To whom it may concern,
My name is Sherwin Strong.
I am a Self-Advocate in the Comox Valley and have been for the past 3 years.
I am a Person with Diverseabilities and currently receive a Person with Diverseabilities assistance cheque from the Social Assistance and Social Innovation office located in the Comox Valley.
I’ve been receiving the current rate of $906.24 since I turned 19 years of age. Recently with the latest changes to the PWD cheque amount:
People receiving disability benefits who also receive a transportation subsidy of $52/month will receive a $25/month increase. (Bus Pass)
People receiving disability benefits who also receive a transportation subsidy of $66/month will receive a $11/month increase. (Transportation Subsidy)
People receiving disability benefits who do not receive either a Bus Pass or a transportation subsidy will receive a $77/month increase.
You can clearly see with the changes above (Highlighted in Red) the first set of people receiving benefits with a transportation subsidy only receive a $25 increase due to paying $52 a month.
The second group of people paying for a transportation subsidy end up paying $66 dollars a month only leaving an $11 dollar increase where as those who don’t receive a bus pass or pay a transportation subsidy fee get to benefit from the $77 dollar a month increase.
Noting the last group who receive full benefits from the increase only get to if they option not to pay for their personal transportation.
Having spoken to many fellow Persons with Diverseabilities it is my feeling as well as duty as a Self Advocate in the Comox Valley to stand up for those who feel wrongly treated.
I am an Advocate that believes in full inclusion, fairness, understanding, respect and honesty.
To many degrees with the recent changes and those with who I’ve spoken to, it is my strong opinion that I feel that my beliefs in treatment of Persons with Diverseabilities that are equally shared throughout the community of services for PWD’s is not being met fully.
The little bit that has changed, I feel is great but it can always be better as it should be noted in the last 5 years PWD Cheques have only increased $120 in that time span.
With the rates and costs of many living expenses as well as recreational activities being a part of many Persons with Diverseabilities daily lives, the $77 dollar increase is a win, but only with losses at the other end.
I urge everyone reading and receiving this letter to take it into your hands as a vehicle for change, discussion and desire for change for those who you know who may or may not receive community services supporting Persons with Diverseabilities who receive a PWD Cheque every month.