It’s important to note that the author of this piece (Ania) is a Canadian citizen–this matters in part because of the stubborn perception that Canadians “do socialism” better. There is a lot of room for improvement and I resent the PR that casts Canada in such charitable lights even when the evidence shows that we are, in many ways including the treatment of our disabled citizens, still a morally deficient state.
As I mentioned, ODSP has to be notified of any money that Alyssa makes. That’s because, at a certain threshold – which is significantly less than you would make even at below full time hours at minimum wage – they start taking away my benefit, until it reaches 0. In some cases I can ask for a special dispensation to keep receiving the medical insurance.
People on ODSP are not allowed to be independent unless they are completely single. I am punished for being married. I am also punished if I have roommates. If I do, the total rent allotment is cut by the amount of people in the house, regardless what share of the rent they pay. The only exception is children (I believe). This means that getting a roommate doesn’t even save me money, since the amount I save is less than the amount of money I lose.
I’m not allowed to have my own money. My partner and I are not allowed to be a two income household, as any other household might be. Not only does this essentially force my partner into being the sole provider for our family, but it also puts me and every other person on disability at serious risk of abuse. We have to depend on anything we might need: food, clothing, the ability to go out of the house, medicine, anything, on our partner.
I trust Alyssa, but not everyone is as lucky as I am. Financial domination is one of the most common abuser tactics. By controlling access to money, you control who a person is able to interact with. You can socially isolate them, thereby making them the perfect victim.
This is just one of the many reasons why the rates of abuse of disabled people are so staggeringly high.
In addition, this actually ends up making us a financial burden on our family members. It has the potential to create a sense of resentment, since we’re not able to contribute in the same way to the household income. We essentially doom our spouses into poverty, unless they can find employment that pays enough to support both of us comfortably.
Read more here.