Social assistance Demonstration against marriage

Social assistance: Demonstration against marriage

Disgusted and tired of being separated from her lover, Mélanie Ratté, like a few dozen other welfare recipients, expressed her dissatisfaction this Valentine’s Day.

They rallied outside the National Assembly in Quebec on Tuesday to denounce the injustices caused by spousal status while asking for financial assistance.

Ms. Ratté suffers from health problems that prevent her from working. A few years ago she applied for welfare. To her surprise, she was told she would not qualify as her boyfriend at the time worked as a grocer.

“My friend, a grocer, made too much money! It was he who should have let me live! »

The couple now live in separate accommodations.

“We visit each other. You have to make sure that we don’t sleep together too often, that I don’t leave a toothbrush with him and that he doesn’t leave any clothes with me. With all the problems, the housing crisis, I feel really bad knowing I could vacate the apartment but I can’t,” she lamented.

Upon marriage, couples now only receive one welfare check per household, and this is 24% less than that of a single person. Representatives of community organizations shout foul.

“What we see is that there is a situation of financial control, like a person who manages the family fund. There are situations where people don’t leave their homes because they don’t get the check, people who stay in violent situations as if they don’t have access to money,” explained community organizer Catherine Tragnee.

It is the job of a welfare assessor to determine whether a partner is a spouse.

“For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend sleeps over with you a few nights a week, a verifier might consider you a spouse, even if your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t helping you financially,” Educaloi’s website says.

“It’s caused a lot of heartache and a lot of fear, but we’re lucky, we love each other very much,” Ms Ratté concluded.

– With information from Élodie Drolet, TVA Nouvelles

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