25 signatures reached
To: Nicholas Simons: Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction
Upon Reaching Earnings Exemption Disability Assistance Should Fade Gradually
The BC NDP government has set to increase PWD Annual Earnings Exemptions (AEE) in 2021, which is very welcome. There is hint in late 2020 regarding a push for a permanent increase to disability rates, which would be even more welcome.
However, regarding AEE, when a PWD client reaches the limit, their assistance amount is rather sharply cut, and suddenly.
I want to see the regular assistance amount faded out gradually, instead of plunging, upon exceeding the limit. There should be a range beyond which there will be no assistance given, but nowhere should the assistance rate drop suddenly by hundreds or more.
The goal of the petition is for the BC Government to correct this problem, fading out assistance gradually instead of sharply. A gradual range instead of a hard limit. The benefits of a few dollars are uncountable.
Why is this important?
We certainly are nowhere near rich if we're on PWD. A sudden deduction is felt by us in a powerful way. This drop in assistance is disorienting and problematic for people, especially who go just a modest amount over the limit and who do so at the end of the year, when the seasonality of things can also increase expenses and decrease work income. It can be really bad timing! Covid-19 just makes this all harder to deal with, too.
Costs and expenses typically do not go down, but suddenly a PWD client can be without that extra money earned through their hard work, through their disability. In fact, the actual work might be continuing the same, but suddenly there is a loss in access to otherwise available resources. It's not a smooth transition for us.
Things someone might buy with this extra income if it weren't clawed back: It could go toward a doctor recommended supplement which is not covered, toward a psych or physio therapy session which is not covered but does wonders for overall management of stress and health issues, toward a meaningful gift to a loved one at Christmas, or toward something otherwise out of reach but which afforded increases one's quality of life and health.
Like mentioned, on PWD we are not rich, so these small amounts mean a lot to us.
How it will be delivered
Via a press release, we will seek to raise awareness of issues revolving AEE and workers with disabilities in BC. Because the legislature typically counts petitions as "out of order" and won't directly change things as a result of a petition, the aim will be to raise awareness mostly.
I believe it is still good for us to raise our voices, even if some people aren't paying attention. Some people are paying attention! We want to keep talking.