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.
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.