Disabled people are to be ‘warehoused’. We should be livid

New rules could see 13,000 people with disabilities and long-term health needs forced into care homes. This is treating people as objects to be stored

The inescapable logic of austerity is looking likely, once again, to reduce people with disabilities to objects – and in doing so to reduce their independence, options and enjoyment of life. According to the Health Service Journal, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from campaign group Disability United found that 37 NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England were introducing rules about ongoing care that could force up to 13,000 people with health conditions into care homes. The CCGs will essentially begin saying to people with disabilities and long-term health needs: if you haven’t got the cash for homecare, then it’s off to a care home for you.

Imagine you have been living in your home for years. It might be where your kids were born. Being at home, having your stuff around you, having the greatest possible measure of independence, obviously means a lot to everyone, whether you’re well, ill or disabled. Then one day someone comes and tells you, “Nope, you’re too expensive here. We’re moving you to a care home unless you cough up the money to pay for what you need.”

This sounds innocuous to many people. Disabled people and care homes go together in the public mind as easily as “peak-time train service” and “cancellation”. The FOI requests found CCGs were setting limits on how much they were prepared to pay for supporting people in their homes compared to an “alternative option”, which is usually a care home. They were willing to pay between 10% and 40% above the care home option, which will often not be enough to keep someone in their own home.

Anita Bellows, a member of campaigning group Disabled People Against the Cuts is emphatic about what this means: “Institutionalisation is the logical conclusion of cutting the funds for maintaining people at home.”

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/25/disabled-people-disabilities-health-care-homes

New exemptions from the bedroom tax come into law

From 1st April 2017 the rules are changing to allow an additional bedroom for disabled children or non-dependent adults who require overnight care and for couples who are unable to share a bedroom for health reasons. Previously people in these circumstances could have been subject to the bedroom tax.

The ‘bedroom tax’ means that working age people who get help towards their rent through Housing Benefit can have the amount they receive restricted if they are considered to have too many bedrooms.

Ever since the policy was proposed Carers UK have campaigned for it to be scrapped. We’ve argued that these bedrooms are not spare but needed by families providing care.

In November the Supreme Court ruled in favour of two families; Carers UK member Paul Rutherford and his wife Susan care for their profoundly disabled 14-year-old grandson, Warren, and live in a specially adapted home, which has a room for a care worker to stay when providing overnight care. This had been deemed as a spare bedroom and, as a result, their housing benefit had been reduced.

The Court also ruled in favour of Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael, who are unable to share a bedroom due to Jacqueline’s severe disability.

To reflect the Court’s ruling the Government has changed the law to create further exemptions for carers from the Bedroom Tax. This means that from the 1st of April:

  • A couple that could not share a room because of a disability – could now have an additional room. This is already allowed for disabled children that cannot share a bedroom with another child.
  • A child that is disabled – may need overnight care from someone other than the parent/s and may need an additional bedroom can have one.  This was previously allowed for a disabled adult, but not for children.

Although we are delighted that the law is being changed we are concerned about the way the change is being communicated to local authority staff in charge of Housing Benefit as the guidance given to them appears to attempt to  limit the kinds of health conditions that could result in an extra room.

Read more here: http://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/news/new-exemptions-from-the-bedroom-tax-come-into-law

Sharp rise in rejected claims for disability benefit

Labour raises alarm over number of people being turned down for personal independence payments.

This article titled “Sharp rise in rejected claims for disability benefit” was written by Rowena Mason Deputy political editor, for The Guardian on Sunday 16th April 2017 23.01 UTC

About 200,000 people face seeing their claims for a disability benefit to help with daily living and mobility refused this year, new figures obtained by Labour suggest.

Senior MPs have called on the government to explain an apparent spike in people being turned down for personal independence payment (PIP), which is a top-up benefit with two components related to the extra costs of daily living and limited mobility for disabled people.

Read more here:http://www.welfareweekly.com/sharp-rise-in-rejected-claims-for-disability-benefit/

Disability rights have regressed in nine areas, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Disabled people’s rights have regressed in at least nine areas since the coalition government assumed power in 2010, according to a new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The report concludes that disabled people are still being treated as “second-class citizens” and that rights have regressed in many areas of society, while in others progress has stalled.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disability-rights-have-regressed-in-nine-areas-says-ehrc/

Average pay rates fell seven times faster for disabled employees during coalition years

New figures show average pay rates for disabled people fell seven times faster than those for non-disabled people during the five years of the coalition government.

The figures were produced for Being Disabled In Britain, a major review of disability inequality by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/average-pay-rates-fell-seven-times-faster-for-disabled-employees-during-coalition-years/

Limited life chances of disabled people in Britain revealed by damning report

Equality and Human Rights Commission highlights employment, adequate healthcare and independent living among areas of particular concern

Disabled people are being left behind and are living in poverty with very poor life chances, a damning report has concluded.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission report, billed as the most comprehensive analysis of the rights of disabled people in Britain, also found that changes to benefit rules have had a particularly disproportionate, cumulative impact on their right to live independently.

David Isaac, chair of the EHRC, called for a new national focus on the rights of Britain’s 13 million disabled people. “They must have the same rights, opportunities and respect as other citizens,” he said.

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/03/limited-life-chances-of-disabled-people-in-britain-revealed-by-damning-report

Tens of thousands of disabled people hit by cruel benefit sanctions, DWP figures show : Welfare Weekly.

More than 71,000 sanctions were applied against disabled ESA claimants between 3 December 2012 and 30 December 2016. While the mainstream media is focusing on the latest employment data, figures published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveal that tens of thousands of people with disabilities have been subjected to cruel benefit […]

via Tens of thousands of disabled people hit by cruel benefit sanctions, DWP figures show : Welfare Weekly. — DWPExamination.