welfare cuts hitting disabled people the hardest

Disabled being hit hard
Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 12:10
Posted by Scott Buckler

A report published today by The Hardest Hit coalition, of which the MS Society is a member, has revealed how Government changes to the welfare system will hit disabled people the hardest

8 in 10 (85 per cent) people claim that losing their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) would drive them into isolation, and would leave them struggling to manage their condition (84 per cent).9 in 10 (95 per cent) fear that losing DLA would be detrimental to their health.

Hit the hardest

The Tipping Point report brings together a survey of over 4,500 disabled people, a poll of more than 350 independent welfare advisors, and more than 50 in-depth interviews with disabled people with varying conditions and impairments.

It reveals some shocking statistics:

  • nearly 9 in 10 (87 per cent) disabled people said their everyday living costs are significantly higher because of their condition
  • more than three quarters (78 per cent) of disabled people said their health got worse as a result of the stress caused by their Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • two thirds (65 per cent) of disabled people felt that ESA assessors did not understand their condition
  • nearly 9 in 10 (87 per cent) welfare advisors said the constant re-assessments for benefits are damaging people's health9 in 10 (90 per cent) welfare advisors said that too many disabled people are slipping through the net and are left without adequate support by the welfare system.

It's predicted that Britain's 3.6 million people claiming disability benefits will be £9 billion worse off from 2010 to the end of this Parliament, with an estimated 500,000 disabled people expected to lose out when DLA becomes Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in April 2013.

Stop the cuts

The Hardest Hit, a coalition of over 90 disabled people's organisations and charities, is calling on the Government to rule out targeting disabled people for further spending cuts in the next Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review.

The coalition wants the Government to:

  • learn from the mistakes it made with WCA and ensure the assessment for PIP is as fair and as clear as possible to avoid costly tribunals, more anxiety and ill health
  • get Universal Credit (UC) right, ensuring disabled people don't lose out on vital income in the transition to UC
  • provide a lasting solution to the crisis in social care which has endured years of chronic underfunding.

The Hardest Hit Week of Action (22-28 October 2012) will bring together disabled people, their carers, friends and family, from across the UK. Events are happening throughout the week.

Source: ©MS Society

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