Most disabled people would have to cut back on food and transport if they lost out on disability living allowance under plans to cut the benefit, a survey has found.
A Papworth Trust survey found that 86% of people would have to cut back on essentials if their benefit were stopped or reduced following government plans to replace DLA with personal independence payment (PIP), which is set to have tighter eligibility criteria, from 2013.
Seventy-four per cent of respondents said they would not have enough money for everything they needed following a cut, 64% said they would be less independent and 51% would have to rely more on friends and family.
Just 5% said a benefit cut would have no impact on their lives.
Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they thought the government was penalising disabled people unfairly with the cut, while a third feared the assessment for PIP would be unfair.
The top five items people would have to reduce spending on if they did not qualify for the PIP were: household goods like food and drink, utility bills, specialist transport and health needs such as medication and therapies.
Papworth Trust chief executive Adrian Bragg said: “Disabled people’s daily costs are typically 25% higher than those of non-disabled people.
“We know that all parts of society are facing cuts. Our survey shows that for 5% of disabled people, these cuts would have little or no effect, but given the government is seeking a 20% reduction, this will mean real-terms cuts that further disadvantage many disabled people.”
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