A New Disability Income Support Program:


Background | What We Know | News and Updates


 

How We Got Here and Where We’re Going

 

Background: Employment and Income Assistance

Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) is an income support program that provides:

  • Financial help to Manitobans in need
  • Supports for clients to meet their health needs
  • Supports and referrals to help clients gain employment and achieve financial independence

Many people living with disabilities currently receive EIA through the “Persons with Disabilities” category.

Commitment To A New Program

In 2019, Disability Matters Vote called on government to develop a new income support program for Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities, separate from EIA.

After the election, the Manitoba government committed to developing a new program tailored to the needs of Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities.

That commitment was outlined in government’s 100-day Action Plan following election and the 2019 Department of Families’ 12-Month Strategy.

Community Feedback

Community input has shaped the development of the new program since the beginning:

  • In 2019/20 we held consultations with Manitobans, including a survey and in-person focus groups.  We heard that Manitobans wanted government to create a new program for persons with disabilities, and that they wanted “service navigation” to be a part of it.  A summary of these sessions was compiled into a report on what we heard and shared publicly.
  • In 2020/21, we held more consultations to find out what Manitobans wanted service navigation to look like.  A report on what we heard was also shared for this round of consultations.
  • In total, more than 1000 people throughout the province have shared feedback so far.

Bill 72, The Disability Support Act

Bill 72, The Disability Support Act and Amendments to the Manitoba Assistance Act, was passed in October 2021.

This legislation introduces a new income support program for people with severe and prolonged disabilities, separate from EIA.

The Act describes some features of a new disability income support program, including:

  • The program is for people with severe and prolonged disabilities.
  • Clients will not be required to look for work, but there will be an active offer of community navigation supports, which may include support with employment.
  • Rent Assist (shelter) benefits for people living in eligible housing types will be indexed to 75% of median market rent every year, like in EIA.
  • Decisions will be appealable to the Social Services Appeal Board.

Many more details about how the new program works are still being worked out.  These will be shared here when the details are available.