News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 30, 2020

MANITOBANS HAVE THEIR SAY ON NEW DISABILITY INCOME PROGRAM



More than 500 Manitobans have participated in online and in-person consultations to share their views on the possible design of a new income support program for people with disabilities, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

“Our government is committed to creating a new income support program for people with severe and prolonged disabilities, so they can lead lives of dignity,” said Stefanson.  “This is a significant undertaking for the province and consultations are helping to determine our shared priorities.  Some common themes have emerged and this will help us determine next steps in partnership with Manitobans with disabilities, their families and the community.”

The consultations included people with disabilities, advocates, support providers and other interested Manitobans.  A preliminary review of the feedback shows strong support for a new income support program for people with severe and prolonged disabilities, which is separate from Employment and Income Assistance, as well as support for:
•    ongoing conversations about the meaning of dignified income for people with disabilities;
•    consistent, fair and clear processes to determine program eligibility;
•    the ability for recipients to work and volunteer whenever possible while still retaining benefits;
•    improved co-ordination and navigation between support programs offered by the government and other agencies;
•    increased knowledge among program staff about the needs of people with disabilities;
•    accessible service delivery;
•    health supports that meet individual needs;
•    social inclusion and a greater awareness of the unique challenges faced by people with disabilities to participate in community activities; and
•    improved supports for transportation.

The minister noted the feedback will be reviewed in greater detail to help develop a preliminary program design and the next stage of consultations.

The creation of the new income support program for Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities remains a priority for the province, the minister said, noting it is part of the department’s 12-month strategic action plan.  Shared Priorities, Sustainable Progress was released earlier this month and is available online at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/pubs/shared-priorities-sustainable-progress.pdf.

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