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What is DISC?

The Saskatchewan Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC) is made up of a large cross section of disability advocates, consumers and organizations from across Saskatchewan who are committed to advocating for a respectful, dignified and adequate income support system. As partners in a non-partisan coalition, DISC members have joined together to speak as one voice, working towards a distinct (or separate) income system for people with disabilities that is built on our common vision and principles.

Our Vision and Principles

Our primary vision is to see an income system that offers both an adequate baseline income for people with disabilities and a user-friendly mechanism to address individual financial needs based on the impact of disability.

We believe that developing a distinct income program for people with disabilities must be a truly joint venture between all stakeholders, each contributing equally to the process. Since 2008 DISC has been working with the Government of Saskatchewan in the development of a new income policy for people with disabilities.

As members of DISC we have laid out key principles for an improved system:

Adequacy- People with disabilities should have an adequate income that truly meets their individual needs, not just basic needs.

Hope and Security- People with disabilities must have financial accommodations so that they can live their lives with hope, respect and dignity.

Person-Centered and User Friendly – A disability income program should be easily accessible with consistent, respectful income workers. Higher Income Exemptions – Higher income exemptions and rapid reinstatement need to be in place to eliminate disincentives to employment and independence.

Consistent Implementation- People with disabilities should be able to expect a portable and flexible income system.

What Progress Has Been Achieved?

  • October 2008 – the Government of Saskatchewan announced that they would create a separate, dignified program for people with disabilities:

    • ‘SAID’ (Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability)

  • December 2008 – DISC joined the joint Government – Community Task Team to develop plans for the new income program.
  • May 2009 – the Government accepted all 50 recommendations of the Task Team and announced that the new income program would be launched on December 1, 2009.
  • December 2009 – a limited number of individuals, living in residential care, were enrolled at the launch of the new program.
  • December 2010 – the earnings exemption for SAID (and people with disabilities on SAP) was increased. A $100,000 life insurance/inheritance exemption for SAID was implemented.
  • March 2011 – the budget included funding to develop the assessment tool for SAID, to begin assessing individuals for the next phase of SAID enrollment, as well as a $50/month increase to SAID clients in residential care settings beginning in January 2012.
  • May 2011 – the first SAID office is opened in Saskatoon.
  • October 2011 – Premier Wall announced that SAID would be expanded to include individuals who live independently in community and that benefits would increase in 2012 – 13 by:

    • An additional $40/month for individuals in residential care (this is in addition to the $50/month increase that will begin in January 2012)
    • $200/month for single people living independently in community
    • $230/month for couples living independently in community

  • June 2012 - the application process for SAID was opened to anyone with a significant and enduring disability in Saskatchewan.

    • The benefit rate increase of a minimum of $200/month began for people living independently in community. Individuals living in residential care received a benefit rate increase of $40/month in addition to the $50/month increase that began in January 2012

  • June 2013/2014/2015 - the Government honoured promises made in the 2011 election campaign by increasing SAID benefits for people living independently by $50/month in each of the 3 years for a total of of $150. Benefits for people living in residential care increased by $20/month in each of the 3 years for a total of $60.
  • June 2015 - over 15,000 people are currently enrolled on SAID; applications are still coming in. 

More work is needed before SAID is fully operational. DISC continues to have a role on the Program Implementation Advisory Team (PIAT) and will continue to work towards an adequate income and fair assessment process.

To show your support for DISC sign up as a friend on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/saskdisc and be sure to follow us on twitter for all the latest updates. Just search @DISCsk

For more information go to http://www.saskdisc.ca/ or contact:

Judy Hannah, Chair

(306) 955-3344

3031 Louise St, Saskatoon, SK S7J 3L1 [email protected]

Dave Nelson

(306) 525-5601 [email protected]