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Why Community Care is supporting disability cuts campaign #ombh

heartbreak badge.jpgCommunity Care is supporting the Broken of Britain’s blogswarm from 14-16 January.



The event, “one month before heartbreak”, is to raise awareness of the ongoing consultation to reform disability living allowance, which ends on 14 February.

Across the disability channel of our website, on our home page, forums and Facebook page you will see links to some of the many articles from people outraged about the proposals.

The proposed cuts to DLA are many and savage.

Service users are united in condemning the cuts.

“Cuts to disabled mobility benefit will leave people with £14 a week,” says Learning disability support provider Dimensions in a guest entry on our adult services blog.

Government claims over the DLA have been dismissed as a myth, by a coalition of 27 disability charities. The case they make is powerful and convincing.

The stark reality is that the reforms will be a double whammy to councils. The planned cut in the number of people receiving DLA will reduce the amount of money that councils can raise through means-tested care charges.

This is because councils can take into account the care component of DLA when calculating users’ income for charges. Fewer people on DLA, without providing an alternate source of income for them, therefore reduces what councils can charge for.

To make matters worse, the DLA cuts will increase demand on social care services, whist these very services are being slashed in the face of savage public sector funding cuts.

As Emma Crees, author of the Writer in a Wheelchair blog, writes: “If I didn’t have that [DLA] money, I wouldn’t cope and I’d soon be back knocking on social services’ door asking for help.”



If that’s not bad enough, councils are already restricting eligibility criteria to critical only. More demand will put intolerable pressure on social care professionals who are already overworked. (Let’s not forget: one in 10 social work posts are vacant and one in six social workers have more than 40 cases. It is these hard-pressed frontline professionals who must make impossible decisions about care for people in great need when there simply isn’t enough money to go round.)

The impact of the DLA cuts should concern all those who care about excellence in social care.

So, if you haven’t already, support the campaign and make sure your voice is heard before it’s too late.

Other content you may be interested in

 

“I don’t think the government have been that honest,” says shadow minister for disabled people Margaret Curran about the changes to disability living allowance’s mobility component

Sign the petition to stop DLA reform

Get out of your comfort zone, disability living allowance cuts are relevant to all, says @bendygirl

Deconstruction of the case for reform

The Social Work Contract

About Ruth Smith, editor

Ruth Smith is editor of Community Care. She won New Editor of the Year 2013 at the PPA New Talent Awards. When not at work she enjoys cooking, gardening and dress making.

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5 Responses to Why Community Care is supporting disability cuts campaign #ombh

  1. BendyGirl 12 April , 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Community Care’s support is hugely important and appreciated, thank you all. BG Xx

  2. Robin 12 April , 2013 at 1:12 am #

    There’s also the issue of people in care homes using their mobility componant of DLA to fund a powerchair, because wheelchair services are underfunded and overstretched, so whilst they provide chairs that meet people’s absolute basic requirements, anything above that needs to be self-funded.

    If someone in a care home uses their higher-rate DLA to fund their powerchair, they will lose this, and hence their chair, leaving them immobile. Who will then fund people’s chairs?

    Powerchairs can cost many thousands of pounds depending on an individual’s requirements. Taking them away from people seems to be both cruel, and a false economy.

  3. Ruth Smith, editor 12 April , 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Thanks for your comments Bendy Girl and Robin. One month before heartbreak #ombh is really important. DWP has just phoned us to tell us why we are wrong, but I really think Maria Miller doesn’t have a leg to stand on. When @ComCareAdults interviewed her, she admitted she didn’t know the effect of the benefit reforms on disabled people. Maybe she should try life in a wheelchair and on benefits for a while?

    http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2010/12/08/115970/effect-of-benefit-reforms-on-disabled-people-unknown-says-minister.htm

  4. Rosemary 12 April , 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Hi Ruth,

    I know where you are coming from with your comment -

    The stark reality is that the reforms will be a double whammy to councils

    . However, there is another possible double blow too.

    As you know 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.

    Even for those wherein DLA entitlement would remain the same, there is still uncertainty for some familys regarding the future of Carers Allowance . Answers are needed now.

    The Broken of Britain team are to be commended for their iniatitive with this One Month Before Heartbreak campaign, and well done to ComCare too for supporting them.

  5. Ruth Smith, editor 12 April , 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Hi Rosemary,
    Thanks for this, a really important point. We’ll do our best to get some answers from the government for you.