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Letter: Equal help?

Equal help?

With all the federal and provincial help that's coming out for everyone, I don't know if persons with disabilities will be forsaken — as they have been even in good times.

They get a 1986 $375 shelter allowance for a 2020 rental market that starts at $1100/mo. Even if they had, and lost a periodic part time job that wouldn't qualify for EI, but helped with adding a few hundred dollars a month to an impossible to live on total of $1200/mo, they won't get any extra help that other British Columbians and Canadians would get for help. 

If they did qualify for EI, they would have any money they received deducted from their disability dollar for dollar, actually costing the person more in money and stress from the running around act of applying for EI. 

They have so little already that even coming up with the difference for a pair of eyeglasses is nearly impossible as most optical stores won't even do an eye exam for the amount that is covered from disability benefits. That's just  one example out of many to paint a broad picture of the impossible financial challenges they face in the system.

Most Canadians will be able to access thousands of dollars in assistance.

Persons with disabilities may have any emergency assistance they received deducted dollar for dollar, or possibly even have their assistance cancelled altogether if they received any emergency assistance.

Canadians will have a very simplified application form to fill out to get help. By way of comparison, a person with a disability has to report that they got a bag of groceries given to them by a friend, or anything else they have acquired, no matter how small, regardless of how.  

These are not trouble causing, thieving addicts. They are people that would work full time in a heartbeat if they could.

Persons with disabilities must be really tough, tougher than the average Canadian as they are able to pay for shelter even with only $375 shelter allowance, whereas other Canadians will need thousands.

The cracks and flaws in the system for persons with disabilities will reveal themselves like no other time — how big will those cracks be for them?

David Wilkinson, Kelowna



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