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On Sept 30, 2018 Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) were supposed to get an increase to rent and basic needs. The Ford Government just announced it will now be 1.5 % across the board, instead of the 3% we were promised for rent and basic needs which is 90% of the cheques.

To get off OW or ODSP you have to give us enough not to have to do pay day loans, or owe landlords.

To buy food and not depend on charity and food banks.

To be able to buy our meds that are not covered by the Prescription Plan so we can live healthy lives.

To be able to buy clothes and school supplies for our children.

To be able to not have to pay for food or heat, food or hydro, food or bills.

A couple on ODSP get $769 for rent and $954 for basic needs. OW it is $632 rent and $486 for basic needs.

Not as well known and not talked about is claw backs. If you work you get to keep 200 dollars and get 100 for the privilege of working. Then you get clawed back 50% of what you make before taxes, CPP and EI. It was going to go up to keep $500 before the claw backs, now who knows?

CPP, Old Age Security Workers' Compensation and EI are all clawed back dollar for dollar. So if you do work, don't get sick or you will be out of luck.

Now there is some funding for dietary supplements and diabetic and incontinence supplies, but not enough to pay for the needed items. And once you are on CPP retirement - guess what - they are no longer covered.

If you work full time, you risk getting booted off ODSP and onto extended health benefits if your employer has them. If work slows down and you are laid off or hours are cut, you have two months time before you can get back on ODSP.

I earned too much in April and May and today's cheque is the first one since then.

Hydro cuts? - well it is part of my rent so my landlord will thank you but not reduce our rent which is more then the total of our rent and most of our basic needs' cheque. I dare you to find an apartment anywhere for what OW gives, let alone ODSP.

Less for gas?  That I thank you for, but will that be 10 cents less then what it is now - $1.40 - or the $1.15 it was when you took office?

Carbon tax?  Let's just move pollution to the next generation.

So the poor get poorer again. Let me turn around so you can boot me even easier.

Cynthia Welsh

On ODSP, works full time, married to a disabled retired person.

Who just once would like a break.


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