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Sep
16 2011

Support Ontarians with disabilities

Syndicated from: Daily Bread Food Bank

Over the next two weeks, Daily Bread will be releasing a series of election blog posts where we highlight some of the problem areas in the current social assistance system as well as challenge politicians to consider some of the potential solutions that we will also outline.  Visits to food banks in the GTA remain well above pre-recession levels and we want to see poverty and hunger front and centre as an election issue. Poverty adversely affects far too many people in Ontario and there are solutions to help alleviate it. What would happen if you fell ill or became disabled and it meant you could no longer work? How would you support your children; how would you support yourself? Would you have enough money for medication if you no longer had a drug plan? Many of the people who come to a food bank are on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) which shows that this income support system in Ontario is not working. Having a disability or serious illness is a trigger for many to fall into poverty. There needs to be better integration of federal and provincial disability income support programs, including the interaction between Canada Pension Plan Disability and Ontario Disability Support Program. Greater support is needed for many to access and navigate a complicated system in order to get the benefits from these programs. For those who have a disability and can work, more comprehensive employment support programs need to be available to help them find and keep employment. For those for whom their disability does not allow them to work, serious consideration needs to be given to creating a long-term income support program that provides sufficient income.  

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