Thursday, March 14, 2013

Save the Disabled Living Fund

"Disabled people with the greatest needs make up 2% of the population, and yet they are weathering 15% of the cuts. By 2015, the combination of measures targeting this group will amount to losing more than £8,000 each a year. It's the difference between being a trustee of one of the country's most dynamic charities, and having to go to bed at 5.45pm – because that's when your 15 minutes of care has been allocated." -- Zoe Williams, The Guardian, 13 March 2013
The Government's plan to scrap the Disabled Living Fund is being challenged in the High Court by a small group of severely disabled people who rely on it to maintain their dignity and standard of care. I've written to my MP about this:
Dear Mr Yeo,

Though I'm disabled, I fortunately don't need the ILF, but my niece Kate, who died a few years ago, did. I'm appalled at the thought of people like her being forced to manage without the support that it offered. Her sister, my niece Jenny, who's also severely disabled, wrote about the legal challenge to the scrapping of the ILF in the High Court:

"Anne Pridmore, who is and has been very active in the Disabled People's Movement, is one of those taking a case to the High Court to defend the Disabled Living Fund, which is necessary for disabled people with high care needs. I knew Anne from my days at the BCODP (British Council of Disabled People), as she was then on the Management Committee.

"My sister, the late Kathy Mitchell, used the ILF to help fund her 24-hour care needs. It makes me incandescent with rage to think that she, if she were still alive, would be expected to pee and shit into nappies in bed, with no assistance at night, meaning she wouldn't be able to shift positions either, leading to intense pain.

"I have serious problems shifting at night. 'Normals' do it naturally in their sleep. I have to wake up when it starts hurting and it's a real effort heaving myself around in the bed. I wake up alright!

"People all over the country need this for personal care and independence. It's a scandal that it's due to be scrapped by the Government."

Please prevail upon the DWP to withdraw this plan.
There have been several e-petitions about this (why don't campaigners co-ordinate their action?) but writing to your MP can be more effective. Let's hope the High Court puts a stop to this stupidity.

Click here to find your MP.

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