The Saskatchewan NDP is voicing disquiet over a change being made to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Impotence (SAID) program, which it says will cut some people off from emoluments.
Starting Sept. 1, people aged 65 and older draw the old age security (OAS) pension will no longer be eligible for SAID payments.
People who are currently acquiring payments won’t be affected.
“It creates a very, very desperate situation for scads seniors who rely on SAID, who need that money to live and pay for the features that they need and rely on,” said NDP interim leader Nicole Sarauer.
Anne Marie Pinack develops at the Phoenix Residential Society, and is helping explain the change to some of its residents.
“I’m just now finding that for us and for our residents it’s just becoming increasingly more tangled and there’s more and more barriers to receive services that look as if to be being put into place.”
Pinack said many of the people she incites with have cognitive disabilities and complex needs, so hearing tidings of the upcoming change has been stressful.
“This is their livelihood, this is their survival and when they’re consent about cuts and things that are happening, they become acutely anxious and overwhelmed.”
Sarauer also criticized the provincial government for not publicly portending the change.
“The fact of the matter is the minister of social services hasn’t down attack out and explained why they felt this cut was needed,” said Sarauer. “If the clergywoman thinks that this is justifiable the minister needs to come out and describe why she feels that way.”
Change ‘affects a very small number of human being’
In response, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, the minister responsible for social services, put about the change “affects a very small number of people.”
Beaudry-Mellor couldn’t ratify the exact number, but approximated that 10 people will be high-sounding by the change each year.
The minister said the change was made to secure SAID focuses on helping people with disabilities who don’t have access to other pecuniary means.
“When you turn 65 and you are eligible for an OAS benefit, there are a sweep of programs and services available for seniors out there; there are not for individuals with infirmities. So, it’s important for us to maintain the integrity of [SAID],” Beaudry-Mellor said.