People with episodic disabilities face significant employment and income support challenges. These issues have a significant impact on health:
- Income: People with low incomes are more likely to become ill. They’re also likely to suffer more adverse effects from illness than people with higher incomes.
- Insecurity about the future: The unpredictable nature of HIV and concerns about income security both contribute to the stress of people living with HIV. Stress adversely affects health.
- Social inclusion or exclusion: Long-term unemployment impacts self-esteem. Paid work, volunteer activities and social interactions are key to health, confidence and dignity.
Income security – a reliable, and predictable source of adequate income – is a concern for all people with disabilities. But for people with episodic disabilities, the challenge may be even greater. Recurring periods of ill health make it difficult to work, especially fulltime. Most people with HIV and other episodic disabilities must rely on health and disability benefits such as:
- Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits
- Long term disability (LTD) and extended health benefits (vision, dental, prescription drugs, physiotherapy, etc.) provided by employee group insurance plans
- Canadian Pension Plan Disability Program (CPP-D), and
- Provincial Disability and Social Assistance programs.
Rigid definitions and policies govern these benefit programs. As a result, people may have difficulty accessing or maintaining benefits. Existing policies also make it difficult for people who are receiving benefits to work part-time or when their health allows.
Work and Income Resources
Workplaces REVAMPED Final Report
This is the final report of the Realize project titled ‘REVAMPED’, Workplaces REcognizing the VAlue of eMPloyees with Episodic Disabilities funded by the Opportunities Fund of Employment and Social Development Canada.
The REVAMPED Project Objectives were targeted:
1. To increase awareness of episodic disabilities among employers;
2. To increase the understanding of employers of the challenges related to working and
living with episodic disabilities;
3. To increase the capacity of employers to respond effectively to the challenges facing
people living with episodic disabilities;
4. To increase access to information and networking opportunities for small, medium and
large employers on leading practices in accommodating employees living with episodic
disabilities in the workplace; and
5. To increase the capacity of people living with episodic disabilities to communicate
effectively about their lived experience.
The Pandemic Pandora’s Box: Long COVID and Episodic Disability
Project Report; Realize 2021
The Pandemic Pandora’s Box report analyzes the combined findings of two informal, community-driven surveys shared openly online in February 2021. The first asked adults working or seeking work in Canada about their experiences with Long COVID, while the second asked Canadian employers about their comfort level and preparedness to provide workplace accommodations to COVID-19 long-haulers. Up to 1 in 3 people who contract COVID-19 – regardless of the severity of their acute infection – risk facing Long COVID. Long COVID refers to a multitude of fluctuating, debilitating symptoms that may affect all organ systems and for many cause impairments which last for months.
National Deliberative Dialogue on Long COVID as an Episodic Disability and Employment – Report
Long COVID is an episodically disabling condition and
as more people are returning to workplaces, Realize
hosted a National Deliberative Dialogue to highlight the
impact that Long COVID has on people and their work.
We also wanted to explore the effects of Long COVID on
workplaces, accommodation, and employers.
This was a hybrid event held on September 23, 2022.