Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When disabled isn't disabled enough

One of the biggest difficulties with benefits for disabled people is that the application process demands a style of answer typically not relevant to the life of the disabled person. Many disabled people make a deliberate choice to be positive about their lives, to achieve everything they possibly can and so find it incredibly difficult to fill out forms in the style demanded by the DWP.

There is no room in the system for that kind of attitude, as 10 year old Devon and her mum are now finding out. Devon has lost her entitlement to Disability Living Allowance based upon a school report praising her achievements.


LceeL said...

That's two. I read an article this very morning, in the Bournemouth Echo, about a disabled pensioner who wanted to give her Caregivers a small Christmas present and the Council said 'No' - it was against the rules. Where is England's compassionate heart?

Louise Bolotin said...

There are no words! Disgusting.

Fire Byrd said...

I have a client who is due to loose his home come January unless the council will agree that he is not making himself delibrately homeless.
18 months ago he was a high powered professional. Now he is incredibably diasbled with reactive arthritis and fybromylgia.
He can't cook, clean or dress himself easily.
It is a mad and distressing system all round.


Achelois said...

If you have seen my recent post on my blog you will know this type of thing is a subject close to my heart at the moment. So much so I can't really express myself eloquently anymore.

I was under the impression that 'we' as a nation had moved on and the DDA was all about accessibility. The rest of us may have moved on - the DWP and other's have not unfortunately. I don't doubt under appeal that Devon's claim will be re-instated but not before the car has been taken away and the claim is put to yearly renewals thus rendering her mother unable to take up the benefit of the car scheme. Its a mad mad world. But when a government deems it appropriate to fund helicopters which won't be ready for three years and take away money from the armed forces making some reduntant to pay for something that won't be ready bla bla bla bla.. Absolutely nothing suprises me. Another example at the expense of Devon in this instance of the lunatics running the asylum or should I say the 'Decision Maker's# at the DWP who afterall have no brains and no medical qualifications whatsoever to back up their decisions. My understanding is that the majority of appeals are said by tribunals to be a mistake which should never have happened. Devon unfortunately and her mother will suffer at the hands of a system so entrenched with red tape that common sense seems never to prevail.

I just feel like giving up frankly - but I don't have a choice to I have to keep on fighting.

My feeling is that that is what 'they' want. Us lot are just becoming an embarrasing inconvenience.

Can someone start a 10 Downing Street petition on this one.. I would sign it.

Thank you BG for your continued vigilance on the constant injustices handed out to victim's of a cruel and unfair system. Bound by red tape of the type that smacks so much of b**ll**it it is simply astonishing.

I thought I was seeing red already now its crimson.

To the decision maker whose call this was - flushed - down the bog off.

Joanna Cake said...

It just defies all common sense. Id sign the petition too!

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

I remember from my days doing welfare rights advice that school reports were notorious for getting DLA awards stopped by putting a positive spin on things. I'd like to believe that such reports are written with the best of intentions but schools need to understand the implications of what they do in this respect.

I also wonder whether there might just be an agenda of underplaying a child's disability as to accept the full extent may place extra obligations on the school but I don't know enough about education policy and law to know whether that actually is true or not.

Big Mouth said...

AH yes. One must fill in one's IB50 very carefully being aware of the points system. I found I was close to suicidal at the end of the last one. One has to do it from the worst case scenario, the unremitting horror of whatever it is (in my case fibromyalgia and anxiety/depression).

Ironically it's probably quite harmful for people claiming for mental illness. You ordinarily need to keep away from that kind of thinking - the dark side of it, the lack of perspective or insight, the feeling that this is all there is ever going to be, the feelings of self-hatred and the wish to simply DIE! But to fill in the IB50 you have to go into that, you have to describe all the ways that your illness affects your life - be not just reminded but actually relive all the trauma and loss. It took me some weeks and therapy sessions to get over it. Thanks DWP - just what I needed.

Fortunately this time I did not have to do it all again personally in the presence of an unsympathetic stranger.

However that said I am incredibly grateful to get what I do because I couldn't live otherwise.