Archives for posts with tag: disabled people

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has breached freedom of information laws by refusing to explain how its new universal credit system of working-age benefits will affect disabled people.

Campaigners have been warning that the introduction of universal credit will see tens or even hundreds of thousands of disabled people with high support needs lose out on thousands of pounds a year because the new system will scrap the disability premiums that exist in the current system.

Both severe (£62.45 per week) and enhanced disability premiums (£15.90 per week) are currently added to some means-tested disability benefits to help with the costs of disability.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been insisting since 2012 that “transitional protection” would ensure that no-one moving onto universal credit would see their benefits cut in cash terms.

But campaigners have remained sceptical, while also pointing out that the transitional protections will not apply if there are any changes in the disabled person’s personal circumstances – for example if they move to a new home, or their relationship status changes – and will not apply to new claimants.

And last month, a terminally-ill man, TP, won permission for a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people with high support needs, through the loss of the two premiums.

According to his lawyers, the removal of the premiums has seen TP lose £178 each month after he moved back to London to receive treatment and had to claim universal credit (UC) for the first time.


Source: DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact | DisabledGo News and Blog


Where is the ‘Duty of Care’, pending Safeguarding issues and many other aspects, we now see the true values of this Tory Government and persons with disabilities are now no longer valued.

Same Difference

Life began at 40 for severely learning-disabled Colleen say her sisters, when she moved into her own home.

She is living happily in her Coventry house, 11 years after leaving unsuitable residential care, thanks to a carefully-crafted network of 24-hour care and a range of state benefits.

But due to the impending removal of the housing part of her support, known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), that security has been mired in uncertainty and anxiety.

Colleen is one of 124,000 households in England who receive this particular benefit.

It helps them repay the interest on their mortgages and nearly half the recipients are pensioners.

However, within weeks the benefit will be axed and a loan offered instead.

Those who have not signed up to the new government scheme face losing their mortgage support.

Though small, the current funding arrangement makes enough difference to enable Colleen to live on…

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Bus drivers will be given the power to remove passengers who refuse to vacate wheelchair spaces to allow people with a disability to get on, under Government proposals. Legislation should be amended to enable bus drivers to remove passengers who “unreasonably refuse to remove when requested from the wheelchair space”, ministers wrote in a statement to Parliament. Improved signage should also be introduced to “better reflect the behaviours expected from drivers and passengers with respect to use of the wheelchair space”, they suggested. “Our view is that drivers need to play an active role in ensuring that the wheelchair space is made available for passengers in wheelchairs, which includes requiring other passengers to move where necessary, but that drivers also need more powers than they have currently to enable them to do this effectively,” the task and finish group on the use of wheelchair spaces on buses said.

Source: Bus drivers to get powers to move pram users from wheelchair spaces : i

Social care providers must adopt new approaches if they are to survive the challenges of funding cuts and policy changes, according to a new publication released today.

The VODG discussion paper, Challenges can fuel change, outlines what social care providers believe are the future hopes for the sector as well as the barriers that block progress. The publication is a contribution to Civil Society Futures, the national independent inquiry into English civil society.

Based on the views of VODG members, the paper argues that voluntary social care organisations must adapt to be sustainable. By 2025, there will be 11.7m disabled people living in England, compared to today’s 11 million today. Cumulative adult social care cuts since 2010 have amounted to £6.3 billion, more savings are planned and the recent cash injection for social care in the local government funding settlement is only a temporary solution. Meanwhile the retrospective requirement for providers to fund national minimum wage/living wage back pay to sleep-in shift workers would be financially disastrous for many providers and Brexit is a threat to labour supply.

However, the paper argues, voluntary adult social care sector could be stronger if disabled people were more involved in decision-making. For example, providers could enable people supported to articulate their own demands for social care to government, arguing for better funding and support for high quality care.

The paper includes other hopes and solutions for the sector:


Source: Social care providers must adopt new approaches if they are to survive | Care Industry News

Received through the ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) network:

A worker at Inclusion London has mentioned that some Disabled people are being asked to replace funding for Personal Assistants with volunteers to undertake their personal care by some Local Authorities.   Inclusion London would be grateful for your thoughts and  any examples of expectations from social workers to use volunteers to make up for cuts in your support package. Email
I am aghast that this could be on the agenda of any authority.
This is extremely worrying and hopefully is not being contemplated within many Local Authorities. That being said, could you advise your thoughts to
Hopefully this worrying situation can be stopped.
My own view on this is what messages are these local authorities, who are in the process of asking for volunteers to replace paid carers, sending to the paid care workers. For the huge responsibility that these care workers undertake within their role for the low remuneration they receive, this is deplorable. No paid care worker should be only on the Minimum Living Wage, but should be, at least on the Living Wage and even above.
To be a care worker requires them to be committed to the person they are caring for, be responsive to the needs and requests from the cared for person and conduct themselves respecting the cared for persons dignity, privacy and the confidentiality with regards to the information they will be aware of about the cared for person and also their family.
They are required to attend at the times required according to the respective care packages and inform the cared for person when they are unable to do so with sufficient time for a replacement care worker to cover the caring shift to be found. Where the cared for person is deemed to be vulnerable and therefore be at risk of abuse, safeguarding is therefore an area of concern and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
You cannot say that one person requiring care is the same as the next person requiring care, as we are all individuals and therefore have our own views. This is especially so for persons with learning disabilities and those with Autism. In these instances it takes considerable time to understand each individual and their routines, for to not take this into account could cause the cared for persons to have an adverse reaction, which if a full understanding is not known could and most likely will create situations where harm could occur to the carer and the individual concerned. The carer needs to understand that they are technically a guest in the cared for persons home and as such they should act accordingly.
While a volunteer could and should be capable of all of the above, will all volunteers respect the commitment that is required to undertake care. After all they will be undertaking this on a voluntary basis so will they really commit to engaging with regards to timings. Then what will occur if they cannot attend , say to illness, will the cared for person have a bank of volunteers they can call upon.
These Local Authorities are only looking at their own interests. If they are so committed to using volunteers, why do they not have a volunteer Chief Executive and then there will be a multitude of funds saved.
That you could say is flippant, but where is the difference with regards with paid carers.
Any local authority who undertakes using volunteers could be open to a challenge on ‘Duty of Care’.

The SNP’s Westminster Social Justice spokesperson has echoed concerns raised in a new report which highlights that disabled people across the UK are facing “substantial costs” for their cost of living, due in part to the UK government’s flawed social security system.

The report published by the disability charity Scope, found that on average disabled people face extra costs of £570 a month related to their condition – with the figure rising to £632 in Scotland. The findings also show that for every one in five disabled people, extra costs amount to over £1,000 per month.

Neil Gray MP warned that the current Personal Independence Payment (PIP) infrastructure is simply not fit for purpose, and that the UK government’s “tick-box exercises” are failing people with disabilities across the UK, and ignoring many aspects of their experience living with a disability.

The SNP MP pointed to Scottish Government plans to put in place the necessary infrastructure to take on responsibility for the provision of PIP assessments, as well as creating a new social security system in Scotland based on dignity and respect.

 The Scope report concluded that the UK government must commit to reforms of the assessment for PIP to ensure it accurately captures the type and level of extra costs faced by disabled people, so that individuals receive the support they need to help meet those costs.


Source: Tories failing disabled people over ‘substantial’ cost of living : Welfare Weekly

Disabled people will only be protected from online abuse when they have “equal and fair” hate crime laws, a leading disabled campaigner has told MPs.

Anne Novis, chair of Inclusion Londontold the Commons petitions committee that the abuse targeted at disabled people online was “just an echo” of what they experienced on the streets.

And she said that the law fails to protect them in both cases.

She was speaking to the committee as part of its investigation into online abuse of disabled people, which was launched following a petition set up by former model Katie Price which was signed by more than 220,000 people.

Price’s petition called on the government to create a new criminal offence covering online abuse, and to set up a register of offenders.

She set up the petition following years of disablist and racist abuse targeted at her teenage son, Harvey, who met members of the committee before the evidence session.

But Novis, who is an adviser on hate crime to the Metropolitan police, the Crown Prosecution Service and British Transport Police, said she did not want to see a separate offence for online abuse or the creation of a register of online offenders.

Instead, she said, disabled people just needed “an equal and fair hate crime law”.


Source: Disabled people need ‘equal and fair’ hate crime laws, MPs are told | DisabledGo News and Blog

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has promised that no disabled people will have their benefits reduced because of its decision to review 1.6 million personal independence payment (PIP) claims.

The review follows last month’s decision by the new work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, that she would not appeal a court ruling that found new rules introduced last year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.

The rules, which were rushed into law by the government last March, had meant that people who were unable to plan or undertake a journey due to overwhelming psychological distress would receive fewer qualifying points when assessed for PIP, with many receiving a lower level of financial support as a result, or even no PIP at all.

The new rules were only introduced because an upper tribunal ruling had found that DWP was wrong to say that such PIP claimants should not be entitled to those points.

Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced this week that, following McVey’s decision not to appeal the court ruling, DWP would review every one of the 1.6 million PIP claims that have been made since the benefit was introduced in 2013 to see how many had been wrongly assessed and were now entitled to backdated PIP payments.


Source: DWP promises no-one will lose out in huge review of 1.6 million PIP cases | DisabledGo News and Blog


Independent-run Wrexham Borough Council has declared war on disabled people, it seems.

The council wants to take away £25,000 a year from the money disabled people in the borough need to survive – in parking charges.

Not only that, but the council is prepared to pay twice that amount to install the changes needed to impose those charges – so it would not even start to make any money for two years.

 I wonder how badly the change would affect disabled people during that time? They don’t have much money to support them and even the smallest change can be disastrous. Wrexham’s MP is Labour’s Ian Lucas. Hopefully he will monitor the situation.

It seems unlikely that the so-called Independents (they’re usually closet Tories) on the council have even bothered to think about that.

Source: Wrexham’s plan to charge disabled people for parking is not only “absurd” but vindictive :Vox Political

“Disabled people will only be protected from online abuse when they have “equal and fair” hate crime laws, a leading disabled campaigner has told MPs.

Anne Novis, chair of Inclusion London, told the Commons petitions committee that the abuse targeted at disabled people online was “just an echo” of what they experienced on the streets.

And she said that the law fails to protect them in both cases.”


Source: Disabled people need ‘equal and fair’ hate crime laws, MPs are told : Vox Political

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