DBC gives evidence to Work and Pensions Select Committee


The 4 witnesses from Citizens Advice, Scope, National Mencap and Sense are certainly tell the Work and Pension Select Committee about their findings regarding PIP and ESA assessments, but to what effect.

Hopefully the Select Committee will use this and other evidence to make major changes to the PIP and ESA progresses to improve them for the betterment of all claimants.

Sense Supports Cross-Party Social Care Review | DisabledGo News and Blog


National disability charity backs calls for urgent cross-party review to address sustainability of social care sector National disability charity, Sense, has welcomed calls from three Commons committee heads for an urgent cross-party review to find a sustainable solution to the current social care funding gap ahead of the next spending round. The social care sector is currently running at a substantial deficit, which is estimated to hit £2.6 billion per year by 2020. Sense, who supports deafblind people and those with complex needs, has been calling on the Government to deliver urgent funding to plug the sector’s unsustainable gap and help protect the future of the vital social care services. Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of disability charity Sense, said: “The stark warnings on the fragility of the social care sector are finally hitting home and we welcome the call for a cross-party review tasked with finding a sustainable solution to this growing crisis ahead of the next spending round.

Source: Sense Supports Cross-Party Social Care Review | DisabledGo News and Blog

Trump shares letter from Putin: ‘His thoughts are so correct’ | TheHill


A piece of paper, is this equivalent to the piece of paper in the hands of Chamberlain before the start of World War II, lets hope not for Trump will not have the sense to provide the correct reactions.

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President-elect Donald Trump on Friday praised Vladimir Putin and shared a Christmas letter the Russian president sent him.

“A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct,” Trump said in a statement. “I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path.”

In the attached letter, Putin emphasized the importance of cooperation between the two countries.

“I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner – to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level,” the Russian leader wrote.

The statement comes amid a new controversy over Trump’s nuclear plans and fears it could spark a new arms race with Russia.

 

Source: Trump shares letter from Putin: ‘His thoughts are so correct’ | TheHill

Government has not addressed the social care crisis as elderly and vulnerable left to fend for themselves | Care Industry News


This local government finance settlement represents a missed opportunity to set out a  social care long-term strategy on sustainable funding

Source: Government has not addressed the social care crisis as elderly and vulnerable left to fend for themselves | Care Industry News

National Deafblind Charity, Sense, Responds To Channel 4 Dispatches Programme- The Great Benefits Row


Same Difference

A press release:

 

(12 April 2016 – London, UK) – Sense has responded to the Channel 4 programme ‘Dispatches’ that aired last night,  investigating the planned changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which in two years will disappear to be replaced by the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The programme revealed the PIP system being abused and private contract ‘assessors’ acting unprofessionally and making disparaging remarks about claimants.

Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of Sense, said:

“We’re deeply concerned by what we have seen in tonight’s episode of Dispatches. The sight of “fitness for work” assessors ridiculing claimants will cause distress for disabled people that already fear the assessments are geared towards saving money, rather than ensuring they receive sufficient benefit to live their lives.

The Government must focus its efforts on improving the life chances for disabled people and making a long term commitment to protecting the dignity and…

View original post 11 more words

Sense Urges Government Not To Overlook Disabled People In Upcoming Budget


Same Difference

A press release:

Sense urges Government not to overlook disabled people in upcoming budget

National deafblind charity warns against long-term effects of failing to protect welfare benefits and social care for disabled people

Ahead of The Budget announcement this Wednesday [16th March 2016], national deafblind charity, Sense, is calling on the government to put the brakes on further cuts to disabled people.

The last few weeks have seen drastic reductions to ESA and the expectation of cuts to PIP payments, which will adversely affect the lives of many vulnerable people across the country. Sense is asking the Chancellor to seriously consider the impact of these changes ahead of The Budget and to stop further cuts to welfare benefits and to properly fund the social care services that are critical to maintaining the dignity and independence of thousands of disabled people.

There has been speculation that there will be changes…

View original post 332 more words

Disabled children are missing out on vital play opportunities, report reveals | DisabledGo News and Blog


A report by the national deafblind charity, Sense, today reveals the severe restrictions facing disabled children in accessing play. The report identifies failings at every level that result in disabled children missing out on play opportunities that are vital to their emotional, social and physical development. A lack of attention by government, insufficient funding at a local level and negative attitudes towards disabled children and their families are all barriers highlighted in the report. The report calls for urgent action to address these inequalities and to enable the Prime Minister to deliver on his recent call to improve the “life chances” of all children. Due to be launched in Parliament this afternoon, the report follows a three month public inquiry into the provision of play opportunities for disabled children aged 0-5 with multiple needs in England and Wales. Chaired by former Secretary of State for Education and Employment, Lord Blunkett, the inquiry was established in

Source: Disabled children are missing out on vital play opportunities, report reveals | DisabledGo News and Blog

National charity calls for DWP to halt PIP roll out until claims process is accessible to all


Original post from Disabled Go News

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Sense-logo

National deafblind charity, Sense, has called for a suspension of the nationwide Personal Independence Payments (PIP) rollout, with evidence that the scheme, which replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA), remains inaccessible to many deafblind and multisensory impaired claimants.  The fear is that the inaccessibility will lead to vulnerable people losing essential benefits.

Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:

“The reassessment of existing DLA claimants has been rolled out to all areas of the country whilst it remains inaccessible to deafblind people. We believe this could lead to individuals losing their benefits through no fault of their own.

“Currently, starting a claim involves using a telephone or filling in a paper questionnaire, both of which are inaccessible for deafblind claimants, or other individuals who are unable to use these claim formats.

“We have reports from professionals who support deafblind people, including interpreters and communicator guides, that DWP staff will not speak to them unless a deafblind person gives consent over the phone first. Many people we support are not able to use the telephone at all.

“The DWP has said that it is developing an online claim process for PIP, however the site is not yet live so deafblind people on DLA will have significant difficulties making a claim. We believe the reassessment of existing DLA claimants on long term awards should not have started until the online claim portal is live.

“We urge the government to ensure the application process for PIP is accessible to deafblind people, or suspend the rollout until it is.  They have to prioritise the development of an online portal, make the process fully accessible by using a variety of communication methods, and enable professionals to make a claim on behalf of a deafblind person.”

PIP replaced DLA for people aged 16 to 64 on 8th April 2013.  The reassessment of existing DLA claimants with long term awards started on a small scale from July 2015, and from today it is rolled out to all areas of the country.  The vast majority of deafblind people have indefinite awards of DLA.

Media enquiries:

For enquiries about Sense, please contact Laura Brown at the Sense press office on 020 7014 9381 or email laura.brown@sense.org.uk.

Roisin Norris

Hi I’m Roisin Norris, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

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The Other Care Crisis – 1000’s struggling to eat, wash or leave their own homes


The Other Care Crisis

The report The Other Care Crisis is published by Scope, Mencap, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The leading disability charities are concerned that the debate about social care reform has focused on the needs of an ageing population and sidelined the thousands of disabled people under the age of 65 who rely on care in everyday life.

All persons should be able to expect a reasonable standard of living and a social life, while for most of us, this will be reliant on ourselves to fund all of this by gaining employment and then organising our spending budget accordingly.

But there are persons within all communities for whom this is impossible or extremely difficult. Here I am referring to persons with a disability for whom the prospects of employment are not possible, or can only be gained by some considerable effort.  For many persons, their only or main knowledge or involvement with people with a disability, will be academics who are disabled like Stephen Hawkins or the athletes who are disabled like in the Para-Olympics.

But, I am afraid these people are in the minority, there are many disabled persons for whom, none of the above is possible, even some basic employment may not be possible.  The only income these people with disabilities will have, come from State Benefits, provided they are lucky to live in a country which provides these benefits. I say lucky and perhaps, this is not the correct word, because no matter how it is reported in local and national media regarding benefit fraud, State Disability Benefits are not easy to obtain, especially in the current financial climate. Please also bear in mind that these benefits are only to provide a reasonable standard of living, what ever reasonable means. Is reasonable another way of saying standard or average?

The report mentioned above ‘The Other Care Crisis’ is focused on the situation in the UK, where the provision of these benefits are from Central Government agencies, mainly connected to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The current benefits are:

Carers and disability benefits

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults – what you’ll get, eligibility, applying, Personal Independence Payment

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) rates

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you

  • Carer’s Allowance

    Carer’s Allowance is money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for – eligibility, apply, claim for DS700

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) money if you can’t work because of illness or disability – rates, eligibility, apply, assessment

  • Access to Work

    Access to Work is money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition – eligibility, how to apply

  • Attendance Allowance

    Attendance Allowance helps pay for your personal care if you’re older or disabled – rates, eligibility, apply, claim form AA1A

  • Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits

    Apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits – how to apply, stop being an appointee

But DLA is for 16-64 years olds, to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from April 2013 for new claimants, with existing DLA claimants being contacted over the next 2-3 years.

To some extent, PIP is being introduced to ensure only genuine claimants will be entitled to it, but at the same time the eligibility criteria is being made more restrictive. So this will mean some genuine claimants receiving DLA, will not get PIP or their rate will be reduced.

But as stated above, if your only income is State Benefits and these are cut, this is bound to affect your standard of living. If, this was only reasonable to start with, then what will it be called. If reasonable is standard or average, then is this bringing the funding down to provide a sub-standard of living or below average?

If you feel this is unreasonable you can contact your MP by following the link

PIP Emergency – Act Now!.

In addition to the State Benefits, a person with a disability may be entitled or may be in receipt of a care package from their Local Authority from funding provided by Central Government. This will be in the form of Direct Payments from a Personal Individualised Budget. An individual will be expected to make a contribution from their own income towards their budget. These Direct Payments are not additional general income, but are there to pay for the costs of care, which have been shown to be required from the Assessment of Need and the resulting Support Plan. The Assessment of Need will be undertaken by an assigned  Social Worker and the Support Plan from information in the Assessment will be prepared by either the assigned Social Worker or an assigned Support Planner. The Support Planner could be either employed by the Local Authority or from an independent organisation.

But due to the current financial crisis in the World and especially the UK, all Local Authorities have been directed by Central Government to make savings from their spending. This is not only for this year, but from the last few years and also for some years to come. All persons in receipt of a service from a Local Authority are effected, not only those receiving benefits. So, not only could your sole income of State Benefits be cut, but Local Authorities will also be tightening their own eligibility criteria for entitlement to Direct Payments. This will further affect your standard of living.

Should this essential spending, even be subject to cuts?