Terrie Meehan sometimes eats just one meal a day to increase her food supply.
The $1,100 a month she receives from the Ontario Disability Assistance Program isn’t much.
For Meehan, or the majority of Ontarians who receive assistance under the program, that’s changing as the state government begins to allow beneficiaries to earn more money by working before reimbursement. not.
The change, which went into effect Wednesday, will allow ODSP recipients to earn between $200 and $1,000 by working. For every dollar he earns in excess of the $1,000 exemption, the disabled keeps her 25 cents.
But like Meehan, about 95% of support program recipients see no change in their monthly income as a result. She said many of her friends were in the same boat and was unsure how she felt about the government making changes.
“I doubt that this government is so punitive to those of us who are stuck in aid,” Meehan said.
In addition to her ODSP benefits, she earns hundreds of dollars a month from her gig work, which includes using her wheelchair to deliver food from restaurants.
Province set to waive fivefold income for Ontario disability assistance recipients
Read the following:
Longtime CBC journalist, editor dies after assault in Toronto
After paying her monthly bill, she may have $200 left. Sometimes she is scarce.
“Not enough,” Meehan said. “I was wondering how long it would take to pay off my payday loan today.”
Ontario’s Comptroller General said 510,000 people received ODSP support from 2018 to 2019. In announcing the tax deduction hike, the state government said it would help 25,000 people.
Trevor Manson, co-chair of the ODSP Action Coalition and benefit recipient, said the waivers help workers but are far from solving the problems facing many recipients. He called their situation “enacted poverty”.
Most Bigfoot sightings boil down to this simple explanation, according to scientists
A rare green comet for the first time in 50,000 years is coming.This is how Canadians see it
“We know that the majority of people enrolled in ODSP are unable to work,” Manson said. “So for the majority of people in the program, it doesn’t make much of a difference.”
In September, the state government increased program payments by 5%. This change increased his maximum payout by $58 per month to $1,228.
In July it will adjust for inflation.
Lisa Argiropulos is a disabled person who is dependent on an ODSP and unable to work. She received her 5% increase, which gave her an extra $38, but with her rising cost of living, she said it was of little use.
“Given that rates were already below poverty levels, the difference is not very noticeable,” said Argiropulos.
“Everything is going up in price now, so our lives are actually getting worse.”
Jennifer Robson, associate professor and program director of political management at Carleton University, said raising the income deduction would in no way close the gap that would raise the ODSP rate to the minimum acceptable level.
“In a city like Ottawa, it costs just over $25,000 per person (annual) just to maintain the poverty line,” says Robson.
Earning $1,000 from working, on top of the ODSP’s maximum benefits, would make an ODSP’s monthly income barely more than that.
Mum of two in downtown Toronto with rising inflation: ‘I’m in a lot of pain’
Read the following:
“Dr. Phil’s Talk Show Ends After 21 Years
Robson said Ontario could learn from Quebec’s pilot program, which launched last month.
The new Basic Income Program targets people with severe limitations in their ability to work, including those with disabilities. Basic benefits are $1,138 per month, but can be higher depending on individual circumstances.
Meehan says she doesn’t know what kind of job she’ll get. In December she was able to work every day for Christmas. However, she ended up making so much money that her ODSP payout for January came to zero.
If she could get a regular part-time job, she would accept it in a heartbeat.
She saved her December earnings to pay the rent this week. She worries about how she can continue to buy groceries as food prices rise.
“We had to make sure we had that money saved from December, so at least the bills, the food, got paid. Oh,” Meehan said. “I’ll fix it when I feel like it.”
“Anyone can find themselves in this situation in the blink of an eye for any reason,” she added.
“People cannot choose whether they have health problems or have an accident and cannot work.”
© 2023 The Canadian Press