Spartacus Stories

Here is a collection of Stories written by many different disabled people about the impact that DLA has on their lives. It also includes stories of fear about the proposed changes to personal independence payment.

Admin: benefitscroungingscum, Lucia and Lucy
to add your story email us at spartacusstories @ g mail . com (without the spaces) (your posts are there, just being scheduled throughout the day) (can you add how you want your 'name' to appear ta)

Monday, 16 January 2012

New Improved DLA #spartacusstories #spartacusreport

[Maintainers note: Please be aware that One Month Before Heartbreak and The Broken of Britain are party non political entities.  The opinions in this piece, as in all others on this site are those of the author.  We thank them for their participation]

This morning I've had an email from a group representing disabled people with a request to fill in a survey about Disability Living Allowance. They have asked that the link be passed on and anyone who has an interest can fill it in. Just click here.

It appears the government, in their inestemable wisdom, have decided to review the current system (a picture pops into my head of Ron Moody as Fagin, rubbing his greedy, grubby little hands together). There have been some rumblings on the jungle drums about this subject but I had no idea where to look for unbiased information that was easy to digest. Government pages are notoriously difficult to understand (for me anyway) and full of jargon and long words. Definitely not for bedtime reading.

The survey was lo-ong, detailed and in no way anonymous. But I did it and it got me thinking. And the thinking goes like this.

The government are doing this to save money (no brainer) and they need to save money because the last lot cocked up. My feeling is that there probably are people out there dodging the system. Exaggerating, or lying basically, to get extra money that isn't theirs to have. Banking on an overstretched and flawed system not having the resources to catch them out. Maybe these people were ill once and got better or maybe they are playing on an injury long since healed. Does that make them mentally ill? Taking money under false pretences and persuading themselves that that is ok? Doesn't that entitle them to some money anyways? There should be a smaller drop in income to be had to ease out and back to work, a transition phase perhaps. More different levels of payment to encourage people to own up when improvements are made and a way to make it easier for your money to go up if the situation deteriorates. Flexibility, or a different catagory, to enable people with fluctuating levels of ability to dip in and out (how could you prove this?). And wouldn't it be great if every other page of the application said 'What canyou do in this situation' instead of focussing on the negative the whole time. 

Yes, in that line of thinking changes do need to be made. The system has to have more different levels of payment, be assessed on ability not just dis-ability and be able to adapt much more quickly to keep up with the changes in peoples lives. Does that mean trusting that the general public will be honest? Or asking overstretched doctors to provide updates in certain cases? Or more likely, and cynically, a bit of both.

Being as I have no idea how the current system works beyond filling in the forms I don't feel qualified to comment, just to say that it is a shame that the dishonesty suspected of a few will always spoil the trust between system and the needs of the many adding inconvenience and suspicion on both sides.

Fiddling the system probably applies to all benefits in one way or another but DLA is different. DLA should be the one benefit that you are either entitled to or you're not. Maybe I'm being way too simplistic but how can there be doubt as to whether a person is disabled? The clue is in the title. And why would a person wish to be labelled so if that is not the case? That's beyond my comprehension!

So to sum up. I don't know the details of what the government are proposing, and I don't know exactly what the answer is but I do think there is a need for change and that not all change is bad.

There I've said it.

Heather,  from Oh Wheely...

 Originally posted as part of the One Month Before Heartbreak Campaign Jan, 2011

#spartacusstories #spartacusreport #ombh

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