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Disabled campaigners respond to scrapping of Disability Living Allowance

Although government plans for DLA aren't making the headlines in the way that student tuition fees are, they deserve equal attention.

The government has announced that Disability Living Allowance, used by disabled people to pay for everyday things like heating and specialist equipment, is “unsustainable” – and plans to replace it with a "Personal Independence Payment". Although it's not making the headlines in the way that student tuition fees are, it deserves equal attention. The formidable Broken of Britain blog has given an in-depth response which states:

"PIP is supposed to be simpler than DLA, although much of the perceived complexity is due to a wider lack of understanding of the nature of disability. In this context, what simpler really means is cheaper – especially as the plans are to cut 20% of the DLA caseload. This cut will be needed to pay for incredibly costly reassessments to people with conditions with no hope of recovery such as quadriplegia or degenerative genetic diseases."

The campaign adds:

"This change will be an unnecessary and expensive rebranding exercise. Although the caseload will be reduced, PIP will still look very much like DLA albeit with a 21st century name at a time when government spending, is supposedly, being squeezed. The current system allows for automatic entitlement to DLA for certain conditions. The new system will not; all claimants will be required to be reassessed every few years. This is not only foolish, but also costly as automatically entitled conditions are by nature the most severe and incurable. The only thing that will be achieved is extra cost of unnecessary assessment, additional complication instead of simplification and inconvenience for severely ill people.

"Additional waste comes from ignoring the reality that people will remain disabled and have needs even if they are no longer able to qualify for benefits. They will be ignored up to the point they become seriously ill and end up costing the NHS and local authorities more in terms of hospitals and residential care. Furthermore, the proposed reforms ignore the fact that some conditions are severe but acute. Not supporting short-term illness and disability makes it more likely this will become a costly long-term problem therefore increasing dependency.

"The PIP proposals will see some current recipients of social care losing financial benefits now paid over at least in part to the local authorities for receipt of that care. This will force local authorities to make up the shortfall in funding likely achievable through cutting care packages. Another hole in the recommendations made is the impact of these plans on independent living, making that harder to achieve. Removing DLA from those who receive care packages, and especially recipients in residential care, will not promote independence."

Read the full response here:
The Broken Of Britain Response To DLA Reform Consultation


And for more well-informed reports see:

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