Protect Disability Benefits – No More Cuts

Signing petitions and adding my name to open letters is not really my thing That’s not to say that I never do, just that it has to be a cause with which I agree totally. Now, I find that I have endorsed two – and urge you to do the same.

With the general election getting ever closer, the UK’s MS Society, along with other members of the Disability Benefits Consortium, is inviting you to sign an open letter to party leaders, urging them to protect disability benefits. The letter calls for no more cuts in the next UK Government. 

The consortium is a national coalition of more than 80 charities and organisations. It is standing up for more than 13 million disabled people in the UK, who spend an average of £550 a month on costs related to their disability. That’s #13millionlives.

When the MS Society asked what issues matter at this election, hundreds made contact, one issue that stood out above all others – no more cuts to disability benefits.

The society’s chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “Financial support is vital for people with MS to live independent lives and participate fully in society.

“We have a crucial opportunity to make our voice heard before the election. We’re urging party leaders to protect disability benefits from further cuts in the next Parliament.”

I have added my name, will you join me?

Add your name to the open letter to party leaders. Tell the next government to make no more cuts to disability benefits. 

To add your name, and call for no more cuts, click on this logo: 

 

no more cuts

 

In a similar vein, there is a petition started by Dorothy Jump that has so far gained more than 28,000 signatures – including mine.

It concerns indefinite awards of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). As part of the process of switching from DLA to Personal Independence Payment, the so-called indefinite awards are being reviewed; they are no longer regarded as indefinite.

Dorothy’s petition is to ‘stop the change to indefinite claim on Disability Living Allowance Benefit’.

This, I have also signed. You can join me, by clicking this logo: no more cuts

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Diagnosed with MS in 2002, he continued to work until mobility problems made him retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective. Besides that, he is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

Move DLA lifetime recipients to PIP without further demoralisation and humiliation, government is urged

38degrees-orange  dla lifetime

Having had the British government drop its planned £30 a week cut, from next year, to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for new claimants placed in the Work-Related – another campaign is now under way.

PIP is a new benefit aimed at replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but the transfer of people between the two has been slow and laborious – and still hasn’t been finished.

Some people were awarded DLA for set periods of time before their claims had to be reviewed but the people with more serious disabilities that were not going to improve, including MS, were give lifetime or indefinite awards

The change-over to PIP, however, means that working age recipients of DLA lifetime awards are being invited to apply for PIP and go through the assessment process all over again.

Now, however, campaign group 38 degrees is saying that a second assessment is both demoralising and humiliating. As such, it is calling for DLA lifetime award recipients be moved to PIP without the needs for further assessment.

Debbilyn Low, of 38 Degrees, said: “People awarded this lifetime status have already proved to the government that their illness or disability will not get better for the entirety of that person’s life. The government has already accepted and agree that these people are the most vulnerable by awarding lifetime status when they applied for DLA.

“I have friends who were awarded DLA for life but when summoned for assessment for PIP they have had the entire award taken away from them.

“Ask yourself this: ‘How can the government now decide – after their doctors and specialists have examined and assessed the person and then awarded DLA – that they are no longer in need?

“These are the Doctors and Specialists that the government paid for their services, so is the government now saying that it has no trust in the people they employed to assess a claim for DLA?”

The 38 Degrees group is now behind a petition on its 38degrees.org.uk website calling for new Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Crabb, to take action.

The petition reads: ‘Move people who are awarded LIFETIME or indefinite awards on DLA straight over to PIP without the need for demoralisation and humiliation AGAIN…most have already been through this when applying for DLA previously.’

So far it has gained close to 19,000 signatures.

 

  • Why does the group call itself 38 Degrees? On its website, the group says: ‘38 Degrees is the angle at which snowflakes come together to form an avalanche – together we’re unstoppable’.