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.

Comments please ASAP please"


  1. Yes please to a challenge - PIP means nothing and Disablity Living Allowance everything. I will never become independent but I do need an extra allowance to help me live.

  2. Thanks, keep the comments coming guys :)

  3. I agree; words wield power and we as disabled people need to keep that power on our side and not hand it over to a government whose rhetoric constantly portrays us as a bunch of whinging scroungers. DLA is about us living in whatever way we see fit.

  4. Wonderful - they need to understand that PIP and the definitions of independance they use are based on the flawed assumption every home/service/street/shop is acessible. We know they are not but it's often very hard to convince able bodied people of that fact.

  5. All opinions gratefully received!! I imagine we need a good 50 or so to get balance :))

  6. Yes I completely agree with Baroness Cambell, I feel that disability is a word that describes rather than a word that is offensive.
    DLA describes a need for a specific group of people, and therefore helps separate us as a group, rather than promoting public opinion that we are unemployed scroungers. Or blagging a vulnerable system. Neither of which is the case in my opinion.
    And yes it should be indefinate if the condition is for life with no improvement. The reason I give is because the form in itself is already very intrusive and for many very daunting, Ive always likened it to a marathon for a healthy person. Which is why I believe the fraud rate is so low.
    I just dont see how changing the name of something will help the people in receipt of it?
    Kind Regards

  7. This is very sensible. Keeping DLA as DLA is a huge step forward. For instance I use some of my payments for laundry services, I get a firm to do my ironing. This is not a service provided by the council and not something I can do myself any longer. However its doesn't make me independent, if anything so that I can be neat and tidy I am absolutely dependant on others. It does allow me to live my life, without this I may well me going out looking like "Teeny fae the neeps". I often use it to buy ready meals as i'm not always up to preparing a meal. Again, thats a living rather than independence expence.

  8. Keep DLA as it is! PIP is just an excuse to save money.

  9. whats the point anymore, sick of the false hope

  10. The presumption in law that you are “innocent until proven guilty” should be extended and incorporated into the bill. You are presumed in law to be sick and/or disabled as stated by you and confirmed by your GP. This should suffice. If a judge declares someone innocent that is accepted in law a medical professional’s option should carry similar weight in law and override all other “opinion” be it from a private company or politician or DWP or even “a man who met a man” or the people who live next door or the media. There is no valid reason to change DLA and never has been.

  11. Go for it!We must be sure that we keep DLA separate and distinct from Direct Payments Scheme too! Many thanks to Chocolatewig above - after all, changing the name SDA to Incapacity Benefit meant that it came under ESA! Once the name is changed then, I suspect, they can change everything else about it - especially the conditions of award. Keep DLA as it is, please.

  12. PIP is a nothing title, It doesnt mean anything really, a bland title that can be diminished and whitewashed. It also has the potential to have targets and strings attached. DLA is what it is, money to assist someone pay for the things they choose that make thier life better in the way they feel is fit.

    Decisions ar ebeing made from the viewpoint of people who have no idea what it's like to live
    with a disability.

  13. The rebranding is merely a costly exercise when the money used for said rebranding could be used elsewhere. This seems similar to the multi-million pound rebranding my council went through a few years ago but now suddenly they have no money! I don't understand it at all.

    Even now the current test seems to be whether or not I can cut vegetables which somehow determines whether or not I have a disability. It asks no questions whatsoever about how exhausting I find it to care for my son on my own, how I struggle to work (and I'm probably going to have to turn painting and art into a "hobby" again), or how I struggle to manage to arrange for appointments and attend hospital persistently for complications as there's no one who can tend my son so I can seek treatment before it gets that bad. My GP is persistently baffled that I get so little help, and yet DLA seems to think I can tick the feed/dress/toilet boxes and ergo I am "fine".

    The whole process is a nightmare of documentation and errors and is ridiculous.

  14. Apologies for my spelling of Baroness Campbell..I have absolutely no memory retention for immediate tasks.. hope I did not offend.

  15. I agree with what Baroness Campbell says about definitions of independence being about non-disabled people's definitions not ours.

    Pointless rebranding just creates confusion and more TLAs (three letter acronyms) and is more pointless stress for disabled people.

    I'm happy to provide examples of how my DLA enables me to be independent and part of that is about having the freedom to spend it as I need.

  16. I also agree that it should remain as DLA and that we are the only people who know the best way to spend it. For me, sometimes its on readymeals when I'm too tired or down or in pain to cook. It goes on the extra cost of ready prepared fresh vegetables. Sometimes on taxis when taking a bus is impossible or a panic attack means I need to get home or at least to a safe place quickly. When there is enough I pay to have my inside windows cleaned, or for someone to come and do the chores I can no longer manage. My needs vary as does my condition or I should say conditions. I predict that under PiP and with the cutbacks I will lose this support and I dread the the way my living will be diminshed by its loss.

  17. Leave DLA as it is. Spending millions of pounds on PIP is a total waste of taxpayers money. DLA WORKS. It's about the only thing that does in this whole system! Yes, the forms are long and tedious, BUT they need to be thorough in order depict a detailed and accurate account of one's life and one's needs. And they need to be filled in by the person or someone who knows them. Not replaced by some tick-box computer test. Being reassessed by some other system such as the WCA continually is, again, a waste of money and only serves to make people's health worse because of the continual stress.

  18. Challenge PIP. DLA means so much more to people in so many ways. It says what it is - SIMPLE

  19. here are the only things I want to be ticking -

    Disability - tick

    Living - tick

    Allowance - tick

    It exactly describes what it is.

    As Lord Kirkwood said - What's in a name? He made the point that "Universal Credit" is neither Universal or a credit!!

    Personal - well what else could it be?!

    Independence - yes, but not with the inference they are putting on it, which is we don't want anyone to be dependent on the Social Security system anymore.

    Payment - this has connotations of 'something given in return for...'

    Stop messing around with flipping names and stop messing around with a system which has worked perfectly well for many years.

  20. Ack, I'm really late with reading this post and it is something I urgently want to raise as an issue with Lords, charities and other campaigners. It's one of those issues which I go on about and no one else seems to see the importance. I'm a real-life Cassandra.

    The issue I have is that the name-changed is not symbolic or semantic; it has actual implications, mainly legal ones. Disability Living Allowance has almost twenty years of legal precedent and case history shaping how it is applied, who is eligible and everything campaigners have ever fought for related to it. It is the reason why residents in care homes are eligible for the Mobility component. The government doesn't need to explicitly write in a clause saying care home residents are no longer eligible: they will automatically become ineligible if the name of the benefit is changed because the ruling that permits it will then be null and void. It applied to DLA, not the entirely new and completely different benefit PIP.

    The government are trying to set the clock back two decades. Their new benefit will still be in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act, but campaigners will have to start all their fights over again but with much tighter restrictions on legal aid and with Citizens Advice under market attack from A4E.

  21. I regard the current political attacks on people who are reliant on benefits due to disability as being little more than a declaration of (civil) war.
    We aren't stupid.
    Cutting the cost equals cutting the benefit.
    Attacking people on the basis of their disability is criminal.
    Trying to disguise it with a name change is just dishonest.

  22. I was going to stay out of this one, but can I just say that I think Mason Dixon's comment utterly crucial.

    At the moment, if you previously had an award and your condition has only worsened, you can use this at tribunal. When PIP comes in it will all be irrelevant.

    As he says, a name change is just a way of making sure we fight all the same battles all over again.

  23. Thanks everyone - this is as expected.

    I'll be colating comments from the groups and passing back to Jane. She values the input.

    Mo Stewart

  24. I'll be monitoring the groups for 24 hours.

    Your comments are verbatum on the other groups. Thanks for your help and many thanks to Sue for putting this in her site.


  25. My views are very simple of a man from the bank of England with great honesty and integrity and that is for Bns Jane Campbell to do the right thing as she is more then capable of doing so and doesn't need a reminder from someone like myself

    As long as the payments remain unchanged then it should not matter what the name is all that is required is for honesty and integrity to be implemented in going forward

  26. If anyone doubts the power of a name-change for a benefit, two examples.

    When DLA was introduced, claims for Invalidity Benefit shot up as people who went to claim DLA (mainly ex-residents of closed care homes and psychiatric hospitals) were advised they were eligible for Invalidity Benefit. The Major government knew what the cause was but pretended it was 'inexplicable' and sought to grab headlines by clamping down on it: they would replace Invalidity Benefit with Incapacity Benefit and it would be much tougher. It wasn't really much tougher, there were few differences. Most of the effect of the sudden stop in the rise that happened in 1995 was because IB claims overtook DLA claims and it was the DLA claims that had forced it up. So once these DLA claimants had dried up, the rise would arrest. But it stayed arrested for nearly ten years all the way to 2005 when it suddenly started going down. This effect is explained by the case history for Invalidity Benefit not applying to Incapacity Benefit. People had given up fighting the battles.

    This trend continues with ESA; anyone that was still fighting for justice over their IB claim would have been kicked in the teeth by it being replaced. Their fight is no longer valid.

  27. The World Health Organisation's World Report on Disability 2011 says -

    "People with disabilities and their families often incur additional costs to achieve a standard of living equivalent to that of non-disabled people. This additional spending may go towards health care services, assistive devices, costlier transportation options, heating, laundry services, special diets, or personal assistance."

    "People with disabilities may require a range of services – from relatively minor and inexpensive interventions to complex and costly ones. Data on the needs – both met and unmet – are important for policy and programmes. Unmet needs for support may relate to everyday activities – such as personal care, access to aids and equipment, participation in education, employment, and social activities, and modifications to the home or workplace."

    "The disability experience resulting from the interaction of health conditions, personal factors, and environmental factors varies greatly. Persons with disabilities are diverse and heterogeneous, while stereotypical views of disability emphasize wheelchair users and a few other “classic” groups such as blind people and deaf people. Disability encompasses the child born with a congenital condition such as cerebral palsy or the young soldier who loses his leg to a land-mine, or the middle-aged woman with severe arthritis, or the older person with dementia, among many others. Health conditions can be visible or invisible; temporary or long term; static, episodic, or degenerating; painful or inconsequential."

    "The CRPD – the most recent, and the most extensive recognition of the human rights of persons with disabilities – outlines the civil, cultural, political, social, and economic rights of persons with disabilities. Its purpose is to “promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by people with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity"

    "The CRPD sees support and assistance not as ends in themselves but as means to preserving
    dignity and enabling individual autonomy and social inclusion. Equal rights and participation are thus to be achieved, in part, through the provision of support services for people with disabilities and their families. Article 12 restores the capacity of decision-making to people with disabilities. Respecting individual wishes and preferences – whether through supported decision-making or otherwise — is a legal imperative."

    "People with disabilities often have unique insights about their disability and their situation. In formulating and implementing policies, laws, and services, people with disabilities should be consulted and actively involved."

    "Often people with disabilities and their families have excessive out-of-pocket expenses. To improve the affordability of goods and services for people with disabilities and to offset the extra costs associated with disability, particularly for poor and vulnerable persons with disabilities, consideration should be given to expanding health and social insurance coverage, ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to public social services, ensuring that poor and vulnerable people with disabilities benefit from poverty-targeted safety net programmes, and introducing fee-waivers, reduced transport fares, and reduced import taxes and duties on assistive technologies."

  28. Continued from above -

    Recommendations for Governments :

    “Review and revise existing legislation and policies for consistency with the CRPD;

    Review mainstream and disability-specific policies, systems, and services to identify gaps and barriers and to plan actions to overcome them.

    Introduce measures to ensure that people with disabilities are protected from poverty and benefit adequately from mainstream poverty alleviation programmes.

    Implement communication campaigns to increase public knowledge and understanding of disability.

    Establish channels for people with disabilities and third parties to lodge complaints on human rights

  29. Yes,keep it as D.L.A it is important that what this name signifys stays as it is.It is a "living allowance" given by the public with compassion to enable the less fortunate to live reasonably with a disability.This government and the last will remove it and put in place a very useful "Big society" plan which will mean that the disabled are subject to a lottery.A lottery of help from charities if there is one in your town,village,street,what happens to those who have no food and no mobility is another question for Cameron? Our country has a proud reputation of helping each other when life gives us a knock, for those born with a handicap,the eldery and all those who need compassion regardless of what label we use.We pay into it and it is a life saver,it is a means of letting people hold their head high,have self esteem and enable them in some instances to recover enough to resume work.So many different equations but with one principle,a civilised nation has a safety net for those in need of our love and care.Remove it at the risk of also removing those powerful words from society and see where it leads at our peril!

  30. They asked us all this already didnt they?? I wrote in big letters on my reply to the consultation do not change the name, we like it, it works, it explains what it does. It lets the public know what it is for unlike PIP, I mean who knows it going be shortened to PEEEEEEEE!!

    I agree it should be up to the person what they spend it on, but there seems like there will be a narrowing down of what is going to be considered as neccessary. If it really was personal to each need they should then pay for everything that you need.

    Indepenant is strange name as if I use the money to pay for someone to do things for me it dosnt make me indepenant! It just means I can pay someone to do the job and live that was why DLA was a good name. Saying that anything that means I dont have to beg someone else to do it for free does make me indepenant I suppose.

  31. My DLA goes on taxi's to and from doctors, hospital shops visitng family and friends, footwaer, bedding clothes etc etc and it still aint enough. so they want to stop it all together for people who are not severly disabled. tell you the truth why dont you just kill me and save yourself the pittance you allow me. I worked all my life like countless others and for what you piss taking bxxxxxxs. sick sick cant take no more

  32. Spot on Fourbanks, great comment.

  33. Anonymous @ 21:21

    Please keep a little faith or if you can't, borrow some of mine. We all feel hopeless sometimes here and we just shuffle the faith about between us. We all support each other :))

  34. This is a bit on an aside but I'd just like to point out that many of us already don't have the luxury of choosing what to spend our DLA on.

    For someone like me it is "stolen" at source by social services to pay for my care. Regardless of how many hours I have, they will take all of mid rate care. They also take some of my Severe Disability Premium.

    Incidentally I wonder if the government has thought about that with their plans to abolish SDP with universal credit. Local social services will have to pick up the tab and contribute more towards my care costs.

  35. Leave DLA alone and spend the money saved on the huge unnecessary administration to make unwanted changes to top up payments to those of us who depend on this benefit

  36. I had an industrial injury, & receive a benefit called "Industrial Injuries Benefit".
    Nothing surprising about that you say, & the name says what it is!
    DLA is exactly what it says on the tin; so please stop messing, stop trying to change names, hiding the truth behind a new name & leave it well alone.
    If it 'aint broke don't try to fix it, you end up in a mess & I know who will suffer as a consequence.

  37. Keep it as is. I also believe strongly that disabled people shouldn't be reassessed every year for DLA. I don't receive the benefit (although where's the benefit when everyone thinks you're scum of the earth for claiming?) because I was told I am not eligible despite not leaving my home for months on end, being so sick I can't attend specialist appointments, clinics and to see my own GP.

    I am going to appeal their decision as they've also told me I'm not to get ESA - I do think that should be changed in name but realise we're not here to discuss ESA so I'll stick to DLA. Don't mess with the name it's fine as it is. If we change to something flowery like 'Less Able Bodied Payments' then that's a sincere insult to injury - disabled people are already shove to the back of the que in the UK so keep the name, it's true after all.

    Disabled people claiming an allowance to live, to survive.

  38. I can only speak for my own 'disability' of 'severe' sight loss as DWP now likes to label me. It will never get better, or worse, and all this is on my medical records. It is a pointless exercise to reassess me in the vain hope that it will change. If by some miracle it got better the world would hear because it truly would be a miracle!
    Under the present DLA I was awarded this allowance for life. This was changed recently to 'indefinitely'. I am in receipt of middle care & higher mobility.

    Under the new PIP all allowance will cease in 2005 when I reach my new retirement age of 62 yrs & 5 months. I will then have to apply for the limited Attendance Allowance which has NO mobility component.

    Once you are awarded DLA, or PIP if it gets changed, that should be it. My disability will not suddenly stop when I reach retirement age. The reasons for awarding it to me, in the first place, are still there exactly the same. Meeting the extra costs of living with my sight loss. Incidentally these costs are far higher than any annual increases in my allowance..
    I was awarded DLA in 1997, have never needed reassessing. The medical reports were perfectly acceptable then and there should be no reason to question them now. I still need supervision in my own home and still need to be escorted when leaving my home. I still can't cross the road safely, shop, catch a bus, access the surgery or hospital. I still can't read or write, cook, use the washer or heating system. In fact I still can't see.

    To stop the Mobility component, under the new PIP, at retirement age is mind blowing. What happens to the Motability scheme? If you are, at present, in receipt of DLA Mobility Higher Rate you may apply for a car. You have to sign a 3 year contract with them in order to get a car. Do you suddenly become mobile when you retire? I think not.

  39. At the moment the Carer's Allowance is tied to the DLA...what is going to happen with PIP?

  40. If the government brings its planned changes to Contribution Based ESA in April 2012 I will be forced to use my DLA to pay for more ordinary things like a roof over my head, food and heat. It might well be that we have to give up the car. My worry is that if PIP brings in a more bureaucratic approach to the extra costs of disability I will lose my disability related benefits because I am not using them for the extra costs I have because of disability I am using them for the actual costs of living.
    Sunshine Meadows (Ouch Too)

  41. I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear of this change of heart. I simply cannot be independent at the moment, and the freedom that DLA gives me to live better makes such an enormous difference to the stress of being chronically ill. I can't say I'm up to date with all the machinations on this - I suffer from ME with huge cognitive issues - but I'm relieved that there are moves to keep DLA. Thank you!

  42. If the Government really wanted to treat people like independant adults they would leave DLA alone and let people spend the extra money on what that person deemed appropriate to help them manage their lives. However we all know that the change from PIP to DLA is a means to throw people off benefits cloaked in the guise of trying to help people live indepenant lives. Considering how GP's and now being pushed into contracts by which they will have to try and encourage people to stay in work or go back to work as quickly as possible, under the false premise that work is good for you, I can forsee that no one will be eligible for PIP when it is introduced.

  43. I agree with Baroness Campbell - the name Disability Living Allowance should be kept because the Government does NOT understand what independent living is about. Their new payment will NOT result in independence for disabled people, so it is hypocritical to call it Personal Independence Payment. DLA does what it says on the tin - it is an allowance to help us with the extra costs of living with an impairment. That's it. Keep it.

  44. This benefit was awarded to disabled people in recognition of the higher costs of living with disability. The Government seems to consider that this benefit is being awarded to those who don't qualify for it. Tightening the eligibility criteria and expecting disabled people to undergo yet more stringent assessments implies that it's currently too easy to be awarded of DLA. The reality is very, very different. It is already a stringent process and works well. Leave DLA alone!

  45. DLA should remain as it is, non means tested, non taxable, and not dependent on payment of NI Contributions. It should continue to be available to people in work as well as those who are unable to work. Sick and disabled people who have deteriorating and permanent conditions and life time awards shouldn't have to go through yet another assessment process when a reassessment would'nt change their condition or entitlement. Any kind of reassessment for those people, including the proposed change to PIP, is a waste of public resources. DLA works. Why change it?

  46. When Disability Living Allowance came in in 1992
    it brought financial support to more disabled
    people through the lower mobility and personal care components. By reducing the number of rates available under PIP to two per component the eligibility criteria will be narrower and many people who need help and qualify under the existing DLA criteria will be excluded. That is a backward step and leads to further hardship and inequality for the disabled.

    We don't need PIP. Leave DLA as it is, it enables us to feel like we are a part of society
    and to lead more independent lives.

  47. So it's going then?, DLA. All this talk about changing the name from PIP and keeping DLA as the name wont matter one bit, it's gone. No one listens to our views our fears. I cant see the point not negative either just sick to death of being told that i'm a scrounger a fraud cheat, no good work shy person. let them do what they want now only the deaths of people will highlight the impact. and what about our Human Rights where is that going

  48. With the proposals for PIP, the government talk about only providing support for those people who face the "greatest day to day challenges" or "greatest needs". It seems it will no longer be enough for someone to show they need support or that they face barriers or have extra costs to be met. PIP criteria will pit one group of disabled people against another in some kind of pecking order.

    To take away support from those who have "lesser need" will be devastating to their lives and will only result in further anguish, less independence and more cost to other agencies.

    I am also extremely concerned that the "assessment" for eligibility for PIP will turn out to be much the same as the disastrous WCA being used for ESA.

    All in all, I believe PIP is just a costly and unneccesary rehash which will result in many people losing out and being unable to support their needs, both in and out of work.

  49. The whole reason for DLA was to put disabled people on an equal level (as far as possible) with those who don't suffer disability or illness. By making it even harder to be elgible for support, with the new PIP criteria, they will be denying us quality of life - which is our right under the Human Rights Act. I seriously question whether what they are proposing is legal. It is most definitely not ethical.

  50. Every ill or disabled person I talk to about this is petrified they won't be able to carry on living independently, pay for their carer, do any work or drive anywhere, or afford to pay for even food, let alone their vital aids, without DLA. There are already cuts to services for disabled people and this means even more expense. Yet with PIP we would probably get less allowance as well as being faced with less services. We will end up being isolated in our homes and excluded from living with the rest of our neighbourhood, the rest of society.

    And this will end up with us being seen by others as even more "different" than we already are.

    In my view it is discrimination in the guise of reform.

  51. they keep going on about the forms being long and confusing and saying people don’t understand DLA and that’s why they have to change it to PIP. but it’s gonna cost millions to change it all. instead what they should do is just give us more time and help with filling in forms - like CAB and the like, and just print some leaflets explaining things better and send them out everywhere. it’s gotta be a whole lot cheaper than re-doing the whole flippin thing! they’re mad saying they doing it to save money, it’s gonna cost them more!

  52. DLA is the most effective and least abused benefit. Why even think about fixing something which isn’t broken?!! There must be another motive other than supposedly helping those with ‘the greatest need’. And if it’s to save money they better think again - it won’t. It will just shift the cost to other services like the NHS. Leave DLA alone, it has worked well for many years and doesn’t need to be changed.

  53. For god’s sake why won’t this government leave us alone, I just feel constantly harassed. All I want is to be able to try and live my painful life as best as I can, without constant stress and fear. DLA helps me to make the best of the bad hand I’ve been dealt. Please don’t take it away or make me jump through more ridiculous hoops just to try and prove that I need help living in this world. All those people in government who arent sick should come and live my life then see if they would want DLA taken away.

  54. Changing DLA to PIP will mean I have less choice, less independence, less dignity and probably worse health. So, no, I don’t think it’s a good idea! DLA has been a life-line for me and I can’t imagine doing without it. It would make life unbearable. I’m scared that I will get much less on PIP and so my life will become miserable again. Please leave it alone.

  55. What greatly concerns me about PIP, from what I have seen, is the lack of criteria involving supervision - this is the basis on which I receive both my DLA mobility and care awards, for long-term mental health problems. Many people with mental health issues will also be getting their DLA on these grounds. What's going to happen to them? This will seriously compromise 'care in the community' for those with severe mental illness.

  56. 1984 was meant to be a warning, not a template.

  57. Yes, let's keep the name of whatever the benefit is relevant to the claimant's situation.

    JSA for those seeking work makes sense.

    ESA instead of IB for those too ill to work and PIP instead of DLA for those living with a disability are the result of the way IDS and his ilk view the vulnerable.

    Designations such as EMPLOYMENT Support Allowance, Personal INDEPENDENCE Payment and a medical test called the WORK CAPABILITY Assessment all serve to convince the general public that the sick and vulnerable are nothing more than "workshy, feckless scroungers" and make it easier for this type of support to be reduced or (as they would really like) withdrawn completely.

    More scrutiny and criticism of this nasty approach is overdue and very welcome.

  58. Will they guarantee that no-one who is currently on middle or high rate will be put on the low rate? If not, and I’m sure they won’t guarantee it (!), there will be huge financial repercussions. Not just for those of us who lose out, but for the government in the huge rise in appeals and the cost of those. They really have not thought this through. They have no idea what they’re doing!!

  59. I also took part in the consultation regarding DLA which was a whitewash because they moved ahead with the Welfare Reform Bill before the consultation was closed. In the consultation I like many others answered in detail why the name shouldn't be changed, why DLA should be kept. Also the consultation stated that disabled people were the best people to talk about their needs. Over 5000 people took part but when the consultation was published, answers were cherry-picked to fit the questions and justify the changes they wanted to make. In other words, it was just paying lip service. Where many people had disagreed, the answers were suitably vague, showing no statistics or just how many people disagreed with certain questions. This is shoddy and unscientific. When they talk about targeting those with most need, they mean everyone else can go and rot. It isn't a benefit for the 21st century - it sets us back decades

  60. Time after time they are proving that their words are totally meaningless. Do they really think that just by changing three words in the name we will be fooled into thinking that everything will be ok? That we will not notice the devastating prospect hidden beneath the nicety? No, I do not accept PIP. Not the name, the content or the intention behind it.

  61. Rather than spending vast amounts of money on changing to PIP why don’t they just put a smaller amount of money into improving the administration of DLA by giving staff better training in disability issues and improving the public’s awareness of their eligibility to claim the allowance? Many people who are eligible don’t even know that they are.

    Don’t bring in PIP, spend less money instead on -

    Improve disability training.

    Publicity campaign to inform people of entitlement

    Assistance with completion of forms.

  62. Do the honourable Lords and Ladies in the other House feel they will be immune from similar attack by a rampant unrestrained lower house driven mad with too much power and greed?

  63. Why fix something that isn't broken?? Lowest fraud rate of all the benefits and the costs to change it to PIP must be staggering... Leave it alone - it is just a licence for the Govt to lose those on the lowest mobility and care rates at present. Disgusting!

  64. The passage of the Welfare Reform Bill will erase existing case law.

    It is unreasonable to expect sick and disabled people to fight laws which may prove to have been very poorly drafted while all means of advocacy are being stripped away.

    Continuous re-assessment by contractors not answerable to nor governable by, apparently, our own jurisdiction; judging tax and national insurance payers under a very loose, casual and degrading presumption of guilt?

    Meanwhile, government is redrafting the gp's contract to form a conflict between the doctor's duty of advocacy and turning that doctor, it seems, into a government taskmaster?

    I'm sure this will be called; one day, by an elderly judge overseeing its review; an unintended consequence. It is going to have a disastrous effect on people's existing conditions.

    I beg The noble Baroness to continue her valiant scrutiny of this Bill; we are adult citizens who deserve dignity in our engagement with what seems a rather cruel moment in our existence.

  65. let us not say change the wording let us say leave it alone

  66. Late to the party I know but: yes, keep the name, please. As others have said what the money needs to go on varies enormously - it all comes down to what will be best for me, but whether that is buying ready meals or cooking from scratch, or bussing or taxiing or walking, varies enormously from day to day and week to week. Baroness Campbell is spot on.

  67. Please leave DLA alone. I am currently on Incapacity Benefit (dreading reassessment) and I receive DLA at the lowest rate for care and mobility. I am unable to work because I have long term mental health problems. It took me 3 attempts to get DLA and it has made the single biggest difference to the way I manage my life. Because appropriate therapy is not available to me on the NHS (in my area you have to be in severe crisis and a danger to others/yourself before you are even considered for referral to a six month waiting list for the CMT or a shrink) I use my DLA to pay for therapy from a specialist charity and the costs of travelling to this once a week. If I was reassessed for PIP I probably would not receive it as I believe the DLA equivalents of LRC & LRM are going to be removed completely. This would leave me without any help for my condition other than drugs which make my condition worse and are inappropriate and/or CBT (as provided by ATOS via Positive Step) which both my GP and Counsellor agree would be seriously damaging to me. Please don't mess with DLA. Without it, I won't survive.

  68. Robert: Will they guarantee that no-one who is currently on middle or high rate will be put on the low rate? If not, and I’m sure they won’t guarantee it (!), there will be huge financial repercussions.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere it's not the middle rate they're getting rid of, it seems, but the low rate - it was a huge fight just for me to get low rate I doubt I could get middle rate really, but as it stands anyone on low rate will be cut off. The rationalisation for this being that low rate is so low it probably don't make a lick of difference (which is true, it's a paltry sum) but also on some level I think there's this belief that if you're on low rate you're probably not THAT disabled anyway and ergo it wouldn't make a difference if you had DLA or not.

    The thing about DLA is without it, I would not be considered "Officially" disabled; no working tax credits, no housing benefit, no council tax benefit, none of the things I currently have which keep me in relative comfort and give quality of life would be available to me at all. And since it seems my doctor's own diagnosis isn't enough to prove my illness and disability, I certainly couldn't convince a company designed to trim a budget of it.

    A lot of factors here.

  69. What I see in the House of Lords are many eloquent and well argued cases AGAINST the Government's proposed legislation but nearly every time they seem to pass it on the nod. Why is this, or is it just my biased opinion? Even if the Lords completely opposes a Bill the Commons has the Parliament Act to invoke if it displeases them, so we are back to the comfortable majority the Government enjoys with the Coalition members.

  70. I'm sure Baroness Campbell having read this blog will realize how worried and stressed we all are and do the right thing
    It will be to late for the likes of myself as my weight loss is terminal as after 30 years of abuse by the government's of the day and the DWP have taken their toll

    I look worse then Steve jobs but that has never helped me the government always wonted to punish those that they could get away with and i was just one of the unlucky ones in society

  71. Black Rod
    Black Rod has the task of arresting any Lord guilty of breach of privilege or other Parliamentary offence, such as contempt or disorder, or the disturbance of the House's proceedings. As the Sergeant-at-Arms and Keeper of the Doors of the House he is concerned in the admission of strangers to the House of Lords. The black rod is used to tap the governor's shoulder.

  72. I'm not the only person who has had DLA stopped because I "failed" WCA.
    There are several issues here.

    1) Converting IB claimants to ESA means that the people who claim DLA no longer have the separation between those benefits - ie. DLA decision makers can and do use the result of the WCA to determine DLA. They couldn't do that with IB. If ESA claimants are going to be reassessed every few months (me - 4 times in 2 years) there is a chance that failing the WCA will mean no ESA and no DLA either.

    2) Converting DLA, which is an allowance for living with th extra expenses incurred by being disabled, to PIP, which is a payment for "independence", ensures that people who cannot ever be independent will not qualify. If a person is wholly dependent on residential care, they won't need a payment for anything else, will they?
    That seems to be the logic. So unless you can prove that you need the money for personal independence, ie. to do all the activities of daily living on your own, you may not get a payment at all.

    3) Changing the names of benefits means that no case law exists under the new names - people will not be able to cite precedent, as the rules for new benefits will differ from the old. And with no access to legal aid, it will be harder to challenge decisions anyway.

    I'd be grateful if the baroness could also look at how people are assessed. We all have some experience of how the Atos people will judge us fit for work, but our own doctors opinions have no bearing on these decisions.

    If the WCA is linked to DLA under ESA claims, then many people will lose DLA; will there be time limits applied for re-claims?
    If a person appeals against an ESA decision, and gets appeal rate for the period while they wait for a hearing, what happens to the DLA if that's stopped as well? Will it be reinstated?

    Despite needing help with basic stuff like keeping clean, I need help with doing stuff like shopping and getting to appointments. I only ever got lower rate care, no mobility - although I needed help with transport, and that was stopped after I "failed" a WCA. I was put into the Work Related Activity Group last time, and decided not to risk another appeal for the sake of a measly fiver - DWP would not reinstate DLA because I was allegedly capable of WR activity.

    This whole thing has either -
    1) Not been thought through at all, or
    2) Deliberately devised to ensure that Atos/DWP assess people for new benefits which are linked in order to make it as difficult as possible for people to claim.

    Personally, I suspect the latter.

  73. I seem to remember the consultation said something about those who receive PIP before they are 65 MAY continue to receive it IF their needs continue. Does this mean that there may be a reassessment when you reach 65? Surely that is an arbitrary figure, how can they justify the need for reassessment just because you have a birthday? Just because you have a birthday your needs suddenly change? If anything your needs are likely to increase as you get older.

    Also, does it mean if you weren't receiving before you were 65, that you are then NOT eligible to claim it after 65?

    In other words, if they do away with DLA, anyone over 65 who needs help won't be able to get it.

    I believe with DLA this is not the case - therefore leave DLA alone! How could it be right to deny anyone over 65 the help they will in all likelihood need?

  74. They say the reason for DLA reform is to reduce the current level of expenditure which has increased over time, and they infer that people may be defrauding the system because they are not regularly assessed. What they seem conveniently to forget is that the number of people living longer with disabilities or serious illness has risen. This is what has led to increased expenditure on DLA rather than fraud.

    It’s clear that the main motivation for this so-called ‘Reform’ is the reduction of cost rather than improving the lives of those who need the support DLA provides. So where does the government’s "commitment to supporting disabled people to lead independent and active lives" stand in the face of that? PIP will lead to more dependency and inactivity because people will no longer be able to afford the things which allow that independence.

    DLA doesn’t need reform. By the way, I think that word is totally misleading - Reform means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory. I would say Demolition would be more apt for what they are proposing.

  75. To justify introducing PIP and doing away with DLA the Government are saying "We will create a benefit that is simpler to administer and easier to understand, is fair, and supports disabled people who face the greatest challenges to remaining independent and leading full, active lives."

    Well, DLA can't be that difficult to administer - it's been working well for nearly 20 years. It is easy to understand - the forms are long and a pain, but apart from that, what's the problem? It is fair, and more fair than PIP will be. And it supports us in remaining independent. So, why change it?

    Unless you read between the lines to that last bit - leading full, active lives!!

    Are they only going to give PIP to people who can lead full and active lives? Most people I know who are on DLA are simply not able to lead 'full and active lives' - BUT they lead better lives than they would without it.

    Are they intending to set up some sort of caste system - those who can have full active lives will get help, those who can't will get nothing?

  76. Incidentally - people who claim Disabled Tax Credits for their sick/disabled children are having the rate cut from about £50-odd to less than £30.
    If some of these children are going to lose DLA, that's double whammy. Maybe even a treble if the plans to remove NI conts presumption for children goes ahead, and/or the removal of conts based ESA after one year.

    perhaps the Baroness might like to look at the impact removing DLA will have on such families - and many carers of disabled adults.
    The costs of rsidential care for very sick/disabled people is astronomical, and carers save the government billions.
    If carers don't have the resources to provide care, or individuals aren't given what they need to live with safety in the community, they will not be able to cope.
    This could not only split up families, but force sick and disabled children back into residential care.
    The numbers may be such that it becomes necessary to open asylums/hospitals again.

    I was saddened to hear of the death of young Ivan Cameron - but his father claimed all the available allowances for him (which he's perfectly entitled to do) despite being a multi-millionaire.
    My be he thinks it's OK that he couldn't do that if these "reforms" become law, but then he can afford to buy in care, which the vast majority of us can't.

    The sick irony of Atos sponsoring the Paralympics shouldn't be lost on the Baroness either.
    There is funding and support (eg. Help for Heroes) that goes to pay for an exceptional elite to compete in the games - the vast majority of claimants are not part of that elite, many of us are very ill.
    Whilst I am very pleased to see disabled people doing well, I am very concerned that the general public are now seeing a public perception of disability which does not reflect the many lives that are lived in pain, sickness, and poverty.
    In the same way that all Olympians do not reflect the fitness of the general public, the Paralympians don't reflect the truth for most of us.
    I actually heard someone say the other day that some of the disabled's issues would be sorted if we got more fit. I kid you not.

    Anyone know of a gym that takes patients on chemo?
    Or oxygen? Or with a tracheostomy?

  77. A leadership void of Nicomachean Ethics is doomed.

  78. I do not know how I will feel tomorrow.I do not know how I will feel tonight.Right now I am hot and have the window open,this could change by the time I've finished writting this and I could get even hotter,needing a cool shower with help from my husband,ice packs and a fan on.Or I could feel so cold I need a hot shower,the heating on,the fire on,a hot water bottle.I will need help with all of this.Or,I might feel ok .I might even sleep tonight.I might not have spasams,servere pain,dizziness,nausea,all of which will require help from another human being just to get me through the night,somehow, untill it all starts again tomorrow.During the day I will need help,but just what kind of help and for how long I do not know.
    No doctor can say either,nor can a pen pusher,or anyone else.I have a complex,degenerate disease which has frankly ruined my life.There is no cure,and treatments,if you are lucky enough to get them are hit and miss,entirely miss in my case.
    DLA allows me to live a little bit,when I can.That is the whole point of it.Independence is a relative term,what means independence to me is having a choice of what I spend when and how.Not when someone who knows nothing about my disease or my life with it thinks I should.

    Sorry for any spelling errors and thankyou for your help.

  79. I hope you are the Faculty Rep for Language B in the IBO. If so I would like to get in contact with you regarding resources for the new MYP Guide especially visual interpretation. Please contact me at:
    Angeles Sanchez.
    P.S. I would need those examples in Spanish. I have already searched the OCC.

  80. I have the same opinion with Baroness Campbell - the name Disability Living payment be theoretical to be kept since the Government does NOT appreciate what autonomous living is about. Their new payment will NOT result in self-government for disable people, so it is insincere to call it Personal Independence Payment. san jose therapist.