15 Jan 2011

DLA faces savage and many cuts

It is now Broken of Britain's blogswarm from 14-16 January. Basically it’s people getting together to all blog on a subject or a theme at a specified time to raise awareness and make more of an impact.

Well the excellent "one month before heartbreak" campaign, is to raise awareness of the ongoing consultation to reform disability living allowance, which ends on 14 February - traditionally a day of love. As Community Care note: "the proposed cuts to DLA are many and savage."

Learning disability support provider Dimensions says: "Cuts to disabled mobility benefit will leave people with £14 a week." Government claims over the DLA mobility component have been dismissed as a myth, by a coalition of 27 disability charities. 80,000 people will be effected - for example half of disabled people who live in residential care give either the majority or their entire DLA mobility component to their care home. Of these, 40% said that it pays for a motability car, and 21% said the money goes towards petrol for staff to take them out...I fully agree with those groups. I work in Gloucestershire for a charity that works with service users to provide various services for disabled people and it is clear these changes will impact severely on many.

Please sign the Mencap action here. Plus another petition re DLA - this time to recall the consultation - see here.

The stark reality is that the government's proposed reforms will hit councils doubly hard. The planned cut in the number of people receiving DLA will reduce the amount of money that councils can raise through means-tested care charges. This is because councils can take into account the care component of DLA when calculating users' income for charges. Fewer people on DLA, without providing an alternate source of income for them, therefore reduces what councils can charge for.

Of course worse still the DLA cuts will increase demand on social care services, whist these very services are being slashed in the face of savage public sector funding cuts. If that's not bad enough, councils are already restricting eligibility criteria to critical only. As Community Care revealed eight in 10 councils in England will not meet adult service users' moderate care needs this year. More demand will put intolerable pressure on social care professionals who are already overworked. Already one in 10 social work posts are vacant and one in six social workers have more than 40 cases.

See the campaign websites excellent case against the DLA Reform here. See also my previous blogs like the end of home help here and cuts to disability benefit here.


Oya's Daughter said...

Brilliant, thanks so much for your support, it is very appreciated!

J. Wallace said...

I had no idea the implications of these changes - they sounded reasonable the way the government said it.

Anonymous said...

Update from Corporate Watch: Government to pay 'poverty pimps' Atos Origin for benefits stripping.
Atos Origin has just been awarded a £300 million contract by the Con-Dem Government to continue carrying out ‘work capability assessments’. It is claimed assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible. This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer. Plans announced for the scrapping of the Disability Living Allowance have also revealed that this intrusive testing is likely to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit. To date around 40% of appeals against Atos Origin’s decisions have been successful.

On the 24th January 2011 the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts: Day 2 will target Atos Origin.

Links: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/national-day-of-protest-against-benefit-cuts-uk-round-up/ and www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/471881.html

Philip Booth said...

One of the architects of the new sickness benefit system has warned it would be a mistake to start introducing it nationwide from the end of this month because of serious ongoing problems with the medical test designed to assess whether claimants are genuinely sick or disabled - "The test is badly malfunctioning. The current assessment is a complete mess," Professor Paul Gregg, an economist and welfare reform expert, said.