Regina woman forced to move says income assistance severely cut
'Where is the justice?' Shannon Sayer asks after change in address led to recalculation of benefit
A Regina woman who is being forced to move because of renovations to her apartment is wondering why her change in address has resulted in a sharply reduced income assistance benefit.
Shannon Sayer says the loss of nearly $600 per month in benefits has left her in fear of finding herself out on the street.
"I'm very scared, I do not know what I'm going to do," Sayer said. "I thought [social service] systems were for people, but they are not for people. Where is the justice?"
Sayer has been diagnosed with a condition called Barrett's esophagus and had been provided with $1,000 a month through the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability benefit.
Last fall, the government decided to change elements of the SAID program to ensure recipients were not inappropriately receiving benefits from multiple programs.
The changes led to concerns about how people affected would cope and the ministry paused the implementation for existing clients.
However, new clients and people whose situations changed would fall under the revised program.
Sayer said she learned that a change in address led to her benefit being recalculated and reduced to about $400 per month.
"If I stay here, I get the same allowance, but if I move, I get $400 a month," Sayer said. "What kind of situation does that put me in?"
The company that owns her apartment has provided notice that they intend to renovate.
Saskatchewan's Social Services Minister, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, said Wednesday that this type of situation is managed on a case-by-case basis.
Beaudry-Mellor said she hopes ministry officials will meet with Sayer to determine her needs.
Sayer said the eviction notice, which was given to her in October, seeks to have her out by Feb. 1.
With files from SRC's Andréanne Apablaza