There are so very many pressing social challenges in particular the lives of vulnerable, excluded and unrepresented populations including food security, homelessness, health, safety, economic citizenship etc. A particular area of interest is the social impact and smart social policies.
In May 2016 I won a grant from Innoweave under the Constructive Engagement category to work on change the gift and asset limit for persons receiving disability benefits in Ontario.
Innoweave is an initiative of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, in collaboration with Social Innovation Generation (SiG), thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Innoweave provide community sector leaders with new tools and processes to effect large-scale change.
Supporting Financial Security for Persons Receiving Disability Benefits in Ontario
In Ontario, a person receiving benefits through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can not hold more than $5,000 in assets and can not receive more than $6,000 in voluntary gifts or payments in a 12-month period without losing their disability benefits.These asset and gifts limits are too low.
These limits must be raised so persons who are receiving ODSP can save for their futures, keep the income they earn from employment and let family members and friend provide more financial support.
Over 50 disability, poverty and mental health organizations, many academics, community influencers and hundreds of individuals have come together to form a coalition that is calling on the Government of Ontario to make changes to the asset and gifts limits. I am the lead and primary organizer behind this initiative.