Friday, March 14, 2008

Anyone wanna hear some good news?

I had to go to my see my disability worker today. Actually, Shawn and I both had to go.. I was crazy nervous, because I have only been in the system a few months. I really didn't even sleep last night, I was so worried.
As it turns out, I really had no need to be worried. My worker was awesome. He is going to try to work something out with the church so that we can stay here. We have another Tribunal date on Tuesday, even though we have NOT fallen behind again. I am sick to death of dealing with these people. It is nice to have someone else in my corner, someone to help us. I don't know if our worker will be able to convince The Germanators to let us stay, but either way, I feel better.

I can't get over the difference between Ontario Works (welfare) and Disability. It is the same government, the same system, but the people that I am dealing with now are so much more compassionate. When I had my little breakdown back in 2004-ish, I was on welfare for about three months so that I could get my meds. After that, they dropped me, saying that I was no longer eligible. I am now paying back every penny that I got during those three months, as an over payment. Dealing with the Ontario Works case workers was so awful, that I just gave up.

I also found out that because of my disability, I can get loan forgiveness on my student loan. I have paid back about 2 grand now, and I they are taking my tax refunds because I am not working and can't repay them in a timely manner. This will be a big relief...I feel like I can breathe again.

Our worker also gave me several phone numbers for places that will do my taxes FOR FREE. This is a Godsend, because Shawn got paid a whopping $80 this week, and I need them done ASAP.

Blah, blah, blah...You don't hear from me in over a week and then I babble like a crazy woman.

I am trying to get caught up with everyone, too. Now that Shawn is blogging, it seems that my blog time has doubled. ( I do his typing. He is still doing the hunt and peck thing and his mind works WAY faster than his fingers)

So, I am back, and better than ever. Look out blog world, BIDDIE is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phoenix5 said...

So glad to see you back online! I've been on a bit of a blog hiatus myself. I'm glad the Disability people are actually working FOR you and not the other way around, like the stinking welfare people! I know all about them, having been forced onto welfare back in the early 90s just after Mike Harris labeled all welfare recipients as "drunken bums!" And I voted for him... the first time... NEVER AGAIN! I was looking for work, and they wanted me to sell my van because it was worth too much! The stinkers... I resisted, and was able to get off welfare after a few months AND still have my van so I could commute to my new job! Good luck with everything, my friend!

Biddie said...

phoenix - oh yeah, the good old Harris days. That's what we get for letting a golf pro run our province...
They cut welfare cheques by 26% (although they said it was 22) and people were starving. I know of a guy that is in his 50's has had several heart attacks, and is trying to get disability..Right now, on welfare, he gets $400 a month..He is diabetic, too. THAT is shameful....
Anyway, I am glad to be back. As long as my connection holds up, you won't be able to get rid of me!

Anonymous said...

Biddie, I am thrilled for you. Finally some wonderful news. Yippy! I miss you. love, deb

Gabriel said...

Well, isn't this great? I'm very happy for you, Biddie.

Now let's keep our fingers crossed for Shawn too...

Burfica said...

yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy I'm so glad Biddie is back and having some good news. WTG girlie!!!!!

Ron Payne said...

We have another Tribunal date on Tuesday, even though we have NOT fallen behind again.

May I ask what this is for?


Welcome home babe x

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Welcome back!

It is so great to hear this good news! I'm glad you found a good case worker.

I like your new look BTW.

katy said...

Great to know that Biddie is back!!!!
and what is this i have missed?! A new blogger going by the name of WHY, i best get there now!
ps good to hear you have had some good news girl x

Anonymous said...

Hi Biddie, I have fallen behind in my reading but I wanted to check in with you.

The exact same thing has happened in our province (BC). People on welfare are treated like criminals. Our government has also cut back on welfare payments which has forced people to beg on the streets. Half of these people are mental patients who were kicked out of residential hosptitals.

Welfare is provincial and disability is federal. Is that right? If so that might explain the difference in attitudes. I, myself, have been on welfare in the past and am now on disability. What a relief!

Good luck with your tribunal, etc. Nice to have someone going to bat for you (as they should).

Gardenia said...

Welcome back - its good sometimes to not blog - I sometimes feel like I'm going round and round and not saying anything important.....

I'm sorry I haven't been replying on Facebook - I don't know what it going on with them - I keep resetting my password, and everytime I try to log back in they tell me its not valid....I tried four times one day and haven't been back for a while........argggghhhhhhh

I'm glad you are getting treated decent with the disability people - the ones here need to take a lesson or two - - -

How's your daughter?

Heather said...

Good to hear B. :0) finally!

Biddie said...

Deb - I am so glad to be back. I can't imagine being without my friends for any real length of time. :)

Gabriel - I hope that this is a sign of things to come for us. Crossed fingers are much appreciated :)

Burfica - I am soo glad to be back online. I missed everyone soo much!

Ron - Well, I am not really sure what the Tribunal date is for. It was originally for back rent, but the landlord seemed happy with the agreement that we worked out. Unfortunately, the actual case was never closed. We also have SEVERAL landlords to deal with. "John" was out of town, and the others involved reopened the case. Now John is back, and I am hoping that things will be worked out...
Our home is owned by a church,and there are about 10 different people that we have to deal with...Very confusing and tiring at times...
BTW, Do I know you???

4D - Thank you :)

whim - My caseworker is AWESOME. I really like him. I hope that this first meeting is sign of good things to come.
Thanks :) I was playing around with colours and fonts....Thought that I would change things up a bit.

Katy - See what happens when you go away??? All heck breaks loose!
I am soo happy to be back. Missed all of my buddies.

Babzy - In all honesty, I am lucky as hell to have Shawn. Without him, I might very well be one of those mental patients that is out on the streets. It's scary to think that could happen here in Canada.
I am not sure about the disability/welfare thing. You are probably right, which is one of the reasons that there are so many differences.
I have a good feeling about the Tribunal. My worker is AWESOME is committed to helping us stay here. The rent is reasonable, and I am so happy here.
Thanks for stopping by. It's about time I add you to my blog roll :)

Gardenia - Jessica is doing very well :) Thanks for asking. She lost about a half a pound, but the doctor was not concerned. She looks good and she is eating well. Thank God.
I have problems with facebook sometimes, too. And blogger...I tried for days to post here, and nothing showed up...Darn blogger.
Anyway, I won't give up on you. I'll wait for you, my friend :)

Biddie said...

Heather - HI!!!!!!!!!!!! I JUST missed you! Actually, I miss alot, all of the time. When are we gonna get together for coffee, anyway? Are you free this week????????

CindyDianne said...

Oh Biddie! That is WONDERFUL! I am so happy for y'all!

Tod said...

Well that is good news that you have a case worker that you feel confident in. It is good to see you back Biddie! :)

captain corky said...

Best news I've heard all day! Biddie in the mutha fuckin house!

Canadian flake said...

I can certainly relate to what you have been saying...

As a single mother, I had to deal with Ontario Works...I always worked but needed help because my loser ex FH wouldn't work or pay support...the gov't screwed me over at every opportunity...the jerks!!!!!!!

aims said...

Um - I'm new here - and was just looking through your posts and came across this.

I had a breakdown and was on AISH. They tried to charge me with fraud because I said I was single (and I thought I was because I wasn't married) but my boyfriend was living with me. They made me pay back almost all the money they gave me - almost 7 thousand dollars. Now someone won a lawsuit against them and I got in on a class action lawsuit and got some of my money back..the bastards!!

Anyway - I am now on a disability pension through pays the mortgage and my house insurance..but nothing least I have that. I can't work anymore but I'm allowed to make 4400$ a I try to work some from home.

The government doesn't see how hard it is to live on the pittance they 'allow' us to have. They live on 6 figure incomes and we live on nothing...

Thank God I found The Man!! He keeps me safe and warm and in a manner to which I have grown very accustomed.

Keep your chin up girl! Something good will happen!

Ron Payne said...


The general public has no idea what the system is really like. They think fraud is ramped in Ontario Works and ODSP. Here is something to think about and it is just the tip of the iceberg according to our research.
The provincial government says welfare fraud is around 2%.
Who is really committing the fraud around here?
The federal government says income tax fraud is 13%

Ontario Works staff charged in $1.3million Fraud
By Sarah Elizabeth Brown Tuesday March 4,2008
Chronicle Journal

Government ODSP worker charged in $585,000 fraud case.
By Staff Wednesday, November 14, 2007

93.7 million dollars in corporate welfare
Linda Leatherdale March 7,2008
Premier Dalton McGuity is handing over a 9.7 million dollar corporate welfare cheque to Kellogg. Kellogg’s profit was $1 billion. Also Ford got a $55 million cheque and is now cutting shifts, while GM got $29million and is also cutting shifts.

$150 million called corporate welfare for a profitable industry.
Rob Ferguson January 10, 2008
Queens Park Bureau
The Ontario Government has earmarked $150 million to encourage pharmaceutical companies to do more drug research and manufacturing in the province.
An internal audit in Hamilton, Ontario showed that Ontario Works staff were taking the city’s credit card out and enjoying a nice lunch privately.

The same audit showed that the Ontario Works workers had uninterrupted access to the main computer that issues their clients checks.

Isn’t that a recipe for disaster?

Ron Payne
Welfare Legal
Hamilton, Ontario

Ron Payne said...

Media Release

The Evidence Is In

Poverty’s Smoke and Mirrors, Part 2

To see part 1

The article above went out to the main media and approximately 65 other print news media starting September 21 2008. It was also put on the World Wide Web.

To my knowledge it was only printed in 3 Ontario news papers in the Letters to the Editor section.
1) Hamilton’s, Mountain News
2) Hamilton’s, Stoney Creek News
3) London’s, The London Free Press

Thank you to these three papers for caring enough about people that live in poverty to print this article.

As of today November 06 2008 the Ontario government has only posted old outdated directives dated Sept 2001.

Obviously these directives are of no use to anyone simply because of the fact they are outdated and the ministry is now using the July 2008 up to date directives but has not shared them with the public.

You may remember Welfare Legal was so offended by this abuse we offered $100.00 to anyone that could produce a copy of the latest Ontario Works directive 7.4.

As of this date no one has collected the $100.00. Welfare Legal now has a copy of the new directives that the government has not shared.

We take the position that this is the most serious kind of abuse by our government to implement new policies but not allow those most in need to have access to them. The only reason the government has given for this abuse is that the Ontario Government has not prepared a French version of these directives.

This is a Human Rights violation, among others, to implement a secrete version of the directives and not share them with the public and not to have a French version available.

As we have stated before the Ontario government has in fact been cutting the benefits of Ontario Works, (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program, (ODSP) recipients without letting the general public aware of these cuts.

The latest cuts that have become public are the cuts to benefits to grandparents that are caring for their own grandchildren, who many had, have been apprehended by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). The grand parent’s complaints were heard loud and clear the government seems to have withdrawn these policy changes.

The new directive 7.4 and others shows more cuts that the public is not aware of yet.

One of these cuts shows that the Ontario government no longer supports volunteering here in Ontario. In the old outdated directives dated September 2001, the government used to give a small benefit to those recipients that had to do volunteer work as a condition of eligibility for OW. These cuts also affect those who wish to do volunteer work and are disabled on ODSP as well.
Are volunteers no longer needed here in Ontario?

These cuts which are ongoing, have been made to help pay for the meager increases to OW and ODSP of 2%. They are also part of the government’s bigger plan, to upload the cost of OW and ODSP from the municipality to the province and to pay for its poverty reduction strategy.

At the end of the day the government will save millions of dollars in benefits that the former Mike Harris Tories said people on OW and ODSP were entitled to. Does this make sense to anyone?

This story gets much, much worse. It turns out that the aboriginal community in Ontario had the foresight not to allow its members to be subjected to the policies and procedures put in place by the Mike Harris government, when they bought the draconian computer program from Anderson Consulting now Accenture. The cost of that program was $400,000.00 and rising. This program was designed to cut people off of benefits automatically, with no human contact. There seems to be 2 classes of people being governed differently here, and what are the costs?

It would seem they were allowed to have their own computer program made up by a private company called AD Morrison.

A private professional researcher contacted Welfare Legal in an attempt to collect the $100.00 offered for the latest Ontario Works directive 7.4 and alerted us to a Pandora’s Box. You will see on the home page of AD Morrison’s site there is a link to “Latest Directives”. This link contained a third set of OW directives that was not available to the general public.

After Welfare Legal contacted the ministry to see if this in fact was the latest and new directive 7.4, the ministry contacted us with a reply that had nothing to do with our request. Then out of the blue this link was taken of the site.

After gathering all the evidence we soon learned that the Ontario government had not been keeping these new directive from the public since July 2008, they had in fact been hiding them starting in December 2005 and no one new about it. At least no one that has come forward so far.

There has been no response from any legal clinic or private paralegal in Ontario showing that they new about this breach of the Human Rights Code by our provincial government. If anyone was aware of this why didn’t they take it to the media? Does nobody care about this abuse? Does nobody care about eliminating poverty?

It is interesting to note that the government has even changed the directive numbers to confuse us even more once we were allowed to become aware of them.

September 2001 shows directive 31.0, the out dated benefits that we all are aware of.

December 2005 shows

July 2008 shows

For a copy of these directives

How can the Ontario government say it is attempting to alleviate poverty when it is secretly cutting the benefits of those most in need? (Reverse Robin Hood)

Ron Payne
Welfare Legal
Hamilton, Ontario
Phone 905-253-0205