Kendall Worth gives us an update on a young woman he wrote about earlier. Thankfully the harassment by a fellow tenant has stopped, but she lost some of her income assistance benefits. If we had a guaranteed basic income none of this would have happened, writes Kendall.
BRAG (Benefits Reform Action Group) invites you to a free screening of the documentary “My Week on Welfare” in Dartmouth, om May 29. Watch the screening, and share your own stories.
The Income Assistance policy manual is brutally clear about when you qualify for dental care when you’re on welfare. Don’t bother looking for help if it doesn’t bleed, hurt, or stop you from getting a job. Preventative care isn’t even mentioned in the manual.
Kendall Worth, in his final story he wrote with Daryl and Darlene, talks about their dreams and the importance of having peer support with lived experience in the emergency room, to help people who come in with mental health issues.
The number of people receiving income assistance in Nova Scotia has been steadily decreasing over the last 6 to 7 years, and the Department of Community Services doesn’t seem to know why that is.
Kendall Worth reports that Community Services has no plans to stop the annual reviews for people on social assistance. Many recipients feel that the practice is punitive and humiliating, and too often results in cuts.
This morning Tim Blades, anti-poverty advocate, member of BRAG and CASAR, and NS Advocate author, spoke truth to power about the Community Services’ Employment Support and Income Assistance program, better known as welfare or income assistance. Tim did so at Law Amendments, while the Financial Measures Act (this year’s budget) was under the microscope. And oh boy, did he ever tell them a thing or two!
In 2019 all income assistance recipients in Nova Scotia stand to lose a good chunk of buying power to inflation. In 2020, when people on income assistance finally get a raise, that raise in most cases gets eaten up by inflation, and then some.
In other news, Community Services spent millions less on welfare payments last year than it anticipated.
Stella Lord, of the Community Society to End Poverty in Nova Scotia, writes on this year’s budget, and welfare transformation. “nstead of punitive regulations and an outdated categorical budget deficit model that pre-defines “need” but keeps people constantly “in need,” we require a social safety net and service-delivery model worthy of the name. How about one that rests on social justice, human rights, and community well-being?”
Earlier we wrote about a woman on income assistance who lost her special needs allowance. She fought back, she made noise, and now the allowance has been reinstated. There’s a lesson in that.