We talk with an older woman on income assistance who, as a result of a cut to her special needs allowance, has lost her ability to go to medical appointments and grocery trips. But we saved the tax payer some $50 a month. This is what austerity looks like in Nova Scotia.
Kendall Worth raises the alarm about an unusually high number of income assistance clients who have seen their shelter allowances cut.
PSA: Join us for a screening of the documentary My Week on Welfare, as well as a panel discussion featuring individuals with lived experiences of being on welfare and individuals working within the system.
Kendall Worth on annual reviews, the stress, the humiliation, and the importance of staying calm, cool and collected. Bring a friend or an advocate, he says.
The Department of Community Services continues to penalize family members, including children, for actions that are entirely out of their control. And it does so despite a Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling that called the practice unfair.
Kendall Worth recently went door to door in Halifax Chebucto with Gary Burrill, MLA and leader of the Nova Scotia NDP. They were looking for support for the petition against the EI clawbacks. “It was a great day out and there was lots of support at the doors,” Kendall writes.
Kendall Worth finds it difficult not to get frustrated with Community Services’ lack of progress in making things better for people on Income Assistance.
Kendall Worth on romance, poverty and a man on social assistance and a woman talking on a bus. “The woman asked, so why are you not married and have kids?.”
Some people on social assistance have jobs, and while you work you are entitled to keep a portion of the money you earn. However employment insurance (EI) benefits and self-employed earnings get clawed back at 100%. Kendall has long said that’s not fair, and now there is a petition you can sign and the NDP is supporting it.
In Ontario yearly health care costs for a food secure person are around $1600. The same costs for a person who experiences severe food insecurity are almost $4000. Almost 4% of Nova Scotia’s households experienced severe food insecurity, meaning that people missed meals, reduced food intake and at the most extreme went day(s) without food. You can’t solve our healthcare crisis while you ignore those numbers. Raise the rates and the minimum wage!