Monday, 10 June 2013
Disability benefit cuts be aware of what’s going on
Today changes are being rolled out in disability benefits. The change from DLA to PIP enters another phase being rolled out in other parts of the country. • Concern? A new system of disability benefits has begun to take effect across England, Scotland and Wales. Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) are replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as part of the government's welfare reforms. The government claims PIPs will target resources more effectively towards those who need it most. But a charity warns that almost a fifth of claimants - 600,000 people - could eventually lose their benefits. Since April, thousands of new claimants in the north of England have already applied for PIPs. Now, new claimants of working age in the rest of Britain will also have to apply for a PIP, rather than DLA. Northern Ireland will join the system later. From October, PIPs will be extended further, when the government will start to re-assess existing claimants, but only those who circumstances have changed. The vast majority of the 3.2 million people who currently claim DLA will not be re-assessed until 2015 or later. Many disabled people fear having to be put through the new in-person tests to test their eligibility. Phil Sumner, a former postman who has multiple sclerosis, told the BBC that the prospect of an interview is "quite intimidating". "It's like being judged again. Filling out forms is bad enough. Face-to-face, I don't like anyway," he said. Savings Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) suggest that 450,000 will no longer be able to claim the benefit by 2018. But the disability charity Scope said that - including those who would have been new claimants between now to 2018 - some 607,000 people will miss out in total. The government claims the new system will better target those who need help. Under DLA, most people filled in their own application forms, and did not have to re-apply, even if their health improved. "Seventy-one percent would have indefinite awards, without regular checks," the disabilities minister, Esther McVeigh, told the BBC. "So this is about targeting billions of pounds a year at the people who n So we are told. I am currently on DLA and am not being reassessed just yet I don’t expect to be for sometime but it is a worry at the back of your mind. My eyesight is unlikely to ever improve so how is my situation ever likely to change? I was awarded my DLA for life when I got it and don’t see why this has to change. I will have to see what happens but I don’t see why I should be targeted while the rich laugh all the way to the banks evading billions in tax. Quite clearly this is an attack on disabled people who as we know can’t fight back so easily so are an easy target for this vicious and cruel government. All benefit cuts must be fought as best we can. Keep a watch on my blog for further updates on benefit cuts and disability news and views.