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So, DLA cuts. Why you should care and what you need to say to your MP?

20 replies

Mercedes519 · 17/01/2011 18:57

For those people who are unaware the government started a consultation before christmas about abolishing Disability Living Allowance which people rely on to make their difficult lives easier.

Read the rant www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1126973-to-think-that-cuts-for-disabled-people-doesnt-seem-to-have-the-cool-factor-or-whatever-that-the-student-thing-had/AllOnOnePage#23259458 here.

There is no point turning round and saying its crap don't do it because they are and they will. What we need are specifics that we can all use to make our points.

How about these for starters:

Abolish the arbitrary 20% cost saving
Yes, the DLA process is long and complicated but it?s also detailed and extremely thorough. It has a fraud rate of less than 1%. So where are the 20% savings coming from? From people who have been through this process and have been judged as genuinely in need. The goalposts are moved and now they are not in need? This hits people who are vulnerable, potentially isolated and may not be able to speak for themselves.

Get rid of the preconception that 'DLA is a barrier to work'
How can it be? It isn?t removed when the recipient works. 80% of people who receive DLA don?t work. It isn?t DLA that?s keeping them out of the workplace, it?s their disabilities, a lack of flexibility from employers and a lack of understanding of what people can bring to a role. Lets tackle that as well as this ridiculous statement.

Stop talking about the 'disabled'
There are as many different disabled people as there are in society. It is not a homogenous group brought together by their challenges. A severely autistic child has nothing in common with a 40 year old wheelchair user but they both will be affected by these changes. To significantly reform a benefit like DLA feels like picking on an easy target that cannot speak with one voice, especially with an under-publicised, incredibly short consultation period on the changes.

DLA should continue to be a cash benefit
The people best placed to judge what someone needs is the person in receipt of the benefit or their carers. Overworked and ?tick-box? social workers don?t know the reality of day-to-day situation, how could they? Don?t make the benefit from DLA another thing that disabled people and their carers have to fight their local authorities for.

Do not just rely on private subcontractors for the decision
A decision cannot be based on one single meeting with the claimant. Documentation from the claimant's specialists should always also be used in making decisions on eligibility, as it is now.There are many mental health conditions, Autism being one, that cannot be clearly ascertained just from one meeting.


I think this could be a start for some more standard objections to the changes. I'm sure there are more. What would you add?

I also think its worth putting in our personal stories to highlight the positives of this benefit in the current form.

My DH has a medical condition which leaves him in constant pain and with limited mobility. His mobility DLA allows us (with our normal car costs ? i.e. its NOT free to us) to buy a larger car that he is more comfortable driving. This means he can be independent, visit his family and get his mobility scooter in the back allowing us to have family outings and to enjoy his two young children. Doesn?t sound like much? Think about your quality of life if you couldn?t leave the house. He is 36 btw and will always be like this.

OP posts:
Mercedes519 · 17/01/2011 19:04

Bump

OP posts:
sarah293 · 17/01/2011 19:15

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sarah293 · 17/01/2011 19:17

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MissQue · 17/01/2011 19:21

My daughter is 14 and mentally functions on the level of a toddler. She has severe autism, is virtually non-verbal and has severely limited understanding of the world outside. She needs 24 hour care and education, and is in residential school as a result of this. She has no sense of danger and high levels of anxiety, which mean she is unwilling to try to do anything that she's not sure of.

Because of her anxiety, she can often have violent outbursts when she is upset, she has a lot of strength and can put herself and others in danger. She has significantly debilitating problems with sensory processing, which causes great anxiety and distress. She needs a high level of care, routines and supervision to ensure she is safe and cared for and has a chance to learn and develop independence to the best of her ability.

Her DLA means that I can provide the extras she needs, to contribute to things she needs at school, to provide her with sensory and specialist items and toys, and the extra clothes and fuel we need to get about. The mobility part of her DLA pays for a small car to help us to get around as she cannot cope with public transport, waiting at bus stops and walking between bus stops and our destinations. Without the car, I wouldn't be able to go to her school, which is some distance away, for the regular meetings that I need to attend at school and residential. She would not be able to go to places where she can learn essential social skills and access the places that other young people can access without a problem. I wouldn't be able to get to her in an emergency and we would be completely isolated when she is at home at weekends.

When you compare this to a youngster of 14 and what they are able to do, mostly independently, it just shows the chasm that exists between her and 'normality', a chasm which needs to be bridged if she is ever going to be able to be part of society in any way.

sarah293 · 17/01/2011 19:27

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newwave · 17/01/2011 20:09

You are being naive to think the Tories care a jot about the disabled. They never have and probably never will.

MissQue · 17/01/2011 20:15

www.autism.org.uk/Get-involved/Campaign-for-change/Campaigning-by-issue/Work-and-benefits/Campaigning-on-benefits-changes.aspx

If you or someone you care for has an ASD, let the NAS know what the cuts mean to you so they can campaign on our behalf Smile

poppyknot · 17/01/2011 23:04

Here is the second draft of the submission from Rhydian James for the Broken of Britain.

[[
benefitscroungingscum.blogspot.com/2011/01/submission-on-dla-reform-second-draft.html here]]

suey2y · 18/01/2011 11:06

Huh, SOOOO glad to see you talking about this.
This site answers most questions
onemonthbeforeheartbreak.blogspot.com/

This also explains why EVERYONE needs to care, not just disabled:

diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.com/2011/01/nowhere-to-turn-for-vulnerable.html

Confused Angry Sad

ThisIsANiceCage · 20/01/2011 14:21
denjen · 20/01/2011 16:04

Our daughter attends an out of city residential because we do not have any in our local area, she gets mobility high rate and attends residential school term only so we have to pick her up and take her back. We also see her every two weeks for weekends and take her home. We have to take her to hospital, doctors, dentist and all other appointments. If this taken away we will find it difficult to see her.

Greycoat · 20/01/2011 20:08

I have posted this elsewhere but am so angry re DLA cuts and the needs of the disabled. I have read Riven?s statement. I am an old mother of a disabled son who has a disabled wife,both 44 years old and I feel for Riven. I dont believe that Government does enough to help the disabled and their families. We struggled for years to help my son. He is blind with hand difficulty and epilepsy. He worked until he could no longer do so but has the consolation of a lovely wife who is confined to a wheelchair and has epilepsy. After a long search they found the perfect home in residential care. To reduce their seizures they keep active in the local community, a vital aspect of their everyday life. We thought all was well until the government dropped a bomb on their world. It announced that it would take away all their mobility allowance which they need to pay for transport to go out. When my son was told he collapsed and had to be hospitalised. Neither their care home nor their local authority can possibly afford to pay their DLA mobility allowances which come from the DWP. They are so frightened that they will be trapped in their home unable to go out to their courses, exercise class, library and church. They have nightmares about it. No family live near them who can help. I have written to every MP in the House of Commons because I dont know how else I can help them. If they are confined in their home they will despair, have more seizures and be given more drugs. How could any government do this to such vulnerable disabled people who have no other resources?

Awesome1 · 21/01/2011 05:06

Just looked up some facts about this. The government own figures say that 0.6% of DLA claims of thought to be fraudulent. They are going to cut the number of people getting DLA by 20% so that must mean over 19% of innocent disabled people are to be punished without good or sound reason.
This at a time when Bankers are still paying themselves multi million pound bonus.
DLA for disabled people is the difference between living a life worth living or having it removed and then a living death.
Stop this now Mr Cammron, its disgusting and not what we do in Britten.
Bring in a new bill to go after Tax dodgers who live here, work here and get away with paying next to no tax.
Disabled people have it hard enough without you lot coming along and putting the boot in.

Greycoat · 25/01/2011 17:44

I have posted this under campaigns re DLA reform but it needs to be posted here as well. It is my response to the DWP and to MPs re the Government's very nasty plan to take DLA mobility allowance away from disabled and active people who live in residential care. This is an example of a political decision which was not researched, ill-conceived, rushed, and extremely cruel if implemented, as you will see below. Apologies for the length but it needs to be said. Come on Cameron and Clegg, admit this is wrong and sort it out!:

The payment of the mobility component of DLA (or the PIP equivalent to this allowance) should depend on the needs of individuals rather than their place of residence. To obtain the mobility component of DLA, the disabled in residential homes should have to show that they need and can use it. This is the opinion of my family, the residents in their home, those who run the home and their care managers. They make the following points:

  1. The Government?s proposal to remove the DLA mobility component from people living in residential care is due to a mistaken belief that the disabled in residential homes are like hospital patients or residents in nursing homes and residential homes for the elderly, where residents spend the vast majority of their time in the homes or, as patients, unable to go out or being nursed. This is not the case at the Disabilities Trust and similar homes for those with physical disabilities where getting out and about in the local community is a vital aspect of residents? everyday way of life. Residents in these homes must meet their own transport costs from their DLA mobility to access specialist transport to education, volunteering, day opportunities, libraries, shops, banks, public life and services, church, fitness activities, visits to friends and families. Many residents live at a long distance from their families who cannot help them with mobility needs.


  1. The Government mistakenly thought that there was an element of double funding in that local authorities were already meeting the mobility needs of these residents. This is not the case. The cost of transport is not included in contracts with residential homes other than to cover needs deemed to be substantial and critical (usually medical). At the Disabilities Trust and similar residential homes residents must meet their own transport costs from their DLA mobility to access all the services listed in 1. above. The care home provides free transport to medical appointments and for medical matters but residents must pay for transport to support their normal activity.


  1. Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People, has now written to MPs and the public to say that, ?where individuals? needs are met through residential care, the local authority contracts with the care home to ensure that the agreed services are provided.? The Minister?s letter is seriously misleading. Her letter implies that transport to all the services listed in 1. above is provided free of charge in a contract and that residents therefore do not need a mobility allowance. This is not true.


Local authorities, whose budgets are already under considerable pressure, do not have the funds available to pay for these transport services nor do they have a statutory duty to do so. Generally their existing contracts with care homes do not cover assessed mobility. It has been confirmed to me that this is the case at the Disabilities Trust and that such arrangements are standard in the industry.

  1. The Disabilities Trust points out that they do not have the staff, resources, finance or vehicles to provide the services to their residents which at present the residents provide for themselves out of the mobility component of DLA. I have been assured that the same would be true of similar residential homes. If they were legally obliged to assume this function, Government would ultimately have to fund their extra costs, costs that would be far greater than the current DLA mobility costs of £160 million. This amount is tiny when compared with the £81 billion of spending cuts planned by Government.


  1. I question how much background research has gone into this proposal, whether it has been properly thought through and whether the Government fully understands how a particularly vulnerable sector of society will be hit hard if these changes are introduced in 2012. Article 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commits signatories to ?take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost.? Removing the DLA mobility component from disabled people jeopardises this right. If the Government?s proposal is carried, these disabled people will have no means to pay for transport, will be confined to their homes, will be denied their independence, will be denied the right to access services and to participate freely in society. This is inhumane and tantamount to being imprisoned - in many cases for life.


  1. This proposed cut is discriminatory and unjust in that disabled people who live at home and get help with personal care will continue to receive a mobility allowance, whereas those living in residential homes and getting help with personal care will be denied a mobility allowance. The latter are already means-tested for their care costs.


  1. Confining a large number of disabled and vulnerable people in their homes, denying them the right to access services and participate freely in society, runs counter to the Government?s claim in the Coalition Agreement document that fairness would be at the heart of its decisions so that all those most in need would be protected.


  1. Those who live in the Disabilities Trust and similar homes are very active people who have profound or complex needs. Many will need to live in this residential setting for the rest of their lives for long term assistance and support. Many will have no family to help them financially. If their only allowance to pay for their transport to the outside world is stopped, it will be of little consolation to tell them that their underlying entitlement remains so that they will not have to reapply when they leave the care home.


  1. The proposed change is in conflict with other government policies on personalisation, independent living, ideas about dignity, respect and choice. Residential homes are not hospitals or nursing homes, nor are they prisons, or places to hide people away and then deny them opportunities that the rest of us take for granted ? Residential care homes are homes for people who need additional care, these people are full citizens and should be afforded their allowance to be mobile and participate in society as they see fit.

We know that savings are needed but this is too great a price to pay. This is not ?fairness and togetherness?, this is unfair, unjust, cruel and, frankly, offensive, inflicting isolation on the most vulnerable who are the least able to protest for themselves. Please withdraw this particularly nasty proposal.
tigerchilli · 25/01/2011 21:23

Here's a recording of a disabled man's call to ATOS in regards to euthanasia. For the unaware this is the company that is sub-contracted by the govt/ DWP to conduct medicals in conjunction with DLA/ ESA and so forth.

Not fit for purpose, springs to mind.

cleanandclothed · 25/01/2011 21:28

Bumping because I found this thread very helpful. Will write to my MP.

MissQue · 25/01/2011 21:30

Greycoat, that is a fantastic letter, thank you very, very much. My dd is one of those who will lose her mobility allowance, as I have said earlier, and she will be massively disadvantaged by it. I'm worried sick Sad

cleanandclothed · 25/01/2011 21:34

Have now written. Come on people, it doesn't take long.

Greycoat · 27/01/2011 19:00

missQue and all You have a chance to object to all the DLA reform . You can respond to the DWP consultation process by post or email. see www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2010/dla-refor m.shtml You all have a chance to object until 14 February if you look up 'Disability Living Allowance Reform Public Consultation' If everyone objects it would be harder for them to ignore you. The questions are listed, you don't need to reply to them all. The email and postal address is at the end of the document. You can copy your submission to your MP. Lots of MPs are unhappy about the changes. Don't give up, keep campaigning

ethel1 · 27/01/2011 20:31

Am I correct in thinking that DLA is being scrapped in 2 years time and being replaced by PIP and there will be no lower rate ?

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