Thursday 25 October 2012

Problem With The System

Can you feel my frustration buzzing through the Internet?

After much pushing from various groups, I was convinced to apply for the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities grant program.  This group has the laudable goal of helping parents with the expenses raised by special needs children. 

The challenge?  Like 99% of the programs out there, they give their grants based on income levels.

Which means that we're considered "too rich" to qualify for help.

Now, I don't harbour this particular group any ill-will.  They're trying to do what they can on a limited budget.  But I am very tired of this income cap slamming the door in my face when I try to get help.  It's a systemic problem.

Simple math tells you the income cap is flawed.  Average costs for treatment for a child with autism are around $50 000 a year.  That doesn't cover equipment or special clothing or any of the other dozens of expenses we have to deal with.  Most income caps are set around $60 - $70 000.  Having a second child with autism grudgingly raises that by another five or ten thousand dollars.

Ironically, we're doubly penalized because we try to be responsible.  If we were missing mortgage payments or were about to have our utilities shut off, we could get money.  But because we're responsible citizens, we get bupkas. 

So I haven't been able to buy clothes for myself without a gift card for a couple of years but somehow, we're swimming in enough money that we apparently don't need any help.

I'm frustrated that every single program is aimed exclusively at low-income families.  Could there not be some relief offered to the rest of us?

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