Enhancements for SAID
May 30, 2012
The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program is expanding enrolment and increasing benefits for program participants as it moves away from a welfare model toward a Living Income structure that offers more financial independence.
"The SAID program supports our government's goal to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities," Premier Brad Wall said. "To support this objective, we are making substantial investments to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through better benefits, increased enrollment and more independence. This was the biggest financial commitment we made during the election, and we are proud to fulfill that promise today."
"These enhancements to SAID will make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities in our province," Program Implementation Advisory Team (PIAT) Chair Merv Bender said. "We are proud to collaborate with the Government of Saskatchewan to help people with disabilities realize the dignity and independence that they deserve."
In addition to the $50 benefit increase SAID beneficiaries received in January 2012, the government committed to significant benefit increases to SAID over the next four years. Minimum increases beginning in June 2012 are as follows:
- $40 per month will be provided to those living in residential care settings;
- $200 per month will be provided to single individuals who live in independent arrangements;
- and $230 per month will be provided to couples who live in independent arrangements.
This year, clients in independent living arrangements will receive, on average, an increase of $270 per month.
Another important change to SAID is a new benefit structure that combines several allowances available under the Saskatchewan Assistance Plan (SAP) for food, shelter, household items, travel and other person needs into a single Living Income. This change further distinguishes SAID as a non-welfare support. Through its simplified benefit structure and reduced reporting requirements, the Living Income benefit will provide beneficiaries with more choice in their decisions and control over how to spend their money. It will also ensure that people with similar needs are treated more equitably.
The expansion of SAID enrolment is underway with disability impact assessments being conducted by a third-party, the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. Currently, SAP recipients who have a disability and who are living independently are being assessed for eligibility for SAID. These assessments began in January 2012 and are still taking place across the province.
The SAID program was introduced in October 2009 in collaboration with members of the disability community with the goal of providing a dignified income support program for persons with significant and enduring disabilities separate from SAP. This collaboration will continue on the further development of SAID.