People First of Canada Priority – Income and Supports
The cost of disability should not be poverty (Article 28, UNCRPD)
People First of Canada believes that people must have an enough income to secure a life with dignity and inclusion. Usually, people with disabilities have higher living costs and a lower ability to make money. The financial and social cost of disability for an individual should not be poverty and exclusion. Systems and policies need to be changed to support people to have dignity and quality of life and to remove barriers to their full participation.
The systems that provide support for persons with disabilities are complicated. They are often set up in a way that keeps a person at a low level of income and does not allow for them to increase their income without negatively effecting their other disability related support needs. People with disabilities are often lucky if they can obtain work for minimum wage or slightly higher. Once real employment has been secured, people often lose their disability supports – and their ability to work. For many people, this cost is too high and they go back into the system and cycle of low income and poverty.
A combination of factors – such as inadequate education options, poor job prospects, higher costs for housing, transportation, and daily living – mean that people with disabilities have higher living costs and a lower ability to make money. Simply put, persons with intellectual disabilities are at a disadvantage in society as it relates to housing, support and finances, employment income, healthcare, education, social experiences, and a number of other areas that contribute to overall poverty. The financial and social cost of disability for an individual is usually poverty and exclusion.
Systems and policies need to be changed to support people to have dignity and quality of life and to remove barriers to their full participation including separating disability supports from income supports.