty Line, but the second they are poor and don’t have money we throw them under the bus.

What is Worse is that both the Conservatives and Liberals on the Provincial level in Ontario have done nothing to better Disabilities when it comes to their Income. After Mike Harris Butchered the system and the Liberals took over for almost 15 years they had let $300 a Month vanish from Inflation. Yes $300 from inflation. Now that the Conservatives are in Power they are letting inflation eat away at it even faster then before and the Federal government has not done a thing to help out and yet they can start a program tomorrow if they wanted to.

The news should start reporting not what percent people get that year but the actual amount they will gain or lose based on inflation. So if the government gives 1.5% and inflation is 3.0% it should be reported that the government that year is removing 1.5% and then people will start realizing how crazy things are really getting.

It’s time for a change and I don’t think it should be tomorrow or even next year, but right now! There is enough delays on this and it’s been happening far too long. We are tired of our Government abusing those with Disabilities promising changes if you elect them, etc. Just do it and make the change and give people with disabilities some dignity now and not tomorrow.

ODSP Income Rules to Changes for 2020 and the Impact they will have.

As many of you might be aware in 2020 the new Conservative Income Rules Changes will be taking place. Doug Ford might be more cleaver then you think is a very evil way.

Photo by Nick Fewings

So what is happening in 2020 people on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can earn up to $6000 a year before the clawing back of the income. There is no monthly deductions anymore. So honestly it seems simple and in fact it sounds like you can get a lot more out of it.

You would be unfortunately quite wrong as now there is a 75% claw back vs 50%. Not only that but when you do the math like our friend Ron Malis had shared on his Blog, you find out quite fast your not getting a good deal at all.

My concern is even deeper and more evil plot by the Doug Ford Government. The way the system works is if you get more then $6,000 per year then they take it away the following Year. So if you earned say $12,000 in 2020 you would have a deduction from ODSP of $375 a month.

So imagine you could work in 2020 but ended up getting pretty sick and quitting your job at the end of the year. In 2021 you would end up getting $375 less a month. So with the current rates being $1,169 for a single person on ODSP with max shelter rates. Your new total each month for 2021 would be $794… There goes your apartment and now your homeless and they stop paying shelter where I assume now their deducting the $375 from your basic needs income.

Now your homeless assuming to at least earn your full Basic Needs at $672 a month to put aside and maybe be able to get an apartment again in the future. But instead it’s being clawed back by $375 so that your left with $297 a month and now your officially homeless where nowhere to go for the next 12 months.

Photo by John Moeses Bauan

It’s honestly a scary system that makes me suggest not going past $6000 a year to the point I would say quit your job the second your near that mark. Unless your fine at banking / savings then you can work past that marker, but it could be a dangerous task.

4 in 10 Canadians have less then $5000 in the bank so imagine what the bank accounts look like of someone on ODSP. Is it worth the risk? I would say 100% no it’s not worth the risk to ruin your life by becoming homeless. Many people on ODSP have both Physical and Mental Health problems. The last thing they need to worry is about budgeting the book for a year ahead when they have enough issues dealing with the month ahead.

Honestly Doug Ford is trying to encourage people to be able to go off ODSP but, this is not going to encourage anyone to go out and get a job. Instead more people are going to be afraid and scared as well as get more mental health issues like depression in the long run.

If I was Doug Ford I would personally bring the rates back down to 50% so people are not working for $3.50 cents an hour after earning a measly $6,000. In fact I would even encourage it to be lowered to 25% or let people reach closer to the poverty line before clawing back to give people a real fighting chance.

So in conclusion this system was broken and is still broken and the Doug Ford government claims to be fixing it and giving people the Dignity and Respect they Deserve. Maybe he should start sorting Nuts an Bolts for $3.75 an hour and tell us how his dignity is going.