Archives for posts with tag: independent living

The government has been accused of “sending out mixed messages” on independent living, after it emerged that it wants to charge VAT on the payroll services provided to disabled people who receive direct payments for their social care.

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) is having to take HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the first-tier tribunal to fight off its attempt to force it to charge disabled service-users 20 per cent VAT on top of their monthly fee for using its popular payroll service.

The tribunal case is due to be heard in Manchester in early December.

Other disabled people’s organisations are also challenging the HMRC VAT demand on their own payroll services, but CCIL’s will be the first to be heard at tribunal.

CCIL insists that its payroll service – which is used by nearly 3,000 disabled people across the north-west of England who use direct payments to employ personal assistants – should not be subject to VAT under HMRC’s “welfare” exemption.

It has been trying to persuade HMRC to withdraw its claim for more than four years, but the government refused even to take the dispute to a mediation service.

Tom Hendrie, CCIL’s head of policy and communications, said the imposition of VAT on payroll services was “absolutely not right”, but he said HMRC had refused to see it as qualifying for an exemption and had “really dug their heels in about it”

 

Source: Government’s VAT attack ‘sends out mixed messages on independent living’ – Black Triangle Campaign

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With a clampdown on PIP and related benefits, students such as Lauren Hall are struggling to finish their degrees For three years, Lauren Hall, a final year undergraduate studying French and German at Jesus College, Oxford, has relied on disability benefits to help her through her degree. Hall, 23, is on the autistic spectrum and has coordination problems, anxiety, and fatigue from her medication. She struggles to work long hours, or cook and shop for herself. Her personal independence payment (PIPs), enabled her to buy pre-made food – but after she was reassessed last June, her benefits were stopped. When she asked the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider, Hall says the fact she was at university was used as evidence she didn’t need the benefit. “They stated that I ‘evidently’ had no issues with socialising or independent living, despite me outlining that going outside entails physical exhaustion,” she says. Hall was already finding it hard to study with her disability –

Source: Disabled students fear for their future as independence payments cut | DisabledGo News and Blog


Some of Sheffield’s high street businesses are about to turnaround Government research that shows disabled people find shopping one of the most difficult experiences in their lives. Going to the cinema, theatre and gigs, going out for a drink or a restaurant are going to get easier.

Disability Sheffield has teamed up with Sheffield City Council and Nimbus to offer a new Access Card for disabled people and a Carers Card to anyone caring for someone in Sheffield.

As part of the Accessible Sheffield project the aim is to make life easier for people.

Andrew Crooks, a wheelchair user from Disability Sheffield, said: “The Access Cards translate people’s disabilities into symbols which show the barriers they might face and the adjustments they might need. This means people are made aware, in a discrete and quick way, about the help they might need – like access to concessionary ticket prices – without having to go into loads of detail.

Source: Sheffield Opening Doors for Disabled People and Carers | Disability Sheffield


The process of exiting the European Union (EU) could worsen the social care crisis if the UK government does not protect access to personal assistants (PAs) from EU countries, disabled peers have warned. They told a work and pensions minister that uncertainty over the “Brexit” negotiations with fellow EU members was leading to “terrible uncertainty” among the thousands of disabled people whose PAs are citizens of other EU countries. But peers heard that there was not a single mention of disabled people or disability in the government’s white paper on Brexit. The disabled crossbench peer Baroness Campbell told the Lords debate on the impact of Brexit on disabled people – secured by the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Scott – that she had employed PAs from at least 10 EU countries in the last 25 years. Baroness Campbell told fellow peers that other disabled people who employed PAs had told her that the pool of potential employees was “drying up”, while demand continued to rise, which

Source: ‘Hard Brexit’ could see disabled people lose right to independent living, say peers | DisabledGo News and Blog


Benefits Disability Austerity Welfare Public sector cuts

Source: Luke can’t move, drink or use the loo. The council offered him a tea urn | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


Source: Should Disabled People be Concerned After Brexit? | Disability Sheffield


A new All Party Parliamentary Group report on housing and care for older people calls for a significant change in the focus of Government policy away from

Source: New parliamentary group’s report calls for major shift in Government policy on housing and care for older people | Care Industry News


A young woman with autism who lives in Littlehampton is benefiting from a pioneering new way of supporting people with autism and complex needs to live a more

Source: New way of supporting people with autism and complex needs leads to living a more independent life | Care Industry News


The use of peer support to help disabled people into sustainable jobs could prove as important in promoting independent living as the development of direct payments, according to a leading figure in the disability movement. Andy Rickell, a former chief executive of the British Council of Disabled People, called on the government to realise that its ambition to halve the disability employment gap could only be achieved if other aspects of independent living were not ignored. He said the government needed to understand that equal employment opportunities for disabled people were only possible if the other 11 “pillars of independent living” – which include appropriate and accessible health and social care provision, accessible and adapted housing, and adequate provision of personal assistance – were also in place. He said: “All the 12 pillars have to stack up for disabled people’s employment to work.” He said disabled people’s support was a “house of cards” and that the government was “in

Source: Peer support for job-seekers ‘could prove as important as direct payments’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


A cost-cutting council is set to introduce new policies that will force disabled people with high-cost support packages out of their own homes and into residential and nursing institutions. Labour-run Southampton city council wants to cut its adult social care budget by £1.5 million in 2016-17. As part of those cuts, it wants to increase the use of telecare – such as personal alarms and sensors – so that it can reduce the need for visits from care workers and routine “wellbeing” checks, while also increasing care charges. But it also plans to review the personal budgets of every disabled person with a package of more than £500 a week, and consider if it would be cheaper to fund them for extra care housing, or nursing or residential care. A new council consultation – which ends on 31 January, or 14 January via an online survey – points out that 212 people in the city have care packages of more than £500 per week, which is “much higher” than the standard rate for residential care of £369

Source: Threat to independent living as council plots raid on high-cost care | DisabledGo News and Blog

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