Statement: Saskatchewan Provincial Budget 2023-24
Inclusion Saskatchewan is encouraged to see increases in provincial funding for social services and assistance, health care, and mental health and addictions programs. At the same time, we are very disappointed by the announcement that Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) recipients will only receive a monthly increase of $30 in living income benefits. This is very concerning to our organization and the people we support.
"SAID was intended to be a dignified and helpful source of income for people with disabilities. Until this assured income is indexed to inflation, SAID recipients will continue to receive less benefit each year. Individuals will fall further and further behind and I strongly believe our provincial government can do better,” says Inclusion Saskatchewan President Bluesette Campbell.
SAID is necessary for people with disabilities to live with dignity but they still live below the poverty level. SAID recipients receive a fixed amount of monthly income based on a combination of benefits. Single adults, who were 72% of the program’s beneficiaries in 2020-21, are eligible to receive $1,064 per month through the Living Income Benefit — an amount that is half of what a full-time minimum wage employee earns in a month.
With the cost of living on the rise and the consumer price index jumping 5.2% in just one year, an increase of $30 per month does not address the financial realities of its recipients.
“We have been asking for an increase for the past 7 years or so. While I’m grateful for the $30, it’s just not enough to cover the increased cost of things like rent and groceries. Just this month, my power bill was increased by 4%. I hope they continue to think of us every year because it’s really hard to live off of what we currently receive,” says self-advocate Charlene Eger.
We will continue to work with self-advocates, our partners in the Government of Saskatchewan, as well as the Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) to improve the SAID program.