Saturday, June 3, 2023

“We did not see the blind spot of those who were going to be excluded”

The overhaul of social assistance from the Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity, which was supposed to help the vulnerable, is not making everyone happy.

A couple from Rimouski is stuck in an administrative error and is deprived of $1,200 a month for a bureaucratic matter.

A man in his 50s has been in remission since 2000 due to medical issues.

“I have Parkinson’s disease, polyarthrosis and fibromyalgia,” he explained to TVA Nouvelles. “I’m in bad shape.”

His wife always did. Monsieur’s benefits were always adjusted according to his income.

Overhaul of the social assistance program now recipients of the basic program in the long-term social solidarity program, so that their benefits will no longer be reduced if the spouse earns less than $28,000 per year. This change has been in effect since January 1, 2023.

Since he has been a beneficiary of this program for a long time, the couple believed that as of January 1, they could count on $11,211 per month.

“The government created a great program, something good that we welcomed, but we did not see the blind spot of those who were going to be excluded,” explained Michel Dubé of Action Populaire. Rimouski-Neigette.

The problem is that the claimant spouse receives the Old Age Security pension. When the federal government increased benefits in November 2022, the couple’s income jumped a few dollars. These increases resulted in generous non-receipts of social assistance benefits in November and December 2022.

“It is $24 too much per month that the spouse received benefits in old age,” explains Michel Dubé.

Since he has not received any benefits for two months, the gentleman is no longer eligible for the long-term social solidarity basic income program.

“Now I feel like a victim of the system,” Rimouski said.

The couple requested a review from the Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity, which was denied. They are now waiting to be heard by the Quebec administrative tribunal.

Nation World News Desk
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