How Poverty Causes Disability and Vice Versa

1526777999 42c60ba4d0 m How Poverty Causes Disability and Vice VersaDid you know that poverty can cause disability? It’s true. Also, disability can encourage poverty. If you were unaware of this, you might be asking yourself how poverty and disability are so intricately woven together and why. Let’s begin by pointing out how poverty can cause disability.

Poverty can cause a person to develop a disability.

How is this possible? Consider the following statements:

Poverty can encourage disability because….

– Many people who are poor do not have money to buy healthy food (or sometimes any food at all), leading to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

– People who live in poverty cannot afford the healthcare they need to help them control the symptoms of their disabilities or prevent further disability.

– When a person or family simply does not have enough money to live on, they often reside in “dangerous living conditions.” Such living conditions can aggravate already-present disabilities and maybe even cause new ones.

Do you see how poverty can be a cause of disability? Looking at it from a different perspective helps us to see that disability can cause someone to live in poverty as well. How?

How disability causes poverty.

Here are a just a few ways disability fosters poverty:

Disability can encourage poverty because…

– People who have disabilities have to deal with “social stigmas and exclusion.” This can discourage them from getting the healthcare that they need in order to function well. Also, isolation itself might encourage the development of emotional disabilities.

– Those with disabilities often are unable to get to work or school. If a person doesn’t get an education, how are they supposed to work? And if they don’t work, how can they be expected to have money to live on? This demonstrates the catch 22 that this situation creates.

Note: these ideas were adapted from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/global-disability-research/downloads/Dan_Mont_-_Perspectives_from_the_World_Bank.pdf.

Are you beginning to see the poverty-disability cycle that many people are stuck in?

If so, you may be wondering what you can do to end it. While there is no pat answer for this, here’s a start: Do your best to spread awareness of disability and not socially exclude people who have disabilities. This will do something to help to end the cycle of poverty and disability.

Sources:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/global-disability-research/downloads/Dan_Mont_-_Perspectives_from_the_World_Bank.pdf

http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/disabilities-poverty.php

Image made available by -Twon- on Flickr through Creative Commons License.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

Let’s Talk About It

What are some other ways that disability causes poverty and poverty causes disability?

Do you think exclusion of people with disabilities encourages poverty by preventing these individuals from finding employment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 Responses to How Poverty Causes Disability and Vice Versa

  1. .comment-meta .commentmetadata

    Look at the poverty on the reserves.We are suffering regarding without any support from the Department Of Indian Affairs.They ignore our needs and place us on welfare which is not enough.There’s no happiness there at all.So much depressions and loneliness and no work.This has damaged our people throughout the ages and we have now what I call The Residential School Syndrome.That’s right.
    We are also going through some difficult time with the applications for the CEP Forms.They do not understand the situations on who went to the Residential Day School.That causes more depression for they want to sweep that under the rug like we do not exist.True…..
    Now you go and forward this to all Band Offices throughout British Columbia and see if we can qualify for this Disability forms…..oh twenty five bucks will get you there.

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    • Disability Living says:
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      Dear Buster,

      Thanks so much for your reply. We’d like to hear more about the “Residential School Syndrome” you mentioned if you’d like to talk about it. Thanks!

      The DL Staff

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  2. .comment-meta .commentmetadata

    I worked 40 year,s in this country and got on disability from a life long disease. There were day,s in my life that I hurt so bad I wanted to just plain die. I was always in poverty. You know, buy the wheel barrow this pay day, get the shovel next payday. I didn,t know what poverty was until I got on disability $ 12000 a year and this government is trying to tell us that they are going to end poverty.How can they end it when they promote and cause it. What a laugh. I would not walk three feet to ever vote another slimey politician in office ever.I,v been an honost man all along but no more. This system will never keep going like this. Look what is happening in other country,s Take a lesson before we are a civil war. IT is only a matter of time.

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    • richard T says:
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      I agree, I was hurt at work ,it cost me my home and separtion of my family.I no longer had the will to live,I ended up on the street 10 years then fought back on a cpp pen. of 720. a month. My wife had to leave to get help I fought with comp. for 23 years and have only seen my children three times and called a non supporting father half my pension and all my taxes go to my x wife and I was dead once now I no longer want to live I asked the prime minister to help the gov. general and a min. of ont. they did nothing.

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  3. Andew Tankus says:
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    I agree with you 100%. The one thing that you forgot to incude is that while both the Federal and Provincial governments keep saying they are fighting poverty issues, in actuallity they are doing little to nothing to improve the situation for people with disabilities. For example, in 2003 Cananda signed the treaty created by the United Nations declaring every December 3 as the International Day for people with disabilities and promised to invest mony to help sove the problem. In 2004 and 2008 the provincial government promised to do the same thing for those of us with a disabilty in Ontario. As of today, Canada ranks as one of the worst countries to live in if you have a disability as compared to many other and even much smaller countries around the world.

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  4. Vera says:
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    I lived 4 blocks from a residential school while I was living in Prince Albert, and I had no idea just how bad things were. When I found out out it made me angry that no one…except the victims of course…paid for their crimes. Those schools are gone now, I think, but the scars they left behind will never go away, no matter how much money is thrown into the mix.

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  5. Rodger says:
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    One voice. That is what is needed from the community of people with disabilities. One voice to organize, focus on an issue and get it to press. For example: PWDs I’ll call us, in BC have just heard that the amount they can earn above their disability amount has been raised from $500 to $800 per month. A person receives about $900 per month for all their needs and there is some help for basic dental work. But what happens to those who cannot work? They have been stuck at $900 per month for years with no indication it will be increased. And we all know what the real inflation amount is, especially in BC; food, gas, shelter are the worst hit areas, and that is what most of us need.

    I worked on a program in the BC gov’t to help PWDs get work experience so they can return to the work force. This ministry was in charge of disability affairs. My eyes were opened. No I couldn’t use that unused handicap parking spot by the building. I had to park out on the street. No longer could I have flex time and location because the other employees would want it; this from a leader of a gov’t employee association for PWDs, who said that managers don’t want to see that in their branches. Talk to the employee in the Disabilities Office and he was just putting in time because noone wanted to hear real issues at the executive level. Employees think you are getting special treatment without even asking you what it’s like to get through the day (a great effort). And on it goes. So for those of you who want to do something, consider this: the system of disability services in your city is a collection of small groups of advocates, supporters, resources and activist, and they are all hushed up by being given subsidies/jobs. There is no real united effort to challenge the status quo to improve Canada’s dismal attitude toward the PWDs. Oh there is talk, meetings here and there, some papers written up, but where is anything in legislation or on the job to show improvements. It is pipe dream. It is perpetuated by the corporate culture which has interest only in productivity and those able to achieve it. There is no social conscience in a corporation. As you may have read, corporations are by the nature of their existence sociopathic. It is also human/beast nature to leave the sick and disabled in the back as the first to be gotten by the predator.

    This is the reality, and I have been living in it for 30 years. There are solutions, but only when people think there is a problem. So go out and make yourself a problem, or go home and make yourself some money.

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  6. david pooke says:
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    I totally agree that poverty creates dis ability ! When a senior has only their present old age pension to live on, there is no money left to be able to go out and do things which would help a person stay active, eat properly, be physically fit and also be in a good state of mind which is the most important. Why the government do,es not recognize the fact that seniors need and deserve more money is beyond me ? This country of so much wealth and resourses should easily be able to look after the people who built it !

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  7. Telquaa,Helen Michell says:
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    Both, my husband and myself, are disabled and living in extreme poverty. We have been evicted from the Ministry of Social services office in Chilliwack B.C. since March 2010. Evicted because I was asking for a new electric scooter, because of a bad car accident in 2000, which left me a parapaligic. Plus, we were asking for social assistance for our only care giver and daughter, whom we have been paying out of our disability assistance cheque. Because we have been evicted for over two years now, we are being denied any sort of help, other than our disablilty cheque. Over the last two cold winters, our furnace has broken down, and last winter our water and sewer pipes have broken down. This has left us with black mold in our kitchen, and under our home. WE have had to tear out our kitchen, now we live with no kitchen sink, no running water in the kitchen, and our floor and wall had to be torn out also. Today, all of this huge mess is outside on our lawn, and we have no monies to take it to the dump. As a result, we have been starving ourselves to death, because we cannot buy any food, because we have been trying to pay for parts, to try and rebuild our kitchen, to no avail. Because the social services, would not help us, our files are now processed through the Chilliwack Salvation ARmy. Even the salvation army cannot help us. So we are living in HELL. It would be better than starvation, and begging for food. The Agassiz food bank, only gives food out once a month. Even than, its only one small bag, of unhealthy foods. This is my story. I wonder how many other elders or families have to survive in this way? We live in one of the richest country of the world, yet we cannot find food for one day.

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  8. Sherry Bonner-Vickers says:
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    I have been on disability for over 5 years now and it is not funny. We take our health for grantid until something terrible happens. My story is about my back, I was doctoring and nothing was helping and it was getting worse to the point of having to take a leave from a job that I loved and was very good at it. Finally with my MRI results, it was determined that I needed to have surgery, my diagnosis was severe Spinal Stenosis and also my right hip was bone on bone so this explained my severe suffering for 3 years. What the worst part of the whole ordeal is our health care. I had to wait more then 2 years just to have the surgery. Meanwhile, I had to live on pain pills which were highly addictive, so it is a constant battle. I am still in poor shape to the point of not returning to work. Disability only pays very little and it is hard to live on. I am very thankful for having such a wonderful, supportive family, I don’t know what people do without family……I try not to feel sorry for myself, I am always reminding myself that there is a lot worse off for people, but it is hard…..

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  9. Jeff Wilson says:
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    I am 61 years old, I was working at a very lucrative well paying job in 2000 when I was struck with a rare disease called PolyArteritisNodosa. this is a disease which is vascular in nature. It begins in the feet ans runs up the body until it reaches the vital organs then, after years of torture and pain it finally kills you. The government has put me on what they call disability, which is little more than welfare. This is a form of poverty which is very much like the disease so that I am left with nothing of my former life. I am forced to live in poor conditions, starving and waiting to die.

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  10. Marj says:
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    One way to help prevent proverty is to get rid of ‘Casino’s’ in smaller communities.
    Spending all your retirement cheques in the casino’s leave you nothing for food, clothes, entertainment, paying bills & etc.
    Most people who do frequent those casino’s do not have a government area of monies to get more when they spent it all.
    The government is not helping proverty, it is causing it.

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  11. Tara says:
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    To anyone who has lived in a so-called third world country or has experienced real poverty, it is not “news” that one’s economic circumstances affect ALL facets of life. The entire range of the quality of life is affected.

    I find it amazing that we find is novel that senior health would also be affected.

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  12. Sarita Singh says:
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    I have been trying exceptional hard to get my case worker to help
    me with some start up money so I can have my business again
    and get off disability. I live in Toronto, Ontario and all the
    programs she gave me to call —said they are no longer working
    for ODSP; yet when I tell her that; she tells me to get them
    to call; but they refused because they dont work with them.

    I am not a senior as yet; but would appreciate if any one can help.

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  13. Telquaa,Helen Michell says:
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    Both my husband and I are disabled indigenous people of B.C. Canada. Our disability was caused by police brutality and a car accident. Today we are living in poverty because of the way we are being treated by the Chilliwack Social Services system and the Chilliwack Salvation Army. WE have been evicted from the Chilliwack Welfare office since March 2010, so we are being serviced by the Salvation Army, who do nothing to help us. Our kitchen has been dismantled now for over six month or so. So both of us are living in poverty, malnourished and starving on a daily basis. Over the past two winters, our house has been so cold, as our furnace has stopped working back than. so our pipes in our kitchen were frozen, and caused our pipes to burst. This in turn has caused ‘black mold’ to take over our home. WE had to tear out our kitchen, and now all of this black moldy garbage is laying on our lawn, and causing us to be sick on a daily basis. Because we are both starving , we sleep most of our days at home, and we are very sickly. The welfare system and the salvation army system, is the cause of our living in poverty. Discrimination and racism is the main factor. This welfare office and salvation army office discriminates and racism is involved in their decisions to care for us. I know if we were ‘a white family’ we would not be forced to live in a house that, we are now forced to live in,we both are leaning more to our graves, rather than being a healthy family. Housing such as this house, is only found on an indian reservation. But this is Harrison Hot Springs B.C. Canada, that we are living in. Out here no one cares for anyone else, but themselves. We have lived here for close to ten years, and we still have no friends, to depend on. If we move out side onto our lawn, it might be healthier, than having to live in this hell hole of black mold. Living on our lawn, we might be able to live longer. As this house is now a ‘death’ house. I just wanted to let the world know, how we are forced to live, in a rich country called Canada. Since, 2006, I have been trying to get a new electric wheelchair for myself, from the welfare system. But I always get the run around, and more no’s than anything else. I am a disabled person, who needs a wheelchair to go shopping or to just get out of this house, but with all the run around and paper work I had already submitted to the welfare system, I am still getting denied. I have noticed other wheelchair users in Chilliwack, who have already gone through a few electric wheelchairs already, while I get nothing. I have had to use up my living allowance for the month, to buy a good used electric wheelchair. So far in the past seven years or so, I have had to buy my own, good used electric wheelchairs off craigslist, now I have most of them laying dead in my house, or outside in a garage. This is not the way for a disabled woman to live or a disabled man to live. My husband has gotten so sick, he could not take care of me at all. So I go many days without a hot meal or a hot bath. without a kitchen it makes things that much harder to live. WE have no where to turn, and there is no one else to ask for help. This is my story. If any one of you know where we can go for help,or to get our story out there, than you are welcome to help. HELP!!!!!!!!!

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