How much is enough to live on? It is a number that is changing as the cost of living rises, and a local advocacy group for people with disabilities is trying to make an increase to Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) an election issue.
The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is asking every candidate in the coming provincial election to support a $250 increase per person, per month for the SAID program. The current allowance from SAID is $1,300 per month.
Charlene Eger was born with spina bifida and she is on SAID. She said groceries are getting more and more expensive.
“I can’t believe how fruit and vegetables have gone up in price the last few months,” she said.
Eger said another $250 a month would help her buy the food she needs.
David Field is on SAID because he has a diagnosed sleep disorder that doesn’t allow him to keep normal hours.
“People on SAID, we’re very grateful for what we have, but the rising cost of living is starting to exceed the means that we have.”
Field said if he could work, then he would.
“Just for now, just to be able to stay on top of my finances, stay on top of utilities and bills, and cost of living,” Field listed the reasons an increase would help.
With an extra $250, DISC says recipients could pay for transportation instead of inconveniencing friends and family. They could keep a roof over their heads, save for the future or an emergency, and have a better quality of life.
According to the Government of Saskatchewan, since its creation in 2009, SAID benefits have been increased four times.
Field helped produce a video that explains the need for the extra funding. You can see that below.
DISC will be holding two all-candidate forums for the election, one in Regina and one in Saskatoon. The first will be held at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon on March 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. The second will be held at the Glencairn Neighbourhood Recreation Centre on March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m.