Alberta funding reviews for disabled unfair and faulty: New Democrats

The Canadian Press
September 2, 2014 02:46 PM

EDMONTON - Alberta's New Democrats say government funding assessments for people with disabilities are needless and harmful.

The province introduced a support scale to help make room for $45 million in cuts that were planned for last year.

The cuts didn’t go through, but the NDP says documents it has obtained show the assessments are still going on.

MLA Rachel Notley says the reviews are faulty and should not be used to decide how much funding someone needs.

Notley says the process only makes things more confusing and stressful for people and their families.

Notley, fellow MLA Dave Eggen and labour activist Rod Loyola are candidates for the NDP leadership to be decided Oct. 18.

“I’ve certainly, in my constituency office even, had people come to me where we found that because of the (support scale), they get significantly less support than they did before,” Notley said at a news conference Tuesday.

She said the documents also show that many of the reviews using the support scale are being rejected and even 85 per cent of the reassessments are deemed inadequate.

The Lo-Se-Ca Foundation, which supports people with developmental disabilities, said 40 per cent of its clients' assessments were inaccurate.

“Some were so inaccurate I actually questioned whether the assessor even met the person,” said Lo-Se-Ca director Marie Renaud.

“In May of 2013 I sent a list of assessments that we believed were incorrect to the ministry and asked for reassessments. To date, not one of those has been reassessed.”

Notley said she’s concerned that the reason the government won’t stop the assessments is because it plans to introduce the funding cuts again.

(CHED)


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