Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bns Jane Campbell wants our views on PIP

Here is a copy of a mesage we just received from Baroness Campbell. I'm too tired to tweak and make this shiny, so if you can just leave your opinions in the comments thread, it would be much appreciated :

"As you will see from yesterday we talked about the importance of language. So I'm thinking of challenging the title PIP. I think it should remain Disability Living Allowance, after all that's what it's about, disabled People's extra cost of living. It shouldn't not based on independence (defined by professionals) conditionality. 

The condition that one should become "personally independent", which is likely to be defined in a medical model way, will not result in the independence disabled People have demanded over the years (i.e. independent living is about having choice and control over your life like that of non disabled people. 

It includes all things in your life like work, education, raising your family, leisure, personal mobility etc) If the government want to continue encouraging us take responsibility over our lives, then they must give us the right to make our own decisions as to how DLA money should be spent.

 It must not be measured by able-bodied people's assumptions as to what it is to be independent. Could you ask your networks what they think. I believe disabled people want to keep disability living allowance as a universal allowance. 

We want to continue the principle that once you become eligible it is left up to you (personal responsibility) as to how you spend it to minimising the extra costs of being a disabled person, therefore we shouldn't be constantly reassessed as to how our so called independence is going. I'm thinking of demanding we keep the language that means disability living. And as we know, living must be defined by the person whose life it is. (Disabled people are the experts in their own situation)

I could put this down as an amendment, but I need support from the outside world, to make it important and powerful.


Tim said...

PIP is about one thing and one thing only - cutting. I know this because they announced a 20% cut without a single test being invented, let alone carried out.

It should be left alone.

Penny said...

There is no need to go to the expense of changing DLA which has been proven to work well for those that need it with very very little fraud rate, it IS a money saving exercise and genuine people are going to lose out, why retest those that have been through the stringent tests to prove they are entitled if not to find new ways to take this very important money away from us!

Mary said...

I am unsure what is being asked here.

I do firmly believe that DLA must remain a universal benefit rather than being means-tested.

I live with my husband, who works full time and supports us both on his wages. He also provides a great deal of practical day to day support. He is under a certain amount of pressure - he might not be the one who is disabled, but he certainly lives with disability and experiences the barriers, the disruption, and the additional stresses financial and otherwise.

DLA, non-means-tested and paid directly to me, is what makes sure that I can purchase my own mobility aids, rather than needing him to purchase them for me. It makes sure that if I need to go somewhere I can get a taxi without having to ask him for even more support. It allows me to make the decisions about how my money gets spent to meet my needs. It takes some of the load off him.

Taking the load off him is important. If our relationship were to dissolve under the strain of disability and inadequate support, as so many do, then me living on my own rather than with him would cost The Taxpayer at least another £8,000 per year in direct means-tested benefits alone, such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, and ESA. There would also be an increase in the cost to Social Services, as they would no longer be able to tell me "you live with an able-bodied adult so you can't have help with XYZ, because he can do it."

It's much more cost-effective for The Taxpayer to just give us that little bit of extra breathing space in the form of some non-means-tested money that I can use to meet my disability-related expenses without turning it into another problem he has to deal with.