Archive for the ‘deaf’ Category

Will I still get Personal Independence Payments if G4S can’t talk to me?

27 November 2011

 

When I was asked to take part in the testing of the first draft of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment, I was very uneasy about it. While I didn’t want to be seen as condoning it; I chose to take part to prove to what extent the assessments pose difficulties for other deafblind people.

I am a profoundly deafblind wheelchair user, and have other medical needs. Most people are likely to think that someone with my impairments and long-term health conditions would be one of "the most vulnerable in society" that this government claims to be protecting. Yet, the coalition’s insistence on face-to-face assessments will probably lead to me losing out because quite simply, I wasn’t able to take part in the pilot.

Will I still get Personal Independence Payments if G4S can’t talk to me? | Society | guardian.co.uk

An opportunity to raise YOUR voice to break the silence

21 September 2011

This is a joint venture between CarerWatch, The Broken of Britain, Disabled people Against Cuts and ACTnow

Everyone is urged to support this.

To all our members and supporters;

The Labour party conference starts in Liverpool on Saturday. As we all know, Labour were the architects of Employment Support Allowance and the ‘not fit for purpose’ Work Capability Assessment which is so stressful and traumatic it was linked to the suicide of claimants whilst Labour were still in power. The Labour party are the official party of opposition, but they are not opposing the Welfare Reform Bill as they should be and seem to have forgotten that the 10 million sick and or disabled people plus carers, friends and family in the UK have the power to vote. It is time for us to remind Labour that they will not get any of our votes if they do not start to oppose the parts of the Welfare Reform Bill set to return sick people, disabled people and carers to a life of desperation, dependency, despair and charity.

We are asking you to help with a mass email to the Labour party to remind them of our voting power. Please include the following details in your email and send it to Ed Miliband, Margaret Curran (shadow minister for disability) and Liam Byrne (shadow minister for DWP). If you have time please also email it to any Labour MP and particularly any members of the shadow cabinet. We have provided a list of email contacts below.

Please aim to send your email at 11am tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd September) If you can’t send the email at 11am, don’t worry, just please try to send it at any time between then and the end of Labour party conference on Wednesday 29th September.

The email subject should read “Your Silence Is Deafening”

We suggest embedding a link to this youtube video “The Sound of Silence” To embed the video into your email just copy and paste the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsX03LOMhI  

Then please copy the following text into your email;

Dear (insert name here)

‘The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem disinterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled, never become a carer’, for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.’

If you would like to add a short, personal message explaining to Labour how you feel about their lack of support for sick, disabled people and carers then please include it after the suggested text. You might also like to include a photo of yourself, or perhaps a photo of what disability, sickness or caring means to you. Don’t worry if you don’t want to personalise the email, sending the suggested text is fine.

Contact details below

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Liam Byrne
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
byrnel@parliament.uk
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
margaret.curran.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
coopery@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Chief Secretary
Angela Eagle
eaglea@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills
John Denham
denhamj@parliament.uk
 
Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics
Tessa Jowell
jowellt@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Caroline Flint
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4407
Fax: 020 7219 1277
caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
Ivan Lewis
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
lewisi@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 
Hilary Benn
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Jim Murphy
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
jimmurphymp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mary Creagh
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6984/020 7219 8766
Fax: 020 7219 4257
creaghm@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator
Andy Burnham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
andy.burnham.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice
Sadiq Khan
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
sadiqkhanmp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Meg Hillier
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5325
Fax: 020 7219 8768
meghilliermp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
John Healey
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
healeyj@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shaun Woodward
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
woodwardsh@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Ann McKechin
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
ann.mckechin.mp@parliament.uk
Constituency
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Maria Eagle
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
eaglem@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
hainp@parliament.uk
 
 
Steven Timms MP
timmss@parliament.uk
stephen@stephentimms.org.uk

Karen Buck MP

buckk@parliament.uk

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
 
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now

Notes

Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

Commission Report Published | Dilnot Commission

4 July 2011

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support has presented its findings to the Government in its report Fairer Care Funding, published on 4th July 2011. The letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health sent with the report is available for you to read below.

letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health (PDF: 149KB)

The independent commission, set up by the Government last July, was asked to recommend a fair and sustainable funding system for adult social care in England.

Commission Report Published | Dilnot Commission

READ IN FULL

A space to discuss the Dilnot report – funding of Care and Support

4 July 2011

Tomorrow sees the publication of the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of care and support – a significant policy development for anyone interested in social care for people of all ages.

Discussion on Twitter has used the #dilnot hashtag for people’s thoughts and to share links/information regarding the Commission. ( also #carecrisis and #socialcare)

People on Twitter have built networks and will be interested in the many responses that will be published by individuals/groups/charities etc. For many time will be limited.

Therefore after a discussion among a few people who host highly respected blogs, it was agreed that ArbitraryConstant  (aka Rich Watt) would offer space, so a frank and open discussion could take place by anyone interested in social care issues.

With many thanks to @rich_w, @monstertalk and @jrfemma for their willingness to try this.

So once you have read the Dilnot report, if you want to discuss the details, please join in with the discussion here

Paul Burstow MP writes: Social care’s little secret – it’s never been free

2 July 2011

 

None of us know if we will need care in the future, or how much it might cost. But we do know that 1 in 4 of us will face care costs of more than £50,000. What’s more, 1 in 10 will be unlucky enough to face care costs of more than £100,000 in our older age. This is social care’s nasty little secret.

Right now, local councils decide how to spend money on care and support. As a result, there can be big differences between care and support in different areas. Access to support can vary depending on where you live, irrespective of whether or not you have the same care need as someone else. All of this means we have a system that leaves people utterly confused about what help they will receive.

But social care doesn’t just matter because of the costs. It matters because it goes to the very heart of our society where families are the bedrock of care. I don’t believe it’s the business of Government to force people to care for their loved ones. But it is the business of Government to help them if they do so. That’s been our focus in Government over the past twelve months.

READ IN FULL HERE

Carers need statement from Coalition Government re Carers Allowance

22 June 2011

In support of Carers Week 2011, CarerWatch set up an information stand in a local Gala hall covering the period Wednesday 15th June through to Sunday 19th June 2011.  

The theme was the True Face of Caring and facts and figures can be found here

It has always been important to reach carers, to provide advice and information, and this year it has become even more vital.

Changes proposed within the Welfare Reform Bill, coupled with cuts to Social Services are going to have a massive effect on many familys.

Families providing care are a necessity and as the number of elderly increases and medicine breakthroughs continue, many people with illnesses will live longer…and the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  Carers are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments past and present have taken them for granted, have taken their Love for granted.

Carers seem to have been completely forgotten, as benefits are changed around them. Both ‘Refresh Carers Strategy’ and ’21st Century Welfare’ – failed to address the issue of Carers Allowance and now the WR Bill is repeating that mistake. The only detail we know is that CA will remain outside of the Universal Credit.

 However, it still remains the lowest of all benefits, claimed by a group of people that contribute immensely to our society. We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron last week  but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says…Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now

Campaigners hope peers will secure changes to welfare reforms

22 June 2011

 News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Campaigners are hoping to persuade peers to make significant changes to the government’s welfare reform bill, after coalition MPs approved measures that could see hundreds of thousands of disabled people lose some or all of their benefits.

The bill passed its report and third reading stages in the Commons, despite Labour opposition, and now passes to the Lords.

But campaigners believe that peers – seen as more independent-minded than MPs – will secure important changes to the proposed legislation.

Neil Coyle, director of policy for Disability Alliance, said it was “disappointing” that the bill had been approved by MPs, but added: “We are hopeful for significant change in the House of Lords.”

He said MPs’ decision-making had been “hampered” by the “deeply harmful” refusal of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide “even a rough estimate of the number of people who stand to lose out”.

He said: “We are desperately trying to find out who is affected, so decision-makers [in parliament] can have that information to hand.”

Among the measures still causing concern are proposals to remove the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP) – the planned replacement for disability living allowance (DLA) – from most disabled people in residential care.

Campaigners hope peers will secure changes to welfare reforms

Time to care? by Laura Bradley

21 June 2011

 

It is becoming increasingly clear that social care is in crisis. The travails of Southern Cross care homes, coupled with yesterday’s revelations about the inadequate state of home-care, point to the strain the system is under.

A mixture of budget cuts and increased demand mean local councils mean the amount they are willing to spend on care is falling, putting pressure on organisations providing care. There has also been a reduction in council admissions to care homes, with Southern Cross reporting a 14 per cent reduction over the last year. But neither are councils willing to support these people by providing carers to visit them in their own homes. Most councils now only offer home-care to people with the most critical needs, and the remainder will soon follow-suit.

Time to care? | Laura Bradley | Independent Notebook Blogs

The Hardest Hit – We Did It

20 June 2011

Received from Hardest Hit organisers

 

We did it!

The day of action on 11 May was a great success – we estimate that around 8,000 disabled people, their families and friends took part in the march and 600 disabled people met their MPs to raise the issue of the cuts to DLA and support services.

There was extensive national, regional and local media coverage with at least 500 separate news items related to the event. If you haven’t yet seen our video coverage from the day, you can still watch it.

The rally saw Liam Byrne MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) powerfully express his support for the Hardest Hit campaign and the day made many MPs and peers aware of the strength of feeling against these cuts.

The Hardest Hit protest has successfully got the issues we care about on their radar. The challenge over the next few months is to capitalise on the pressure we’ve built up and deliver the change we all want to see.

So what happens next

(more…)


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