I have mentioned this in my blogs before but believe it is worth a blog all of it's own and I make no apology for repeating a subject I have already covered and will continue to repeat it until more people ask why?
I am talking about the Governments plan to change DLA ( Disability living allowance) into PIP (personal independence payments)
Let me first explain DLA and the thinking behind it. DLA was brought in by Thatchers Conservative government as a benefit that recognised the extra costs involved for disabled people, it is not means tested and you are entitled to claim it wether you are employed or unemployed as long as you meet the stringent criteria.
There are 2 components 1) mobility....this is paid at a lower or a higher rate depending on the claimants mobility needs.
2) Care component....this is paid at 3 rates, lower,middle and higher, again dependent on what the claimants care needs are.
The forms to request DLA are lengthy and very detailed, often a GPs opinion is sought and if initially refused the claimant can ask to go before a panel for a re assessment. DLA is by no means an easy benefit to obtain. Once awarded the claimant has to re apply every year, couple of years or whatever period of time the DWP feels is relevant unless the claimants condition is so obviously not going to improve that he/she is awarded the benefit indefinitely, this doesn't mean you are never contacted again as the DWP can check at any time that you are still eligible.
So far I have tried to explain this leaving my own emotions etc out of it but if you will just bear with me briefly I would like to tell you what I use DLA for as I have heard talk that disabled people don't have extra expenses.
I receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA, I use all of it to lease an automatic car as the first problem I hit many years ago now was I was no longer able to drive a manual car due to my condition.
This extra money meant I could continue to get about and actually continued working for a further 6 years where I certainly couldn't have done without this.
I also now receive the middle care component payment as my condition has deteriorated to an extent where I need help 24/7 the money pays for numerous things, I have to buy clothing that is easy to get on and off, petrol for the car, special soap powders etc as skin reacts to normal stuff. Creams etc not covered on prescription and so on.
Ok, away from personal and back to facts
Fact 1) the fraud rate for DLA is 0.5% (government figures)
Fact 2) Government is aiming to reduce DLA payments by 20%
Hang on! I'm no mathematician, in fact it was my worse subject at school but even I am able to see that doesn't add up, the figures don't work.
If they are aiming to reduce that bill by 20% then genuine disabled claimants are going to have to be stopped from receiving this benefit that they are clearly entitled to.
How then are they to achieve this?
Well they change the name of the benefit and make it almost impossible to meet the criteria to be eligible for it.
Why? Yes, why indeed?
Disabled/sick/vulnerable people are already aware of what's going on and the fear is palpable.
Not disabled/sick/vulnerable? Ask yourself in all fairness how these savings are being made? Ask yourself if the figures work? Ask yourself if you are happy for this Government to treat us this way, to cause such fear, damage and hardship and finally ask yourself this.....are you 100% sure you will never be in our position?
If you can explain to me how these figures work then please do but if like me you think genuine people are going to suffer then please make a noise, ask your MPs, keep shouting until we get answers that make sense.
All in this together? Don't make me laugh.
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