Friday, July 09, 2010

Ed Balls "Unhappy" About Way Govt Have Introduced DLA Changes

According to a member of his campaign team, Ed Balls is unhappy about the way the ConDem government have introduced changes to DLA. via Dawn Willis

(Email kindly supplied by a campaigner who has Multiple Sclerosis)
NB: Highlighted emphasis added by BendyGirl. 


“Dear ---------, Thank you very much for writing to Ed Balls. I am a member of his campaign team and he asked me to get back to you on his behalf.

First, can I say how sorry I am about your MS.

In answer to your question – no I don’t think you missed anything about means-testing for DLA in the budget. What the coalition Government has said though is that they intend to change the way they assess people as being eligible for DLA, along the lines of the response you got from DWP, which you copied to us in your email.

This is what the Guardian says about the change announced in the Budget:
“From 2013, those seeking disability living allowance (DLA) will have to go through a strict new medical assessment to help “reduce dependency and promote work”, with many current claimants set to lose out under the new regime.The benefit will not be reduced but the government estimates the move will save £1.4bn by 2015, suggesting many of those seeking support will be turned away.”

The article is accessible at www.guardian.co.uk/uk/…/tougher-disability-allowance-test-budget <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/…/tougher-disability-allowance-test-budget>

I can see that this information will be pretty worrying to someone in your position and it is true that a number of charities have expressed concern about this announcement, because they are anxious that this means there is a risk that some people who badly need the extra help DLA provides may not be able to get it in future, once the test is changed

However, I am sure that the charities that advocate for people with MS will be working very hard to make sure the Government understands how important DLA is for you and many others, as they go about resdesigning the process of assessment. I would also like to think that any Government will be sensitive to the needs of people with MS; to be absolutely honest, it is probably people who do not have a diagnosis of a specific medical condition or disease who are most at risk of losing their eligibility for DLA once the new test comes in – and remember that’s not going to happen for three years, so there is time for those charities to kick up a very big fuss.

If you have continuing concerns though why not contact one of the MS charities? I am sure they would be very happy to give you any further information they have.

From a political point of view though I know that Ed is very unhappy about the way this announcement was made and the rather threatening remarks that Ministers have made about their intentions in this area. This was bound to make lots of people worry who have enough difficulties to overcome in their lives already, without the Government adding to them!

Thank you again for contacting Ed and I hope this response is helpful, and provides you with some reassurance.

Yours sincerely,
Caroline Abrahams
Ed Balls campaign team”


4 comments:

Lankylonglegs - Jo said...

" it is probably people who do not have a diagnosis of a specific medical condition or disease who are most at risk of losing their eligibility for DLA once the new test comes in "

Pretty scary thought considering it's taken me best part of 45 years to finally get a doctor to actually listen to me, then follow up to come to my diagnosis, all those years I suffered and nobody would believe me (not even my own family)

So does this mean those already diagnosed will be permitted to keep their awards? So confusing and so worrying! I can barely afford to survive as it is.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Jo: That's EXACTLY what I'm so concerned about. My DLA award dates from before my diagnosis too, though has been renewed since.
There's so many ppl who aren't properly diagnosed as medicine just hasn't got the knowledge yet, but are severely disabled eg the Samuel I've posted about previously never had a formal diagnosis as no-one ever worked out quite what had happened.

I'm also deeply concerned about the advise to get individual charities to campaign, that'll be massively detrimental to those of us with rarer conditions as the balance of power and funding lies with the big charities.

Arienette said...

Well. That's ok then. Cos, I mean, you know how efficient and helpful the NHS GP's who are our first port of call are. If someone came to their GP with strange symptoms they would be sent off for tests and referre to a specialist straight away. There is NO CHANCE those efficient, caring, hard working GP's would dream of telling a patient not to worry, or that it's all in their head, or to fix their problems themselves with really assinine and unhelpful suggestions.

No. Definitely not. So, you know, it'll be fine. Becuse OBVIOUSLY anyone who is living with disability is already going to have a diagnosis, as given by those helpful and definitely-not-concerned-with-budgets GP's.


Fucks sake.

Fire Byrd said...

Og well that's alright then as long as you have a disability and a charity to champion it then you're sorted.
What a complete balls up.
(pun intended)
It's difficult to pin point who is the stupidest ComDems or Labour. Not a lot between then methinks.
xx