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MR. BROMLEY in NWT's Hansard of March 12, 2013 "…I’d like to turn to the main focus of my comments today, and I’d like to begin by acknowledging again, Ms. Miranda Currie, who’s in the gallery today. Thanks for coming out, Miranda. I’d like to read a poem that Ms. Currie has written to describe her experiences in seeking disability income support, and it’s obviously germane because of the Auditor General’s focus, and I know the Minister is focusing on this situation right now as well. Once again, thanks to Miranda for graciously sharing her personal story through the art of this poetry. But, ﬁrst, a little bit of background. Ms. Currie suffered a very serious head injury in an accident in November 2011. She later suffered multiple injuries again, head injuries, as a result of the ill effects of her original injury. To this day, she is continuing to strive to regain her health. She’s a very spunky person and I know she will achieve that. However, she has been unable to carry on her daily life in a normal way. She has been in and out of hospitals and has received extensive neurological treatment since then, and she does suffer impairment of her speech and many motor skills. Miranda was self- employed before the accident, and she must now rely on public income support to meet her basic subsistence needs. She lives very modestly. Her ordeal with income security has hardly been a positive contribution in her effort to regain her health, and that’s the topic today. Just a few of the difﬁculties that she has experienced in trying to access income assistance include: • A case worker refusal to provide accommodation assistance based on the subjective judgement that she lives in substandard housing. • Receipts to document her rental, electrical and fuel costs were obtained with great physical difﬁculties and expense and visiting ofﬁces to obtain stamped and certiﬁed copies. • Income assistance staff say they have lost the receipts she has supplied to their ofﬁces. This has happened four times. Imagine if you were saddled with this situation. • Despite severe mobility problems and risk of re-injury, she has repeatedly been told she must come to the income assistance ofﬁce for interviews, which could easily be conducted over the phone. • She has been refused reimbursement of costs for loans received from friends in the interim to pay her fuel, power and living costs, and given the explanation that those are considered gifts. Nice of them to make that decision on behalf of her friends. • Treatment that lacks compassion and sensitivity to the realities of her situation, again, not a single instance, such as a caseworker hanging up on her after saying I’ll see you tomorrow when Ms. Currie has said she is physically unable to attend appointments due to the effects of her injuries. • And, ﬁnally, a late payment of support have at times left her huddled in her bed to stay warm, unable to pay oil bills and living in a home well below zero. We know what this winter has been like. That’s enough background. Her words really do speak for themselves, and once again, I want to express my appreciation to Miranda Currie for her willingness to share this very personal story…" From - http://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/_live/documents/content/hn130312.pdf
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probably about the same age as you. "Don't you start to cry. it must be valid. I am trying my best. I am overwhelmed by the situation.... And you berate me.. age? Fill it out.. or a few. I felt like an animal.. I tried to make sense of the 22 pages of forms.." The way I have been taught to do when speaking with someone in authority Because if they say it. March 2012 Still no supportive income.. And I say: "I.Income Outcome by Miranda Currie Income Outcome By Miranda Currie January 2012 I came to the ofﬁce to apply for. but this doesn't occur to me until two o'clock at night because I am so angry I can't sleep! You had the power to help me... because everything moves just a little more slow And sometimes I'd like to tell you how you could help. NOT VALID! NOT RIGHT! I don't deserve to be treated like this. and asking for help. Bank accounts. but I don't even know. with a tear in my eye You look up from that folder of papers. a pane that assumed you needed protection from citizens of a lower class. "I used to be so independent...right? NO. and tried to be thankful? Embarrassed. medical assessments I wondered how I could be in this situation. really. wounded.. Income. Name.I'm sorry. and I wonder why. investments.. I felt like I was handing in a poorly written test.. it is so hard for me to ask for help to accomplish even the simplest task. give or take a year.. Support. I brought my papers to the "help" desk. when I had my health. date.." Please hear my wavering voice. I am sitting at your desk.. next page...I.. you notice and say. Page 2 of 4 . You spoke to me through a hole in the plexi-glass.. I am vulnerable and you have the power to help me." This voice reminds me of Grade 3 and scratchy chalkboards and teachers angry with me But I am 32. Crying won't get you anywhere with me.. I just need a little more patience.. I am tearing up in utter frustration I came asking you for help with this crappy hand I've been dealt.
I have learned. my social worker and I brought it in last week. "You are missing paperwork." From the ofﬁce space behind.." In that time. "There is NO DIGNITY IN THIS!" Barely able to open the door. Lynn." "Oh yes. A case worker says.. You didn't submit it all. power and fuel bills." She looks at me. The receptionist looks down. Through that plexi-glass hole I say. I've kept track of every dollar I've spent. walks away. and putting it in her box.. So I go to my folder.." She turns around. and take the September pages out. "Hi." This blows my mind... failure. I amble out of there with my cane beside me with the words 'failure. that's the part I really hate. is Lynn available?" I calmly say "No. Walks in. that my monthly paperwork has been "lost. And you dismiss me.. so I can get this sorted out I don't want the payment to arrive in my bank account late They make it seem like my fault. like she couldn't give a shit.really. I am overwhelmed by the situation. to photocopy. because this is the FOURTH time. I am trying my best. failure' echoing inside me. Page 3 of 4 . I am exercising my personal responsibility. I have been dismissed. I pay for a taxi..everything Bank statements.Income Outcome by Miranda Currie October 2012 I get a phone call." I cry Then I slam my hand on the "help" desk and yell.. I'm feeling really frustrated at having to re-submit my papers for this month and was hoping to speak with you about heating fuel for my house. sorry she is not available today. receipts for rent.. I remember stamping it. I am tearing up in utter frustration I came asking you for help with this crappy hand I've been dealt." "Well.. you'll need to book an appointment later this week.. "I am sorry we have to meet this way. Did that seriously just happen? "I am doing my part. I'm feeling a little frustrated that my paperwork has been lost. and says.. "I don't have time for you. and I look around In disbelief.. but I am vulnerable and you have the power to help me.
You have the power to help me.scribd.. My social worker has experienced the same frustrations No one answers or returns my calls It is like I don't exist at all. I know it must be difﬁcult not to get jaded. Maybe you are tired of people who take too much. your passion. It has been 16 days since I ﬁrst called income support to remind them I need fuel. and give too little even though you entered this profession to help people. It has been 3 days since that fuel ran out It has been 2 days of sub-zero temperatures in the house. migraine in my head. No heat. Income Outcome: A poem about income assistance in the NWT By Miranda Currie January 2012 NWT MLA Bob Bromley read this poem in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.it's cruel.Income Outcome by Miranda Currie February 2013 I am lying in my bed. no rent -. I have left numerous messages explaining the situation. My eyes are tear frosted I am totally exhausted from ﬁghting for basic needs. I am vulnerable and you have the power to help me. and faded But YOU CAN effect the change that the world needs to see YOU DO have the power to be the one person who treats a vulnerable person kindly. It is minute 17 degrees Celsius in the house. under the weight of multiple blankets trying to stay warm. But maybe you're tired too. no fuel. dimmed by the system. exhausted from dealing with people who never say 'thank you' who shove their entitlement under that glass when you really want to tell them to shove it up their ass..com/doc/130054107/Income-Outcome-By-Miranda-Currie Page 4 of 4 . *** Thank you Miranda for putting a human face on this problem. Available online at: http://www. It has been 15 days since I used my rent money to pay for fuel.
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