Below is a letter by De Whalen, Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition president, to Hon. Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction, advocating for no clawback of employment insurance (EI) on persons with disability (PWD) payments.
I am writing today on behalf of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC) with regard to the Disability Alliance of BC’s March 2022 letter advocating for no clawback of employment insurance (EI) on persons with disability (PWD) payments.
The RPRC is a ‘coalition of Richmond residents and 11 local non-profit agencies working together to reduce poverty and the effects of poverty with research, projects, and public education.’
Our organizational members serve people experiencing poverty, including people with disabilities, seniors, newcomers, families, lone-parent families, LGBTQ2S and BIPOC individuals. Many of the clients these organizations serve are vulnerable in numerous ways.
The RPRC fully supports the DABC position that EI should be treated as a form of earned income, the same as any other income replacement system. PWD recipients are encouraged to work, and when they do, they contribute to EI through payroll deductions.
Anyone who pays EI premiums should be able to rely on EI benefits being there when they need them, including PWD clients. The current clawback of EI benefits is an unfair barrier for PWD clients that does not apply to other EI recipients and is discriminatory on its face.
The RPRC fully supports DABC’s request that people who receive PWD benefits who qualify for EI benefits are not penalized and discriminated against.
Should you require additional information or comments, please contact the undersigned at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.