Digital painting of Jennifer. She is smiling and has straight brown hair that falls above her shoulders. She is wearing a pink shirt that falls of her right shoulder. The background is light blue with lighter blue clamshells all over.

Please share something about yourself, your experience with the disability benefit, and anything else you would like people to know.

I am 46 years old with four crushed disks. Two in my back and two in my neck. I have been diagnosed with Sarcoidosis Onset Emphysema, Asthma clusters of granulomas in my lung, benign breathing lumps, and a tumor on the spine of my neck. OCD, Post traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety and depression.

My mental health makes it hard for me to live with others because of PTSD, anxiety and OCD. I get stressed out easily and I have panic attacks, but I have no choice. I rent a one bedroom for $850 a month, plus hydro is $200 a month, and that’s my cheque pretty much gone. So I have to sleep in my living room with a bad back because I have to rent my room out just to afford internet, cable, phone and some food, which never lasts all month.

The food in my town is a 2 week wait so when I actually run out of food there isn’t anywhere to get any. Not only that, I can’t afford insurance or a car and with my lungs I can’t walk. I live out of town because its cheaper than in town, but I can’t get to town for things because there is no bus where I live. So, I have pay cabs or neighbors to get anywhere which I can’t afford either. I have no quality of life I’m laid up in bed most days in pain watching TV, which I’d probably be crazy if I didn’t have it. I’m constantly begging people for food money, and my family doesn’t even like talking to me anymore because I am always in need of a ride, food or money to pay bills I can’t afford. $375 is just not enough money for rent or to survive. Disability rates are way below poverty level, and there is 3 million people in Canada living in poverty, and I don’t understand why we give 17 billion dollars to other countries to fight their poverty when Canada doesn’t take care of there own. I feel like nobody cares that we sit here suffering, and it’s even worse now with Covid and my lung issues. I need to stay safe. I can’t afford masks

If everyone is wondering why there is so many tent cities and crime, its because people like me are being put into the street because we can’t afford to pay rent on our own. I think it is a basic human right to have a roof over my head.

What do you dream support for people with disabilities could look like?

 Just to afford rent bills food and have some kind of stress relief. We have enough problems with our disabilities, we shouldn’t have to worry about that stuff too!

Likes and loves:

Chihuahuas, pink, blue, beaches, shells and butterflies.

Published by rozmaclean

B.C. based artist

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