Living with a disability is hard and for those that cannot work, life becomes even harder. Trying to survive on limited funds often brings us below the poverty line and adds to already fragile stress levels.
With food and medical costs rising every minute, its safe to say that those who cannot work are facing some tough challenges, having to choose between putting food on the table or taking regular medication.
Are we rolling the dice on peoples quality of life?
When I experienced my most major episode, I was hospitalized and told I would never work again. At that time I was homeless and sleeping in my car, I had no idea what to do next. Luckily my doctors took action and set me up with government assistance, which although I am extremely grateful for, still left me in hard ship.
For example, here in British Columbia, Canada the rental allowance for disability recipients is $375 but the average studio apartment tops over $1200. Renting a room in shared home can help you save some money, but even then will set you back around $700/800 minimum. . and that’s without utilities, insurance, food, cell phone etc etc
It was a real rough time for me and I felt it took a big toll on my mental health. For the two years I couldn’t work I racked up a mountain of credit card debt just to avoid being homeless again, which in turn pushed my stress and anxiety levels to the limit.
I am very very fortunate that I was able to return to work, but that is not the case for everyone and I feel like we are continuing the poverty divide for those already in crisis and exacerbating the symptoms of many physical and mental illness.
We need change to the system and we need it now!
I personally think a universal basic income would go a long way.
What’s your experience with finances and disability? Do you think more change is needed? Do you have any tips for advocating for change in this area?