Guest Post: DLA is my lifeline, PIP would mean life gone.

Over the last few days on Twitter, Facebook and now some newspapers have drawn attention to a report on the reform of Disability Living Allowance which had become known as the Spartacus report (it can be viewed here). Here at the Redblog we thoroughly support this report and to show that support we have a passionate guest post from the “allbigideas” blog, which can be viewed in the link above. For more information on the Spartacus report here  on a blog from one of its authors.
Over the last few days there has been incredible support from all sorts of different people, organisations and the media about the spartacus report. This blog will explain what it actually is, and then what a difference it will make to my life if the government are allowed to press ahead with the welfare reform bill without proper consultation with disabled people (by proper I mean asking, listening and acting on what disabled people and our supporters are saying we need). The hash tag on twitter is #spartacusreport. We are fighting for our lives, and some are literally fighting with their lives, causing them sickness and ill health because of this report. We need support, This report is 100% disabled people from inception to delivery. Our main aim is to get the government to at least pause their plans for PIP.————
Freedom of information requests were used to gain access to responses to the consultation on replacing disability living allowance with personal independence payments. The response (and subsequent report) showed that:
  • The government said that the responses support the reforms. They lied. The consultation showed that only 7% do.
  • The consultation did not meet the government’s code of practice. It was too short and it ended two days AFTER they wrote and presented the bill to parliament.
  • The government has consistently claimed a 30% rise in DLA claims. It is 13% and they admit they know this but still claim 30%

In short, this report says that the government broke the rules, LIED, are still lying, and we can prove it. They are lying to force through legislation that will affect millions of people, and could one day affect you. Anyone can become sick or disabled. We simply ask that the legislation is paused and given proper scrutiny.
Facts courtesy of latent existance: (http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/responsible-reform-report-in-simple-terms/)

At the moment I use my Disability living allowance for private treatment. Treatment that isn’t available on the NHS because its deemed to costly. I also use it to remain independent which for most people are little things. This includes being able to have ready meals, my dishwasher and kitchen gadgets (my blender, grill and rice cooker means I can can do it myself). I also use it for getting shopping delivered, and those unexpected things. When I am depressed I can’t focus or budget properly so knowing I don’t have to stress about money is one less thing to stress about. Basically it keeps my life going.

my life? I am currently a student studying for a degree at university, and I am in my third year. I took the decision to do this final year over 2 part time years because of my disability, and knowing I had the security of DLA was a big factor in my decision. I am also creative and enjoy photoshop and taking photos.

So, Thats me and my life with DLA. If the proposals for PIP go ahead you might think I am safe enough as I am disabled and clearly using the money appropriately. No, you would be wrong.

I try not to dwell on it, but the criteria for PIP are vastly different to DLA and the fact that I can use my microwave and rice cooker, and blender negates me from the cooking test. Ironic, the things I have spent my DLA on to enable me to be safe in the kitchen means I wont qualify. I don’t know what would happen if they break down? I do know that without them I was living on takeaways and eating from paper plates.

Under DLA the fact that I need supervision to go out in unfamilar places qualifies me for lower rate mobility. Under pip, it is no longer about mobility but cognition. I can plan a journey and follow it through so that again negates me from the benefit. However, the way I plan a journey is in itself disabling. I have to plan and plan and plan every possible route to get me somewhere. I get stressed if the bus gets too busy, or noisy or it might even be something random that triggers me into getting off the bus. It is the rigorous planning that keeps me safe. But it means I can’t just go to a place, I need to exstenively look into it and consider all the risk factors before i decide if its worth it.

As I mentioned I have treatment, which isn’t covered in the new criteria. Without this treatment it would make me seriously unwell again, and I would go back to relying on police, ambulance, crisis team etc etc. not somewhere I want to be thanks.

Quite simply DLA is my LIFE and with PIP I wont have one.


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