Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts

Charities have urged a rethink On DLA mobility allowance cuts which would affect 80,000 disabled people, writes Sarah Ismail.

Sarah Ismail writes for the Same Difference blog

Today’s Times reports (£) that 27 charities, including the leading disability organisations Mencap and Leonard Cheshire, have written to Iain Duncan Smith and Andrew Lansley, urging the Government to reverse the decision to scrap the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people living in residential care homes. This was announced as part of George Osborne’s 2010 Spending Review.

The weekly payment, of up to £50 a week, is used to rent specially adapted cars, or to pay for powered wheelchairs, taxi fares or petrol for staff who drive for care home residents. The change will affect at least 80,000 disabled people.

Campaigners say that without the extra payments many children and adults will never be able to leave their care homes, as many of them are unable to use public transport as a direct result of their disabilities. Although residential care homes are required to provide transport for medical appointments or hospital visits, many use residents’ mobility allowances to pay for the use of their vehicles for these purposes.

Campaigners say those worst affected by the change will be disabled adults aged 20-50 who use the allowance to pay for transport to social outings.

However, the change will also affect disabled children and young people at residential special schools and colleges.  This may even stop parents sending their children to such organisations – which would deprive many disabled young people of an appropriate education.

One very concerned mother of a disabled young man told Left Foot Forward:

“For myself that would be the removal of my son’s wheelchair accessible vehicle as he attends a residential school Monday to Friday. How do they expect parents to cope at weekends and in the holidays?”

The charities also carried out a survey of care home users, of which more than half gave most or all of their DLA mobility component to their care homes. Of these, 40 per cent said that it paid for a Motability car and 20 per cent said that it paid for petrol for staff to take them out. The charities warn that the change, if it goes ahead, would significantly reduce the independence and quality of life of many disabled people.

Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Mencap, summed up the fears of many disabled people and their families very well when he told The Times:

“Removing this benefit will take us back to the dark ages.”

20 Responses to “Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts”

  1. Kim Blake

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  2. Bernard and Paul

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  3. Vincentians

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  4. gethyn williams

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  5. Rich Watts

    Thanks for this post – it’s an incredibly important topic. In itself, the mobility component decision is far from good, but when considered alongside the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund it’s horrendous.

    Not only this, but the other proposed changes to DLA are simply a means by which to justify spending 20% less on the benefit – it has little to do with supporting people to meet the extra costs that arise as a result of their impairment. It hasn’t been widely reported that the government is also thinking of extending the changes to children under 16 and those who receive DLA over the age of 65 – a further 1.2m people (see point 6 here).

    Please do keep up the good work of ensuring this vital topic is covered.

  6. DLA Mobility Component In Care Homes- Two Links « Same Difference

    […] wrote an article for mainstream political blog Left Foot Forward on the issue today which you might find […]

  7. Trevor Cheeseman

    I have to agree with Rich – a very important post. I work for a charitable care provider: our residents lives will be impoverished by this cut in particular. It means that people will be increasingly confined to their homes, unable to afford to go out.

  8. Eddy Boyband

    These changes were started by the last labour government a few years ago in the good times.

  9. DMS

    Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts | #charity //ht.ly/3CByV

  10. rosie cynter

    Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts | Left Foot …: Charities have urged a rethink On DLA mob… //bit.ly/fVDPz8

  11. L DTUC

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  12. matthew fox

    The government see the disabled as fair game. The proposals will rob many people of their dignity, and push them into serious poverty.

  13. DLA Mobility Component In Care Homes- Three Links « Same Difference

    […] wrote an article for mainstream political blog Left Foot Forward on the issue today which you might find […]

  14. Chris Salter

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts //bit.ly/fGUd8I #ppnuk

  15. Jonathan Player

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts: //bit.ly/gnoJTv write @SameDifference1

  16. Mr. Sensible

    Couldn’t agree more, Sarah.

  17. Rich Watts (@rich_w)

    Eddy Boyband – As far as I am aware – and I follow such things closely – the specific change about the mobility component of DLA for people in residential care is a new proposal specific to the coalition. Labour (nor any other parties) never proposed anything similar to this.

    Do you have a source for your comment?

  18. Sue Bristow

    RT @leftfootfwd: Charities urge rethink on DLA mobility allowance cuts //bit.ly/fGUd8I

  19. Eddy Boyband

    Rich Watts,
    The last labour government starting messing with DLA a few years ago.
    I was on the higher rate of DLA which was awarded for life, being that there is no cure for spinal cord injury and with time my condition will get worse.
    Then out of the blue I was sent a new claim form witch I filled in and sent back and was then moved to the middle rate.
    I have since been told that I should not have filled in the form and I shouldn’t have been sent one.
    ( sneaky eh ?)
    I have appealed 3 times but I am still on the middle rate. ( 9 years ago )
    As I get older my condition has got worse with secondary problems due to my spinal injury, and at the time I was sent the form I was recovering from a major operation to remove meal work from my back and was totally dependent on out side help for 4 weeks, which I mentioned on the form.

  20. John McArdle

    SOLIDARITY! THE ConDemEd MUST GO!

    //www.facebook.com/blacktriangle1

    Give us our human right to dignity back!

    Black Triangle Campaign

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