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.”

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

Council wants to watch abuse survivor shower and toilet to check post-Independent Living Fund needs

A disabled woman has told how her local council is threatening to spend several days watching her every move as she eats, showers and uses the toilet, in order to check if planned cuts to her care package will meet her needs.

The woman, Jane*, a survivor of serious sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and a former Independent Living Fund (ILF) recipient, spoke about the council’s “violation” at a parliamentary campaign meeting this week

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/council-wants-to-watch-abuse-survivor-shower-and-toilet-to-check-post-ilf-needs/

The Abuse Disabled People Face from Social Services & Funding Cuts Since ILF Closure

The government has closed the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and devolved the money to local authorities.

The ILF was a fund designed to help the care needs of the most profoundly disabled citizens of the UK. It was administered at national level through parliament, and was paid out to 18,000 people.

The money devolved to local authorities has not been ring fenced to ensure it is used to support the severely disabled people who were completely reliant on the ILF for their daily needs and independence. Council income has been slashed by the government. Many cash strapped councils have chosen to cut the aid packages for ex-ILF recipients, using the money for urgent purposes elsewhere. This is resulting in huge suffering by those who had previously been in receipt of 24 hour care.

Here’s an account by one of them, published on the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website.

“My beloved friends, most of you know that I have been battling my local council NOT to cut the essential care support I need to maintain my independence & social inclusion. Their drastic cuts will leave me virtually housebound: with just enough care to get me up in the morning & be put to bed at night & have a quick meal at midday and one short toilet break a day, as well as just enough care to go out once a week and 25 minutes a day for help with dish washing, household cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc., and absolutely none for help with showering & other personal care or for food prep & cooking, or anything else. They suggest I purchase ready made, microwavable meals via the internet instead – something I simply cannot afford and even if I could, due to my complex disabilities it would not meet my nutritional needs and would result in my condition deteriorating rapidly, as being made housebound would too”

read more here: http://dpac.uk.net/2016/09/the-abuse-disabled-people-face-from-social-services-and-cuts-to-funding-since-closure-of-ilf/#st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

This disabled man has lost HALF his care after Tories axed the Independent Living Fund

Just like 18,000 others on the Independent Living Fund, Gabriel Pepper was promised he’d be looked after. He says the reality is very different

A disabled man has sparked protests after revealing he’s lost half his care thanks to the Tories’ cruellest cut.

Gabriel Pepper, 44, was paid the Independent Living Fund for 16 years before the government scrapped it despite widespread protests. Just like 18,000 other disabled people Gabriel, who has severe complications from a brain tumour, was promised he’d still be cared for by his local council.

But the government has given councils less money than they had before and made no commitment to giving it directly to ILF clients.

Now the details of Gabriel’s package are clear – and he says the time he has with a carer has dropped from 72 hours a week to 38. That means he has just an hour a week to go shopping, Gabriel says.

He is planning to take legal action over his plight, which prompted a noisy protest yesterday outside the offices of London’s Waltham Forest Council. A dozen campaigners including from Disabled People Against the Cuts brandished signs saying: “A 48% cut is not a transition!”

Gabriel told Mirror Online: “The new cut would reduce my life to a skeleton. Disabled people will not be shoved to the margins of society. Disabled people did not create the global financial crisis.”

Gabriel suffers from poor eyesight and problems with co-ordination and stamina after a tumour in his brain had to be frozen instead of removed. He says he is unable to leave the house without support and has been told other tumours could develop.

“We are British people, and we are very angry, and we have Jeremy Corbyn now,” he added. Austerity in UK is a lie. The UK is the fourth richest country in the world.”

The £320m ILF helped 18,000 disabled people live in the community instead of care homes until it shut its doors on June 30.

Read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-man-lost-half-care-6370509

Very Sorry but the ILF has not been saved ….. yet.

Since late last night a number of Blog items, Facebook and Twitter posts have appeared saying that the Independent Living Fund has been saved.

We’re very sorry but it isn’t correct.

All of the posts refer to this article which was published yesterday.

The article is talking about a case in 2013, which the ILF Campaign won, which quashed the governments original choice to close the ILF because they had failed to follow correct procedure, which the government did accept.

However this year in March, having redone the Equality Impact Assessment for closure of the ILF, the Government announced that the ILF would be closed for a second time.

See the DWP announcements here , here  and the closure programme and transfer to local authority control here  and the second equality analysis here

The DWP Website states that the ILF is closed to new applications.  The revised date for full closure of the fund is now June 2015

It is this second closure that we are now campaigning against, whereas the article refers to the first ILF closure.

We will keep fighting the closure of the ILF, no matter what it takes, and one day we will all be celebrating the saving of the ILF, of that we are sure.

But sadly that day is not today.

By DPAC (Disabled People against Cuts) 28th May 2014: http://dpac.uk.net/2014/05/very-sorry-but-the-ilf-has-not-been-saved-yet/

Disabled people win living fund case against government

Five disabled people have succeeded in a legal challenge to the government’s decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund.


The £320m ILF currently provides support enabling nearly 19,000 severely disabled people in the UK to live independent lives in the community. The High Court ruled in April that the closure decision was lawful, but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal. The government said it was considering whether to contest the judgement.


During the Court of Appeal hearing. the five disabled argued the High Court had gone wrong in law and there had been a lack of proper consultation by ministers over the changes. They said that, without ILF funding and support, they would be forced into residential care or lose their ability to participate in work and everyday activities on the same basis as able-bodied people.

The scheme’s average payout is £300 a week, and the government has said councils, which administer most social care, will take over funding this help. The Independent Living Fund is effectively ring-fenced money for disabled people with high support needs.

They feared that the decision to close the fund and devolve the money to local authorities would, in reality, lead to a reduction or loss of that money. The reason was that once it was devolved back to local authorities, it would cease to be ring-fenced. That would have meant, the campaigners say, it could be subject to normal constraints and cuts within a local authority budget.

The Court of Appeal unanimously quashed the decision to close the fund and devolve the money, on the basis that the minister had not specifically considered duties under the Equality Act, such as the need to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people and, in particular, the need to encourage their participation in public life.

The court emphasised that these considerations were not optional in times of austerity.

This judgement is another example of judicial review in action. It is a process by which the decisions of public bodies can be scrutinised by the courts to ensure that they are lawful. In this case, the Equality Act creates a process that government must go through to ensure their decision affecting disabled people are lawful.


Ministers took the decision close the fund on 18 December last year.


Court of Appeal judges Lord Justice Elias, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice McCombe allowed the challenge to the High Court’s earlier ruling, quashing the original decision in favour of the government. Lord Justice McCombe said the evidence upon which the decision had been based had not given “an adequate flavour of the responses received indicating that independent living might well be put seriously in peril for a large number of people”.


The disabled applicants feared that the decision to close the fund and devolve the money to local authorities would lead to a reduction, or even loss, of that money, which had previously effectively been ring-fenced.


Welcoming the “powerful” ruling, law firms Deighton Pierce-Glynn and Scott-Moncrieff & Associates, which represented the claimants, said their clients had “feared that the loss of their ILF support would threaten their right to live with dignity, and that they could be forced into residential care or lose their ability to work and participate in everyday activities on an equal footing with other people”.


The Court of Appeal decision was described as being “of major importance not just for the claimants, but for all disabled people”.


Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “We are very pleased the Court of Appeal upheld how we undertook our consultation on the future of the fund, and they accepted that it had been carried out properly and fairly. We are disappointed with certain aspects of today’s decision, and we will be examining the judgement very carefully and considering the implications before deciding on the most appropriate way forward, which includes seeking leave to appeal.”


The Equality and Human Rights Commission was permitted by the court to intervene in the case and made submissions on the proper application of the Equality Act and UN Convention.


The ILF was established in 1988, but the government decided in 2010 that it had become “no longer appropriate or sustainable” to keep running the scheme outside the mainstream social care system. The fund closed to new applicants soon afterwards.


From the BBC News site, 6th Nov 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24834558

Disability Living Allowance changes begin

A new system of disability benefits has begun to take effect across England, Scotland and Wales.

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) are replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as part of the government’s welfare


The government claims PIPs will target resources more effectively towards those who need it most.

But a charity warns that almost a fifth of claimants – 600,000 people – could eventually lose their benefits.

Since April, thousands of new claimants in the north of England have already applied for PIPs. Now, new claimants of working age in the rest of Britain will also have to apply for a PIP, rather than DLA.

Northern Ireland will join the system later.

From October, PIPs will be extended further, when the government will start to re-assess existing claimants, but only those whose circumstances have changed.

The vast majority of the 3.2 million people who currently claim DLA will not be re-assessed until 2015 or later.

Many disabled people fear having to be put through the new in-person tests to assess their eligibility.

from the BBC news, 10th June 2013. Read more here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22804563.

We don’t understand why the government is treating us like criminals, 1st May 2013

Proud disabled hero Mary’s despair at cruel cuts to Independent Living Fund

Last summer, when Mary Laver carried the Olympic torch along Newcastle’s New Bridge Street buoyed up by the cheers and applause of the crowds lining the route, it was as a British hero.

The former RAF servicewoman has rheumatoid arthritis so severe that she cannot walk or use her hands. But in 2009, Mary’s journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats in her electric wheelchair – to raise money for The Royal British Legion – made it into the ­Guinness Book of ­World Records. Last year, she was even one of the Games Makers who made London 2012 the People’s ­Olympics – camping with her carers and a battery-powered hoist to lower her on to a stretcher where she slept each night.

Today, sitting in that same wheelchair in the conservatory of her home in a suburb of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, instead of thinking up new, positive challenges, Mary is contemplating a hunger strike. “I’m not sure what else to do,” the 65-year-old says. “I am thinking about begging David Cameron to stop and think about what he’s doing. I’ve never begged for anything in my life.”
Her voice shakes as she considers a third option. “I’ve heard of disabled people talking about going to Switzerland to end it all,” she says, quietly. “Because with the cuts, they fear their lives won’t be worth living any more.”

Mary needs round-the-clock care. “I can’t even scratch my nose without support,” she says. At the moment, 46 hours a week of that care comes from the Independent Living Fund – a special pot of money aimed at helping severely ­disabled people live independent lives.

The Government is shutting down the fund, which is already closed to new applicants. From 2015, Mary and 18,500 other severely disabled recipients will have to ask for help from councils already making cuts to social care. “I am absolutely petrified,” says Mary, who is divorced and lives alone.

“We are very scared people. We don’t understand why the Government is treating us like criminals when we haven’t committed any crime.”

from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/proud-disabled-hero-mary-lavers-1862499#ixzz2RzvO9KPo 1/5/2013 (written by Ros Wynne-Jones