KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Rose (not her real name) is a woman who uses a cane and lives with learning disabilities. She tells me that she has held down a part-time job for the past 22 years. Because of her disabilities a part time job is all she can handle. Her employer is supportive.
Rose’s mom tells me that when it was time for Rose to move into her own apartment and become independent, they examined every option to try and get her some financial help.
What they found out is that income assistance would be the only option for Rose.
Rose’s parents were not happy that nothing better then income assistance from Community Services was available, especially since their daughter Rose would never be able to work full time.
The family decided that they would help her themselves. They were not having their daughter go through the red tape, bureaucratic nonsense, and systematic problems of receiving income assistance.
For the past 20 years Rose has lived in her own apartment with her mom and dad paying the rent, power, and telephone. Her brother also chips in, and Rose pays the rest of her living expenses from the money she makes in her part time job.
Now Rose’s mom is starting to develop health problems and she does not know how much longer she is going to be able to keep her job. She may also have to pay for home care in the future. Her dad is also getting closer to retirement age, and will be retiring from his employment in a couple of years.
Her parents are worried that they are no longer going to be able to afford to help Rose at that time.
Right now Rose earns $1000 per month, and her rent is $850, power is $50 and phone is $43. That means that without help from her family Rose would have $57 left over to pay for food and everything else.
If she was on Income Assistance now, we all know that a portion of what she is earning would be clawed back.
All this means that Rose is worried about when her days on income assistance get started within the next couple of years, she is going to have to leave her nice apartment out by the Armdale Rotary.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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