Dec 192011

DPAC are learning that a rising number of disabled people are losing their entitlement to DLA and are being refused DLA. This is before the coalitions promised cut of 20% of DLA cases and before the change from DLA to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). At the DPAC conference many suggested that DPAC used more personal stories in lobbying.

We are asking for your personal stories on DLA and on DLA reassessments.

DLA was originally set up to pay for the extra costs of being disabled in society of barriers for disabled people-these barriers still exist. DLA is a social model focused payment which originally recognised the extra costs of being disabled, although the test has always been based on the medical model.

The extra costs of disability come from the barriers that people face or the adaptations they might need because of their impairment or long term illness. For example  needing your own, or a form of accessible transport, extra costs of attending hospital appointments, needing aids to overcome barriers caused by the design of certain products, aids to get around, needing to spend more on shoes because of mobility, needing a special diet, needing someone to help you stay safe and so on.

Please write to your MPs with your stories and copy DPAC in to your emails

We are asking you to send:

Your personal stories, your experiences of being refused DLA and what the extra costs of disability, impairment, long term illness are for you

To find your MP see they work for you and also copy to DPAC

Deadline: 12th January

MPs will be back in parliament on the 12th January and will discuss changes from DLA to PIP on 17th January

The stories that you copy to DPAC will be put together for DPAC lobbying and campaigns: on changes to DLA, on the welfare reform Bill and disability benefits overall. We will post updates on progress on the DPAC web

DPAC has a wide network but it is only by people spreading the word that we can grow stronger together and work to highlight what is happening to disabled people across the UK together.

 see: social model response to loss of DLA

Aug 142011

legs of a wheelchair userLeft Foot Forward reported that:

The Department for Work and Pensions has acknowledged that one of the key statistics it has used to justify radical change to disability benefits ‘gives a distorted picture’.

One of the main ‘stylised facts’ that the DWP has used to make the case for aggressive reform of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been that the caseload increased by 30% over the last eight years- a phenomenon which a DWP source described as ‘inexplicable’.

Read the figures at Left Foot Forward

Further on

While it is welcome that the Department now recognises the inadequacies of its earlier statements on DLA caseload growth, the publication of this analysis at this late stage is a matter of concern, for two reasons.

The first is the stress the government has placed on the 30% figure as evidence of major flaws in the system requiring radical reform:  the consultation document on DLA reform stated:

“In just eight years the numbers receiving DLA has [sic] increased by 30%. The complexity and subjectivity of the benefit has led to a wider application than was originally intended.”

With the Welfare Reform Bill having already passed its report stage in the Commons and due to go to the Lords in September, government surely needs to explain how the downward revision from 30% to 16% affects the case for its proposals.

The second reason for disquiet is this: government is engaged in radical cuts and reforms to disability benefits, including a reduction in caseload and expenditure by 20% against projections for 2016 and the abolition of DLA and its replacement with a new system, Personal Independence Payment.

Yet it now appears that prior to deciding on these ambitious projects, DWP failed to carry out the most rudimentary analysis of the changes in DLA caseload which reform was supposed to address.

And finally

The government would appear to have launched itself into a radical programme of change affecting millions of disabled people without troubling to understand the first thing about the benefit it claims to be reforming. One has to ask whether this sort of amateurishness would be tolerated in any other major area of government spending.

We would say very probably not. But at the rate this government is going, we might say that the amateurishness starts at the highest echelon.

Read the full article at Left Foot Forward