Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Dec 11, 2015 17:32:12 GMT
Tories continue their war on the sick & disabled
Kicking the stick away
The recent Autumn Statement will no doubt have fooled a good few...
Under the Tories and their relentless brainwashing propaganda campaign, many people will feel relieved at how Osborne was able to boast of better than expected increases in UK growth. What a kind man he was reversing all those nasty cuts to tax credits, how responsible of him to fix the roof whilst the sun was shining so that come a rainy day we could all feel so much more secure....
Very few even bothered to challenge him over how he'd suddenly found a magic pot of cash which could afford the ghastly cost of going to war. The deluded of Great Britain somehow felt safer as he announced how we had enough in the kitty to drop a few deadly bombs over Syria; thus making us all much less of a target for the next terrorist attack.
Job done, the deluded remain deluded, we've become a far more selfish nation which thinks very little of the terror being inflicted upon those in far away lands. We accept the false reassurance that deadly accurate bombs will home in and only hurt the right targets. Sadly, a good number of us have simply grown alien to wondering what 'collateral damage' actually means, even fewer of us think of the sheer terror thousands of innocent people must feel at the sound of a fighter jet as it flies overhead about to unleash its deadly load.
Sickeningly Syria and Trump's pleasure at openly declaring racist hatred have become a convenient distraction.
One which allows Cameron, Osborne and Duncan Smith galore to wage further war on the sick and disabled people of Great Britain, few of us have had our eyes opened to how they continue to face a daily kicking from the most devoid of compassion government we will ever see.
Not only are Employment & Support Allowance claimants set to face a fresh round of relentless ramped up 'work capability assessments', but those on the newly introduced Personal Independence Payments look like they are in for an even more rigorous ride with the DWP announcing its latest 'consultation'.
You see 'consultations' aren't consultations at all, they are a statement of intent as to what's next on the cards.
Cut through the introductory bull and advance to paragraph 9 on page 5:
"As highlighted by the first independent review of the PIP assessment by Paul Gray, this policy does not appear to be working as intended. DWP doctors therefore reviewed a sample of 105 cases were claimants scored all, or the majority, of their points due to aids and appliances, to assess the extent to which the award may reflect extra costs. "
Then clock the statements which follow:
In simple terms the DWP (namely Iain Duncan Smith) has taken a distinct dislike to people picking up lower range points for descriptors which are awarded on the basis on them using an aid or appliance:
In other words, people who are significantly disabled enough to need an aid or appliance to help them with any of the following tasks, look like they are may become subject to changes in the rules which could bring about the loss of Personal Independence Payment or a reduction in the rate of Daily Living award:
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe = 2 points
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence = 2 points
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress = 2 points
Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear = 2 points
Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information = 2 points
Anyone affected should consider responding to the consultation or an advice agency who would then be better armed to press for the appropriate social policy actions upon which organisations can make more evidence based responses telling the government how the need to use these aids or appliances are generally compatible with significant disability upon which an award of Personal Independence Payment is entirely appropriate.
Under suggestions as to how to remedy the additional expense the 'proposals' include bright ideas such as issuing vouchers which claimants can use to buy what they need as an alternative to a regular payment. Other ideas include a lump some given just once with no regular payments to follow. There's also the possibility that the government may just decide that people being in need of an appliance just isn't enough to warrant them being entitled to a payment. There is a clear indication that the writers of the 'open' consultation have taken a dislike to legal challenges where Upper Tribunal judges, well versed in social security law, have applied their own interpretation and decided people qualify when government would much rather they didn't.
It's another clear indication that Duncan Smith is set to further disable the disabled by removing the entitlement which confirms they are in fact disabled.
It's all part of the Tories hideous and purely ideological plan to take a look at disabled people and say "you are not disabled at all" and thus alleviate any responsibility for doing anything to help them - a cynical view I know, but one which is far more an accurate portrayal of reality than any assumption that this consultation exercise is aimed at listening to disabled people.
There's very blinkered thinking behind this consultation. They assume the only additional costs, if you score points with aids for PIP, are the costs of the aids themselves. The reality is that the use of aids are signpost disability, showing that the claimant really is disabled/chronic sick.
I remember the first PIP consultatation, in that document they were very much aware of that fact. "3.4 For the Daily Living component, thresholds at these levels enable an individual who requires aids, appliances or prompting to successfully carry out a number of the daily living activities to receive the component at the standard rate. This recognises the additional costs incurred through use of such support and the barriers that the individual is likely to face. Equally, for all but one of the daily living activities, the highest descriptor in that activity on its own ensures entitlement to the standard rate."
Over dozens of PIP applications followed to results, I've seen so many cases where the lower aids descriptor was awarded when a higher-scoring descriptor should have been applied.
They are assuming PIP is solely to buy aids, but in fact the aids are a proxy for disability, and there are far more ongoing costs than just buying a few gizmos involved. Heating Transport Special foods Medicines unavailable on the NHS The inability to do things for yourself, so you have to buy in help with decorating cleaning shopping gardening cooking dressing feeding