Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ontario's Basic Income Pilot Project

In recent years due to circumstances related to living with Muscular Dystrophy and a work-related injury, I currently receive income support from the Ontario Disability Supports Program. A program which was created to help those with disabilities not working in need of income support. A program I am thankful for with one major flaw - their unfair treatment of spousal earnings and the negative affect this is having on the person in the relationship with the disability. Then I started hearing about the Ontario Government plan to launch its Basic Income Pilot Project. This gave me hope that this might result in the changes I have been so desperately seeking when it comes to their treatment of spousal earnings. I heard they were going to be choosing three communities to participate in this pilot project. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to live in one of the communities they chose. So, with the pilot project lasting for three years any chance of seeing change is still far off in the distance. 
Ontario's Basic Income Pilot Project will provide those currently receiving support from the Ontario Disability Supports Program with a basic fixed income. That means that those in these communities who are married will not see their income support reduced and can look forward to receiving a basic income of $2500 per month for the next three years. Something that today simply remains a dream for me. In my current situation, all I am asking for is that the Ontario Government stops wasting our time and end the practice of clawing back the income support of those married and on ODSP. After all we live in a time when families thanks to Kathleen Wynne and greedy landlords so desperately need two incomes just to survive. If the Ontario Government just allowed those who are married on ODSP to keep their full cheques it would drastically improve our lives. Relieving a lot of the financial stress many of us are under simply for having a disability. While the $2500 a month being provided to those in the Basic Income Pilot Project would be nice I also fully understand that to provide this to everyone with a disability across Ontario would be costly for our Government. So, in all likelihood the Basic Income Pilot Project will result in no change. So, the Ontario Government should pull the plug on this pilot project and simply end the unfair practice of clawing back our income support and allow those of us who are married to keep the full amount of income support we so desperately need just to be able to afford the sky-rocketing costs of living in the Province of Ontario. As it stands now it might take three years for me to see the change I need now. So, receiving an inadequate amount of income support through the Ontario Disability Supports Program will remain my reality that is until I win the lottery. But in all honest the odds of either happening are about the same. In three years, I guess we shall see.

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