News

Disability rate increase urged

People on disability pensions are struggling to make ends meet, and that has Vernon politicians demanding action.

City council will write Premier Christy Clark and demand that disability benefit rates be reviewed.

“People are living below the poverty line,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

According to the Disability Without Poverty Network, a single-person receives a disability benefit of $906 a month, almost $500 below what is needed to cover basic essentials.

“Since 2001, the Persons with Disabilities (benefit) rate has increased by only $120 per month, while the cost of basic essentials, such as food, clothing, transportation, health, personal care and shelter, have increased by 17.2 per cent,” states the network.

“During this period, the cost of food alone increased by nearly 25 per cent.”

Cunningham would like to see the benefit increased to $1,200 a month but points out that would just bring an individual up to the poverty line.

Presently, a disabled person can earn up to $800 without impacting their benefit but Cunningham says that provides little assistance.

“The fact is many can’t work to earn that kind of money,” she said.

Coun. Bob Spiers also wants changes in funding levels.

“An increase to approach a more adequate disabilities pension garners my concern and support,” he said.

“Let’s hope the provincial government considers this important item that affects more than 98,000 people in the disabilities designation.”

Cunningham believes it’s positive for the entire community if assistance for the disabled is improved.

“There are people forgoing eating because of the high cost of rent. The cost to the health care system can be mitigated if the benefit is increased,” she said.

 

Vernon council decided to contact Clark after Cranbrook took similar action.

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ICBC frauds include fires, faked thefts
 
REEL REVIEWS: Cumberbatch provides the real thing
 
District’s top students honoured
Trail council considers future of well-used roadway
 
Picket lines remain at Naramata Centre
 
Castlegar RCMP welcome assistance in finding Russell David Sapriken
Prince Rupert emergency personnel honour fallen officer
 
Canadian classic comes to the Kootenays
 
Freeski athletes shred RED

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.