Disabled people in Scotland face the impact of several simultaneous cuts to their benefits, say disability campaigners at Inclusion Scotland. They describe the affect as being akin to a virtual Tsunami which will devastate disabled people’s living standards causing hardship and homelessness. They say that the Department for Work & Pensions has refused to carry out a cumulative impact assessment of the effect of welfare cuts on disabled people forcing Inclusion Scotland to do their job for them.
Labour MP Ian Mearns has called for a debate in Westminster Hall which will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, 18th December, on the effects of welfare reform on disabled people, their carers and families. This debate follows over a year’s campaigning by disabled people and carers who have worked hard to promote blind activist and carer Pat Onions’ petition asking the government to stop and review the cuts to disabled people’s benefits & services. In spite of restricted media coverage, “Pat’s Petition” collected over 62,600 signatures.
IS have analysed the changes using the DWP’s statistics and have calculated that the combined effect of the cuts planned under the guise of welfare “reform” will have a devastating impact on disabled people (who are more likely to rely benefits for some or all of their income than non-disabled people).
For example: (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘welfare reform’
Disabled people will be impoverished as they face a “Tsunami” of benefit cuts – says Inclusion Scotland18 December 2012
Meeting starts on Tuesday 18 December at 2.30pm
Private Members’ Debate:
Effects of welfare reform on disabled people, their carers and families – Ian Mearns
Once started you can watch live here
The program of welfare reform and cuts is proceeding with alarming momentum and the needs of carers and disabled people are being lost in the fiscal crisis.
CarerWatch urge those participating in this debate to please look past the fantasy and wishful thinking - to the reality of what these cuts and reforms are actually doing to many individuals/families.
Guest post by Lisa Jones
Of course there is a psychological aspect to everything. And the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is no exception.
When I helped my son fill in the Work Capability Assessment form the only point I wanted him to make was that as he has paranoid schizophrenia – his level of functioning swings about alarmingly according to his state of mind. He can achieve things when he feels relaxed and confident that immediately become impossible when he is stressed.
He feels under attack very easily and the WCA assessment process would be threatening to him as would the work program. He would probably become far more ill and the small amount he now achieves would be threatened.
While paranoid schizophrenia is an illness which demonstrates this adverse
response to bullying and threats in text book fashion – there are shades of this reaction in most sick and disabled people. I am sure some people respond positively to the school of hard knocks and buck up and pick up their beds and walk because never say never – there is always someone – but in my experience most people with an illness or a disability respond to stress by getting worse.
It is therefore essential that control of what they can and can’t do is left to them to decide – not someone else who has not walked in their shoes. Until the WRAG respects this it is not a safe place for sick and disabled people and is going to cause a lot of them to become more ill.
A campaigner with severe mental health issues told me -
the community can best help us by helping us keep as well as we can. That is the best way for us to achieve our aims.
The bullying in the WRAG goes about things in completely the opposite way. It stresses people and makes them more ill and is completely counterproductive.
Disabled people, those with serious illness, need help and support, not threats, sanctions and time limits.
Andrew Marr, former BBC Political Editor, interviews key newsmakers and shines a
light on what’s happening in the world. Includes a review of the Sunday
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watch here at 9 am Sunday Nov 4th 2012
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Guest post by Lynn
My name is Lynn, I’m 60 years old and I’d like to share my son’s illness with you all to try and help you understand the predicament thousands of others like my son are faced with next year, regarding DWP Benefit Reform for the sick and disabled.
My youngest son aged 40 has suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia and emotional instability Personality Disorder since the age of 18. I have lived the illness with my son, the highs, the lows, and numerous hospital admissions over the years. My son had another very bad psychotic breakdown in August 2010, which resulted in a section 3 of the Mental Health Act and he has been in hospital care for 2 years this time.
Although my son is nearly 40 years old, mentally he is only 15, he is immature and extremely vulnerable and easily exploited. Therefore needs much support and care when living in the community. My son, like thousands like him, who suffer from a Severe and Enduring mental health problem, has no voice when it comes to the DWP or ATOS, he like others wouldn’t be able cope with being interviewed next year 2013 when the Disability Living Allowance changes to Personal Independence Payment and he has to be assessed by DWP. He, again like many others, who suffer severe mental illness, doesn’t believe he is ill, and just wants to be left alone.
You have a blank canvas, can address it to any Minister of your choosing.
You can ask a question or make a statement.
What would be on YOUR canvas? Add comments below
Please note some of the comments will be used by CarerWatch
Please sign Pat’s Petition here
Then share the link asking as many others to do the same.
SEPTEMBER 13th 2pm CENTRAL HALL, HOUSE OF COMMONSMEET 1.30pm- 1.45pm at College Green, Abingdon Street if you want to go in as a group.We hope to organise a meeting with MPs before the lobby but even if we can’t do this due to the summer recess we will be lobbying MPs and then having another picnic in the Central Hall. Please bring plenty of bread and water to eat and share. We then hope to make a visit to another relevant building nearby.“The Independent Living Fund is a ring fenced resource, for disabled people with high support needs that can provide a better lifestyle and outcomes for service users whose full needs would not be met by local authority funding. “Unlike local authority and health care funding which tends to focus simply on keeping disabled people alive and clean the funding available from ILF helps disabled people to take part in society on an equal basis to non-disabled people.In 2010 Maria Miller, minister for Disabled People announced ILF was unsustainable and it was immediately closed to new applicants. It is planned to close completely from 2015 with no replacement funding put in place to provide this vital support to those with the most complex support needs. There is currently a very unsatisfactory consultation taking place about the future of ILF funding.We must make it clear that we will not be silenced by this government’s injustices nor will we simply disappear.To lobby your MP you need to go to the House of Commons visitor’s entrance and fill out a green card or contact your MP beforehand and tell them you want to lobby them about keeping the Independent Living Fund and why it is important to you.You can find your MPs contact details at www.parliament.uk or you can write to them at House of Commons< London, SW1A 0AA.
Over 41,000 people have supported Pat’s Petition.Have YOU and your contacts?
Please sign and share asking others to do the same
Britain on the Sick channel 4 Mon 30th July 8pm watch here
Using undercover filming, reporter Jackie Long investigates the shocking processes used to assess whether sickness and disability benefit claimants should be declared fit for work.
Disabled or Faking It? Mon 8.30pm watch here
Panorama investigates the government’s plans to end the so-called ‘sick note
culture’ and their attempts to get millions of people off disability benefits
and into work. In Britain’s modern welfare state, millions are being paid to
private companies to assess sick and disabled claimants but is the system
working? Or are new tests wrongly victimising those who deserve support the
Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families
sign Pats Petition here and share with others