digital illustration, two faces in profile faceing each other, both shades of blue, against a black backdrop

Please share what you would like people to know about your experience accessing or relying on the Disability Assistance Benefit.

$375 is not even close to enough money for rent.

I spent years in awful and traumatic situations due to not having enough money to get myself out of it. Even if you want to start your own business, it’s not even enough to start that.

It is degrading trying to scrape enough money together for basic needs. It makes you feel guilty when you want to “splurge” and a splurge is like, going to McDonald’s or something cheap like that.$5 is considered a lot to spend on an item, very degrading and messes so much with your self esteem. Makes you feel useless and causes worse mental health issues and suicide ideation.

You feel guilty at outings when you can’t afford to buy yourself a meal, or drink etc. You start to live in fear and fight or flight mode which worsens mental health and can lead to addictions to cope. If you go shopping and forget say, to get enough toilet paper or something, you’ve screwed yourself over for the whole month.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know?

Homelessness becomes a huge problem as people can not afford housing. Waiting in the line for the food bank is degrading and they are unable to accommodate allergies. People eat things they are intolerant to just to survive. I heard about one lady who ate gluten because she had no choice, and she sadly died from it.

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

Enough money for rent. Enough money for food. Extra in case of unforeseen circumstances that require money to help you such as infestations of bedbugs or rats, or whatnot.

Published by rozmaclean

B.C. based artist

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