Poverty and Financial Assistance
Persons with impairments tend to be the poorest people in any given society.
Within this group, people labeled with an intellectual disability are more at risk.
We place a high value on paid work in our society.
- Many people with impairments would like to work, but they face barriers to employment that make finding and keeping a job very challenging. Even though accommodation is part of many work places, it takes encouragement and financial resources to do so.
- Some people with impairments cannot work.
Instead of receiving a work income, they receive social assistance in the form of “income support” from programs like Ontario Disability Support Program. ODSP also includes health/dental and drug benefits. ODSP and other social assistance programs are supposed to protect people from poverty.
ODSP pays a single person $672 per month for basic needs, and $497 for shelter (rent).
Statistics Canada’ “market basket measure” says basic needs of a single person in Ottawa costs $2,072 per month or $24,864 per year.
Another indicator of poverty is the Low Income Cut Off (LICO). The LICO for 1 person living in our community in 2022 is $22,060 per year.
If you are receiving ODSP, than you are probably only receiving $14,082 a year.
Instead of allowing disabled people to live a dignified life, social assistance programs are keeping disabled people in poverty, and thereby impinging on their rights as defined in the United Protocol.
And finally: cost of support/assistance to live independently is not factored in to social assistance for individuals with impairments.