Challenges, Barriers and Assumptions Part 1
Imagine you need to see a counselor, therapist or need some other help. You’re on some kind of financial health support program and yes you do have access to get help -if you can find it or get someone to help you find it. Now all you need to do is
- Be healthy enough to realize you need help
- Call and make an appointment (or book online)
- File the paperwork so that you can get your money back (that’s if you had money to spend in the first place)
- Make another appointment to see your worker to to get that paper work sent in. Don’t forget to bring it all with you so that you can properly fill out more paperwork.
Hopefully you have enough support to make these steps happen…
Imagine wanting to get a job to have enough money to live a better life, but not wanting to lose government support to purchase needed medication and therapies. How helpless would you feel? – It’s either work a regular job and risk not having a benefits program to cover medication or staying on assistance to pay for your medication but remaining stuck and struggling with money.
Imagine being mentally ill and on government assistance and having no useful budgeting skills to manage the little money you have left for groceries after rent. Or struggling with addiction problems that leave your health at risk and living moment to moment with no possible plans for the future.
Imagine being a woman forced to choose between her partner living in the home or receiving welfare support. And then later being accused of replacing your partner to maintain your independence (which you get on government support, apparently -I’m being sarcastic). Sadly,I’ve heard people imply this. Again the assumption that government support is better or easier to manipulate is believed rather than the truth of a conflicted mother sadly being forced to choose between asking her husband (who is not working) to leave the home or feeding her children. Because there was a time when you couldn’t have both.
Another welfare scenario that is too common is the desire to save your money to plan for the future. If in some twist of fate you are able to get a better job or increase and you’d like to save -but you can’t- because your geared to income rent will be raised to more than you can afford if you start putting away more money. You could be reported and penalized for trying to have some savings to move yourself out of your low income neighborhood. It often takes tough choices and several miracles to make it out.
During this pandemic many people experienced long waits to see doctors and had to book online appointments for the first time. It was tiring and frustrating even for a healthy person who just had questions. Imagine how much harder it was for those suffering with mood disorders and crippling illnesses. We all got a small taste of what a life of barriers is like. Some experienced this more than others and many vulnerable people fell through the cracks.
Let’s look into this further next week and what we can do to help. What are some of your thoughts about these barriers?