Wednesday, 19 August 2009

DLA threat and AA threat

I have a disabled friend that today told me about a very scary government green paper set for November.
If you sit and have a think you will probably be shocked how many people you know that will be affected, possibly even you, if you have or get an illness or injury and you end up disabled. I know 6 people without thinking to hard. Robb Ellis who sent me the info, a blind friend, a friend with sever depression, a friend with severe osteo arthritis, Robbs brother in law and wife, my Parents, and possibly several others.

You will see in the article l have posted about what exactly the green paper is about, if you need a carer from outside the home, you are in an even worse situation than Robb and his wife.
I should add Robb's wife is his carer and disabled herself, she used to be a nurse before life became unstuck. Robb would not be able to afford the internet a link to friends and worldwide, he uses it to also look for jobs and apply for them as they do not go out much. As he and his wife can not afford to go out much it is a point of sanity for him.
They couldn’t afford the phone so forget contacting anyone except by the wonderful postal service.
They couldn’t afford the tv licence and then those other little luxuries food, clothing, electricity, rent, rates and water.
No l am not joking ask your disabled friends or family what they would loose if this bill came in. It is scary and you could well be a victim of it in the future.
If Robb could get a job he would but as soon as they see the word disabled that is it and in a recession he goes further down the pile than the bottom although he has applied for many jobs.

I have posted the info here in the hope that others with blogs will take this up and post it on their blogs and start a big warning message campaign and get the information out to as many as possible.

What exactly is the Green Paper about?
The green paper is about the problem of paying for care as the UK’s population ages. It proposes setting up a National Care Service, like the National Health Service, to provide a universal system of care throughout the UK. Much of the document is devoted to discussing how to pay for this service, including making everyone pay a flat rate of £25,000 before or after they die, whether they ever need care or not; or making everyone over retirement age pay into an insurance scheme; or making people pay for part of their care depending on their means.

This is in addition to the proposal to take disability benefits off claimants and hand them over to the care service.

The National Care Service would only deal with your care needs. If you had to go into residential care you would still have to pay for accommodation, heating, lighting, food, clothes, toiletries, etc.

But at least under this system everyone would have the right to the care they need, even though it might mean getting rid of disability benefits, right?
No, not at all. Everyone would have the right to have their care needs assessed but only the most severely disabled would actually receive any care.

The way it would work is that under the National Care Service everyone in the UK would have their care needs assessed using the same criteria wherever they live. This might be done by a national body – it’s easy to imagine a company like Atos who currently do benefits medicals being employed to do the assessments – or it might be done by local social services departments all working to the same system.

As a result of the assessment, some people would be awarded a ‘personal budget’ – a cash amount that could be used to meet their needs. Many people, however, would receive no care whatsoever, because their care needs would be below the threshold set nationally or by individual local authorities.

For example you might be assessed as needing help with washing, dressing and undressing because of arthritis. But you’d be very unlikely to actually get this help from the National Care Service. Resources would be reserved for those with higher needs than yours.

One of the concerns of disability agencies, including RNIB, is that many people who are currently entitled to DLA or AA would not be entitled to a personal budget from the National Care Service. At the moment, most local authorities do not currently provide help for people who ‘only’ need help with washing and dressing.

Still, those with the highest care needs would be able to purchase whatever they wanted with their personal budget, wouldn’t they?
No, not at all. How the budget would be spent would depend on what agreement individuals were able to reach with a social worker.

If you have ME/CFS, for example, you may rely on your DLA or AA to pay for alternative therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism or chiropractice or you may use it to pay for dietary supplements that you know help you. However, professionals may dismiss these as quack remedies and you may not be able to use your personal budget for those sort of things. It wouldn’t be your cash to spend as you choose, in the way that DLA and AA are.

Won’t there be some sort of transitional relief for current claimants?
Yes, there may be. But you might not like it.

One proposal is to ensure that all current claimants get a care package of at least the value of their current disability benefits payments. But the amounts paid for DLA and AA wouldn’t get you very much care.

Middle rate care DLA and lower rate AA are worth £47.10 a week, for example. This might get you help with washing and dressing in the morning and getting into bed at night for two, or at the most three days a week. The other four or five days you’d have to manage alone.

If your care needs are at night, your benefits would pay for one night a week for someone to sleep in your house and not even a single night for someone to stay awake.

Lower rate DLA wouldn’t pay for even two hours of care a week. In fact it might not get you any hours at all, but instead be used to pay for aids or adaptations.

Sign up to our campaign to fight the threat to DLA & AA COPYAND PASTE THIS LINK

OK, this doesn’t sound great, but this is only a discussion document, isn’t it?
Yes it is, but green papers are the first step on the road to new laws. If politicians sense from the responses – or the lack of them - that disabled people and disability organisations won’t put up too much of a fight then they’ll see that as a green light for abolishing DLA as well as AA.

You keep going on about ‘disability benefits’ but what exactly are they?
Good question. We only keep going on about them because the green paper does. In all, the term ‘disability benefits’ appears 35 times


Comment 1:
This government has wasted so much it is without doubt the elderly and sick will suffer at the hands of local authorities who will no doubt use the money for other debts they already have, people who receive these benefits are already vulnerable and have little independence , this will now be totally removed and l would imagine the stress of trying to get help that will be removed will kill off many elderly and sick people perhaps this is what they are trying to achieve. What’s next the building of ghettos for the sick and elderly to live in, why is the government treating these people like a inconvenience and taking away their humanity? The present government should hang its head in shame they really should, speaking personally this will probably kill my grandmother and father from worry and stress but hey they don’t care do they. BASTARDS with there indecent salaries and comfy living. Thank you for bringing this to my attention I have visited the link provided and would advise anyone else to do the same

Comment 2
Shame nobody else cares about our elderly you would have expected more response, its not surprising our elderly are the worst off in the EU if this is the response nor is it surprising that the government do what they like is it if people care so little.


JuliaM said...

Madness! The NHS is to get a little brother, to soak up even more funds?

Vetnurse said...

They have to support their lifestyle as politicians, so need to claw back money from all over.

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