One Month Before Heartbreak – a great success

Carer Watch are fully supportive of our sister group The Broken of Britain’s’ blogswarm this weekend regarding the changes to Disability Living Allowance proposed by the government.  Whilst we are primarily a carer campaigning group, many persons who live with disability are also members.

For disabled people and carers tied to the home, the World Wide Web is a great campaigning tool and we intend to continue using it as so. We have all found each other on the web so we decided to work alongside each other on issues that will affect our lives, and to make ourselves heard.

The blogswarm is an excellent initiative of Emma Crees, and full details of support given to date can be found here on One Month Before Heartbreak blog.

A master list is available and is being updated constantly.

It has most definitely been a weekend to remember – to witness many individuals, groups, bloggers all joining together to support One Month Before Heartbreak.

Face book and Twitter were inundated with posts/tweets and hash tags used included #ombh and #TboB.

The petition re DLA has been well supported too.

 What is DLA? 

DLA is an essential benefit that was specifically designed to provide financial support towards the extra costs incurred by people living with a disability.  DLA payments have enabled hundreds of thousands of disabled people to maintain a degree of independence and quality of life that would have otherwise been lost to them. DLA has nothing to do with employment – it is a benefit to support disabled people meet the genuine costs of living with a disability. Cutting or reducing DLA will in many cases have a reverse effect on employment and remove the financial support that helps some disabled people get ready to go out to work.

Because Middle and Higher rate DLA are both also passport benefits to enable family members to claim Carers Allowance, removing or reducing DLA will not only have an enormous financial impact on disabled people it will also impact on their carers – a double blow which will especially hit hard those families on the poverty line.

Carers have been completely forgotten as benefits are changed around them.

Many disabled people and carers feel that for them, the covenant on welfare seems to have been broken. They had never expected that the Conservative, Labour and LibDem Parties would all abandon them like this.  No party is demonstrating any understanding of their situation or offering them any reassurance or protection. Unrealistic and cavalier talk of ‘helping’ them in to work is ill informed and adds to their fears that politicians do not understand the reality of caring, illness and disability.

It is even more alarming that the Coalition plan a new regime of  ’non medical tests ‘ as happened with Employment Support Allowance. A ‘test’, which was designed to throw 1 million people off sickness, benefit altogether. It is a ‘test’ you are planned to fail.

Of course we want the aspiration of work to be open to disabled people and carers, but with rising unemployment coupled with cuts to social care support services, the abolition of the Independent Living Fund, realistically how many will find work and how soon?

We are concerned that the most severely and enduringly ill people will be subject to threats and sanctions for not finding work and have incomes reduced as a result.  

Over 100 comments from individuals can be found here and also here 

Kaliya Franklin blogs at Benefit Scrounging Scum and as she explains here

It might seem too dull or difficult to think about but, remember, we disabled people are the same as you, it’s just that we’ve already experienced our life-altering situation and you are yet to do so.

Please support The Broken of Britain with their submission to the government and forward your testimony to Rhydian Fon James – rhydian@thebrokenofbritain.org

Carer Watch  would like to congratulate all those that organised the One Month Before Heartbreak event. Their passion and commitment made it a great success.

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4 Responses to “One Month Before Heartbreak – a great success”

  1. Tweets that mention One Month Before Heartbreak – a great success « Carer Watch's Blog -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BendyGirl, Broken OfBritain and others. Broken OfBritain said: https://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/one-month-before-heartbreak-a-great-success/ […]

  2. malka Says:

    If any one heard Ed Miliband on Andrew Marr’s show this morning will now know for sure that not only he will not oppose the welfare reforms of the tories, he doesn’t even understand them………..the secret is now out the labour party is now in the coalition where welfare and the disabled are concerned……………Let’s keep up the fight more than ever
    and remember this at the next election, when we were sold down the river by Labour/con/dems……

  3. Kate Says:

    Question 6
    How do we prioritise support to those people least able to live full and active lives? Which activities are most essential for everyday life
    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a good starting point:

    At the bottom of the hierarchy it’s essential to meet the basic needs such as food, warmth (disabled people are often more inactive and are more likely to be spending long amounts of time at home and therefore are going to incur more heating costs), shelter (housing needs must be met and adapted).

    This would also include toilet needs/access to toilets – this is important when disabled people are out. If there are no toilets nearby or easily accessible, this can prevent or ruin an outing

    Bathing and washing hair – there are visible physical disabilities and invisible disabilities. For instance, people who have problems with temperature regulation (a symptom of fibromyalgia) may avoid bathing or washing hair because of their oversensitivity to cold and damp

    Moving up the hierarchy after the basic needs are met, come things like protection, security and stability. This is where legislation would be made to protect vulnerable people. Health protection would be another example eg being able to access doctors, dentists, be able to have free prescriptions and have support when having routine medical procedures. For instance, because of my disability routine medical procedures can be agony for me eg smears (unable to be completed because of pain), mammograms (been avoided because of likelihood of pain), ear syringe (excrutiating pain), blood pressure checks (unable to have them with automatic inflation, manual ones more bearable)

    It’s only when the essential needs are met that a person, disabled or otherwise, can try and engage with the wider society eg being able to participate in social activities without it being assumed that a person is able to work. Both work and social activities can take it out of the disabled and vulnerable but social life can be tailored to an individual’s needs without being pressured by government departments. An allowance could be the difference between a disabled person participating or not eg an allowance can help with transport or the accompaniment of another person

    Creative fulfillment – being able to particpate in creative activities can lift the spirits and feelings of well-being of a disabled person, providing fulfillment and a sense of worth in the way some work can do. Again this can be tailored to an individual’s needs without being pressured by government departments. An allowance could be the difference between a disabled person participating or not eg an allowance can help with transport or the accompaniment of another person. Feelings of achievement, self-worth and fulfillment can only be achieved when the essential needs are met

  4. Carl Thompson Says:

    Great post!

    Regards,

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