News Release - December 8, 2011
DISABILITY INCOME PROGRAM TO BE ENHANCED IN 2012
The Government of Saskatchewan is committing to significant enhancements to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program following through on another campaign commitment.
"These enhancements will increase the benefits paid through SAID, boost enrollment by up to 7,000 new individuals and further distinguish SAID from the Saskatchewan Assistance Program," Social Services Minister June Draude said. "These enhancements continue the multi-year commitment made by our government to develop the SAID program with the input and participation of the disability community."
The various enhancements will begin in January 2012 with a $50 per month benefit increase for SAID recipients who live in residential care settings. More than 3,000 SAID recipients are expected to benefit from this increase. Also in January, the inheritance exemption under SAID will be broadened to include the proceeds of a life insurance policy, which will further distinguish SAID from the Saskatchewan Assistance Program.
In addition, over the next several months, an impact-based assessment will be used to evaluate the disability severity of Saskatchewan people with disabilities who are living independently - with the goal of expanding enrolment in the SAID program. The Saskatchewan Abilities Council is the successful vendor in the Request for Proposal process to conduct these assessments. The assessments will be used to determine eligibility for expanded SAID enrolment
Expanded enrolment will be followed by substantial additional benefit increases to the SAID program which includes increasing the SAID benefits over the next four years by $350 per month for people with disabilities who are living independently, by $400 a month for couples with disabilities who are living independently and by $100 per month for people with disabilities in residential care settings.
"The benefit increases will build upon the previsouly announced $50 benefit increase in January 2012 for people with disabilities in residential care settings, Druade said. "Combined, these various significant enhancements to the SAID program support government's goal of making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities."
"The development of SAID over the past few years has proven to be a model of how government can work collaboratively and productively with the disability community," SAID Program Implementation Advisory Team Chair Merv Bender said. "These enhancements demonstrate the provincial government's ongoing commitment to people with disabilities across Saskatchewan, and will make SAID a meaningful income support program for Saskatchewan people with significant and enduring disabilities.'
The Program Implementation Advisory Team, comprised of members of the disability community, was established to provide advice to the ministry on the implementation and development of the SAID program.
Established in October 2009, SAID provides income support - separate from social assistance - to people with significant and enduring disabilities.
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