DBC launches report into Welfare Reform Bill

A report published today by the Disability Benefits Consortium a coalition of 41 charities and organisations shows how welfare reform changes may harm disabled people.

The report Benefiting disabled people? highlights concerns over the impact of reforms to vital benefits like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on thousands of disabled people and their families.

The report, presents the findings of recent surveys. The Disability Benefits Consortium surveyed 6,000 disabled people and found that:

  • 43% of those who had been for a medical assessment for ESA said it made their condition worse because of the stress and anxiety caused;
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 believed the assessment failed to take account of how their condition fluctuates; and
  • Of those not in work, more than half have been unable to find work for over two years.

Co-chair of the DBC policy group, Rebecca Rennison from Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “Our research shows the difficulties thousands of disabled people face when seeking support from the benefits system. Much more work is urgently needed to ensure that benefits like ESA help disabled people, in particular as the Government presses ahead with plans to reassess over one million people currently receiving Incapacity Benefit.”

Disability Alliance surveyed 1,700 people about their experience of Disability Living Allowance, a benefit designed to help meet the extra costs associated with disability. Among respondents:

  • Fewer than 10% said DLA covered all their disability-related costs; and
  • A quarter suggested their disability-related expenditure was over £100 per week (i.e. 40% higher than the average DLA weekly payment).

Disabled people, their families and charities want the Government to listen to what they are saying about proposed changes to vital benefits. They are campaigning to ensure that as the Government seeks to cut public spending disabled people are not ‘the hardest hit’.

Chair of the DBC campaigns group, Federico Moscogiuri, from Arthritis Care, said: “The shake up of the benefits system is set to hit disabled people particularly hard, with future spending on DLA expected to be cut by a huge 20%. “The Hardest Hit” campaign aims to fight damaging cuts to disability benefits. We’re urging our supporters, their families and friends, to join the march at Westminster, on 11 May, so that their voices can be heard.”

Download the full report – Benefiting disabled people

5 thoughts on “DBC launches report into Welfare Reform Bill

  1. Pingback: A Monday mental health and health round-up « Launchpad: By and for mental health service users

  2. ………………..and yet there is money for another war. well maybe we need to declare war on a government which seems intent to destroy a vital part of the lives of so many who are already living differently on the edge of the real world -if there was the sincere commitment to personalise all service delivery there would be a budget tailored to every individuals needs so CHOICE would be a true option. the In Control concept is perfect positive outcomes are to be found amongst the few who have been fortunate enough to be helped to live differently before the powers that be effectively changed their minds -and the funding. for the many trapped in
    situations they cannot change they are now destined to live even more impoverished lives with increasing dependence on charity.
    what a sad indictment on a still relatively wealthy country whose values let it down big time. I plan to empower as many disabled individuals as possible to vote -and there are so many now just waiting to have their say– but who will be listening I wonder?—– those that can have a duty to ensure support is offered to anyone who needs it — and that includes the government!

    • My sentiments exactly, especially about the recent money found to create a no-fly zone over Libya.

      I remember David Cameron mentioning something about petitions online being taken into account when policies are made (another publicitiy stunt). Perhaps we should create a petition online and show them how many people will be affected by their actions, remembering that each individual has a vote when it comes to the next election. The Lib-Dems should be ashamed of their actions and allowing themselves to be bought off so easily. They will never get power again after this! Nobody will trust them.

  3. I hope the march goes well but I suspect that many disabled people like myself and my friend will not be present because:
    a/ We can’t afford the transportation to London from Nottingham.
    b/We both have limited mobilaty so joining a march is not possble.
    We feel that the best action would be to have more on line petitions and to have more coverage in the papers and on T.V about the financial hardship imposed on the disabled.
    This government pretends to care about the disabled but as usual we are an easy target.

  4. Pingback: DBC launches report into Welfare Reform Bill « Carer Watch's Blog

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