Media Release - Affordable Payment Update, Calgary, AB.
The Bare Necessities -
$100 buys for Albertans living
by Disability Action Hall
Comic PDF Download
on social assistance, seniors, and Albertans with children whose household
income is less than $180,000 per year have just received a second payment of
$100. The provincial government estimates $96 million will give some relief to
Albertans during the affordability crisis. Members of the Disability Action
Hall and friends shared how they spent the first of six payments until June 30th,
“If it were not for the $100, I would not
be able to get what I needed. A $100 to one person might not be much, but for
another, it could mean a valuable necessity,” - Angie
members appreciate the help the $100 provides and talked about some of their
concerns. Brad Robertson says, “We
spent it on the bare necessities of life: shoes, toothpaste, and other hygiene
products, the phone bill, a bus pass, iron injections, and shingles shots. However,
most people said ‘groceries.’’ Costs have increased 11.4 % since January 2022
in Calgary such as a head of lettuce went up 35%.
person from Poverty Talks said, “I put my affordability payment towards my
dietary needs because I was cut off my dietary benefits for AISH. So really, I
A single mom shared with us on social media, “The
affordability payment went to Groceries for my two kids. I am a single mom
with shared custody and on a fixed disability income, so $100 didn’t do much
when I used to spend $400 per month on groceries and now spend $650 for the same
Digital Divide and Eligibility
Albertans living in poverty are eligible for the affordability payments. People
on no social aid face higher utility bills with nowhere to turn. A person posted "Groceries for my two kids. I’m a single mom with shared custody and on a fixed disability income, so $100 didn’t do much when I used to spend $400/month on groceries and now spend ~$650 for the same groceries.
Another Poverty Talks member said " I am doing just fine and
love inflation. I love being a hundredaire.”
to the Red Deer Advocate, “Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate
Glubish says he is proud of the public servants who developed a
“first-of-its-kind” online application portal in less than two months.” As
of February 9th, over 950,000 Albertans signed up.
is not so easy to apply. Some of our members helped friends and family to
apply. While the website has a fact sheet and video on how to apply, it is not
always helpful. Minister Glubish suggests people go to their
nearest registry if they need help and Alberta Works has opened its
office with extended hours.
will happen in 6 months? Combining policies to address the affordability
temporary and limited relief, the affordability action plan provides Albertans,
we are concerned about indexing social assistance to the cost of living.
(Albertans Advocating for Change Together) calculates that when the 6 months of $100 runs out, people on AISH will have about $100/month
less than their buying power in January 2019. We need more money in people’s pockets to
address affordability. Food Banks of Canada recommends combining policies like the Canada Disability Benefit, creating a
minimum income floor like a basic income, greater support for seniors and
persons with disabilities and unattached individuals, and more investment into
affordable, accessible housing to provide relief to Canadians. Without further
coordinated action by all levels of government, the bare necessities that the
affordability payments made accessible will once again be out of reach to those
with disabilities and low incomes.