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

Social Workers Share Disabled People's Concerns #spartacusstories #spartacusreport

By Joe Godden, Policy Officer at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Allan Orrick, a BASW member working in welfare rights

The proposals on disability living allowance (DLA) are creating a lot of concern among people with disabilities and their carers.

The benefits system is very complex and unsurprisingly social workers report fears among service users that may confuse one set of changes or proposed changes with another. Social workers and social care professionals working in a mental health resource centre report that this has had significant impact on people they work with.

One client, John*, has really been set back by being removed from incapacity benefit. His attendance at the resource centre dropped off significantly - he couldn't afford the bus fares for one, he couldn't afford to eat properly, which affected his health. Workers are very concerned for him and there is a real risk that he may end up back in hospital, which is very costly.

More after the jump...

Issues like John's are compounded by the negative press that too many people are claiming  "disability benefits" / "sickness benefits". The popular press frequently purport to hear of cases whereby people claiming "sickness benefits" are not really sick - running marathons etc. This has an impact on the mental health of John and others.

DLA is not a "out of work benefit", DLA is currently a benefit that recognises the additional costs of disability, whether people are in work or not. The Government itself appear to be confused as to the purpose of DLA. For example "There is a high degree of persistence among claimants of many low-income and out-of-work benefits, ... around 2.2 million people, including 1.1 million people of working age, have been claiming disability living allowance for over five years" State of the nation report: poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the UK (UK Government June10).

DLA can be a lifelong benefit people claim. Someone who is a paraplegic is not going to suddenly not be paraplegic and therefore no longer disabled. They are still going to require additional help and support if they work or if they don't. This will include expensive modifications to, for example, a car to enable them to drive.

The experience of social workers is that many service users and their carers are worried about benefit cuts, including proposed changes to DLA. Most people with a disability struggle financially and although many work, not all are able to. The concerns about the proposed changes to DLA have been exacerbated by recent changes to eligibility criteria for incapacity benefits.

*not his real name 
Originally posted here

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

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