A few weeks ago, I got an email from my employer, saying my job was going to be eliminated at the end of the month.
When I checked my bank statements, they had changed my name from Andrew, to Andrew, as a result of the new policy.
“I’m a very senior man,” he wrote.
“It’s a lot to deal with.”
He was referring to the fact that I’d lost my job, and that the company had decided that my job and my life were not worth the risk.
But he was also referring to a different policy, one that would keep me from getting out of a car.
The new policy covered me for the first four years of my employment, until my employer terminated it in 2019.
And it was still there when I got my first job as a nurse.
My employer had no choice but to change the policy, as my previous employer had decided I was too old to work and that I should not have access to healthcare.
“What do you mean you have to change your policy?”
“If you are over 50 and you are disabled, you cannot have a car,” the company wrote.
The company’s policy allowed me to have a second job if I could prove I was at least 65 and had lived in Canada for six months before I was considered too old and disabled to work.
But if I didn’t have proof of age and disability, I could not be allowed to work as a nursing assistant or as a part-time caregiver, and would be out of the company’s benefits.
My former employer was also claiming that I was not eligible to work in the province where I live, and therefore couldn’t qualify for any government benefits.
When the new health care system rolled out, I was shocked to find that my employer had not yet updated its policy to allow me to work when I am too old or disabled.
My new employer’s policy would cover me for four years, but it only covered me until 2020.
In 2019, I applied for an Ontario Disability Support Pension, which is funded by the province and which covers people who are elderly and disabled.
The disability support pension fund, which was set up in the 1980s and is the province’s main source of income, is now the largest single payment program for people with disabilities in Ontario.
And while the province is required to give out pensions to people who lose their jobs because of health issues, people who can no longer work because of their disabilities are not guaranteed any pension.
That meant I would not have received a benefit until the 2020s, even though I was eligible to receive it by the time the new plan was set to come into effect.
This is because, as I discovered as a carer in a nursing home, I have no way to prove I am disabled, and my new employer would not be able to match my payments if they did not have proof.
I had to rely on an independent carer who was unable to find a lawyer to represent me in my claim for the Ontario Disability support pension.
And because I was also receiving the benefits in my new workplace, my old employer would be able, even if it had changed the policy.
My disability, as well as my lack of financial resources, meant that I would likely be unable to work for at least four years after I left the nursing home.
I’m not alone.
In addition to the five-year benefit, people with mental health issues or disabilities are ineligible for some health insurance plans.
As a result, there is a significant pool of people who have to choose between being in and being out of jobs.
“In my case, I am in a lot of precarious positions,” said Karen, who asked that her last name not be used.
She is a registered nurse who works at the home of a man who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
She said she has to be in her job for a certain number of hours every day.
“As a caregiver and a social worker, I had a lot more freedom in terms of my work,” she said.
“So my situation is quite precarious.
But, as you can imagine, it’s not as good for my mental health, so I don’t have much to fall back on.”
Karen says she’s been able to keep her job at the nursing homes for several years without any problems.
But that’s not the case for all carers, who are also vulnerable to being in or out of precarious employment.
The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OAASSW), which represents carers across the province, has recommended that all health care workers should have access and be able at least to the end goal of three years of paid employment before they’re deemed eligible to be eligible for a pension.
“The current government’s policy leaves many carers in a precarious position,” said OAASSW’s president, Rebecca McInnes.
“And it’s also leaving many carer’s in