I get the care component of DLA for supervision because my bones break so easily. There is no mention of needing constant supervision in the proposed PIP criteria. Because I can feed myself, even though I once broke my arm eating, I will get no recognition for that. Because I can take myself to the toilet, even though I once broke my leg washing my hands after, I will get no recognition for that. Because I can get myself in and out of the shower, even though I once broke… you get the idea. (Huffington Post, 30th January 2012)
I had a good look at the PIP case studies yesterday, particularly studying the one about a woman with epilepsy. Looking at the points allocation, I’m fairly sure I won’t qualify for PIP even though I have a lifetime award for DLA. I get DLA because preparing and cooking a meal unaided is very risky for me (I once almost burnt down my former partner’s house because of this – it was a miracle the house hadn’t gone up completely in flames by the time he got home), likewise going out unsupervised is also risky because of the possibility of having a seizure while crossing the road. (Where’s the Benefit, 18 January 2012
I currently qualify for higher rate mobility under DLA but I won’t under PIP. Under the new rules for PIP if a disabled person CANNOT walk more than 50 metres but doesn’t need a wheelchair then they will no longer be entitled to higher rate mobility, which in short means access to a car through the motability scheme.
Please re-read that sentence and then think through the callousness of that statement and what that means to disabled claimants, like me. It means my world would be reduced to my home, and a stumble to the end of my road at best. My world, which has already been turned upside down by my worsening health, would diminish so much I’d have to question whether there is any point fighting to stay off the lung transplant list anymore. (Where’s the Benefit, 18 January 2012
Angela, via @THemingford: Angela has peroneal muscular atrophy and high blood pressure: some complicated medical problems relating to a road traffic accident years ago: anxiety and depression. Until 2009, she was able to work, and paid for adaptations to her home that made it possible for her to continue to live there, worth about £30,000. She used her DLA to pay for a carer to come in some days and help with “washing, laundry, hoovering, dusting, tidying and some aspects of shopping.” She lives alone but needs a second bedroom to store various pieces of essential disability-related equipment, including her wheelchair. “There is nowhere else of this to go or be stored.”
After she was no longer able to work, Housing Benefit paid most of her rent and she used £50 per month from her DLA to top up the remainder. Besides the Housing Benefit she gets Income Support and DLA. Recent Housing Benefit cuts and changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) now partly determined by the number of rooms and people in a property – no exemptions for disabled people – mean that her Housing Benefit is much lower: she has to find £35 more a week, so the amount she now has to pay to top up her Housing Benefit is £190 per month. For want of £190 a month – she has no way to earn it and no other source of income – she will have to move. Wherever she moves to, will have to have £30,000 of adaptations made in order for to her live there.
I got that far with Angela’s story and realised full-on how absurd this kind of “cut” is. Angela paid herself for the adaptions to a home she rents: if she moves out, the adaptations are worthless. To “save” the taxpayer £190 a month, £2280 a year, Angela is being required to dispose of essential assets worth £30,000 to her and worthless to the next tenant. What kind of arithmetic is this?
But wait: There’s worse. Continue reading →