By: Christine Lentz
Living in a province where poverty is already a major issue, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty has only made it more difficult for those who are disabled who choose to experience love by restricting their income.
Currently, a British Columbian who receives Persons With Disabilities assistance and has chosen to experience a basic human right to love, suffers the discriminatory restriction known as the “Spousal Cap“, resulting in losing their income once the cap is hit. This hasn’t just only affected myself, but it has affected thousands of British Columbians who have begged for permanent change, only to be continuously ignored by the MSDPR and the Government of BC.
As a young adult living with disabilities I was already limited in the activities I could do. Before receiving government assistance, I was living day to day, relying on others to help with certain tasks, thus feeling like some of my independence had been lost. This added to my existing stress and anxiety. When I was accepted for PWD, I felt some independence return.
I was able to afford to pay my own bills, groceries, and medications.
Not too long after, the reality hit me. I chose to experience love and now I suffer the consequences from the Ministry. The independence I had gained from having a consistent income had once again been lost because I was relying on others for help. Because of this, it has made me feel guilty for being disabled and unworthy to love someone else. I worry constantly about money and what food, medications and bills I can and I cannot afford. I feel like a burden to my partner and others, and this has hampered any progress I have made.
The stress of money and losing an income because I choose the basic human right to experience love, has not only affected my friendships and relationships but has set back my physical and mental health too. I know I’m not alone in this constant battle with the MSDPR to end the discriminatory restriction on those who choose a basic human right to love. It’s time for a permanent change, and now’s the time!