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Anxieties revealed over DLA benefit cuts
Thursday 01 September 2011
Planned DLA cuts could force disabled people to sacrifice everyday essentials
A survey of disabled people has revealed the real-life impact that cuts to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will have on disabled people.
The survey, carried out by disability charity the Papworth Trust, asked 2,200 disabled people about the effect that cuts to DLA would have on them.
DLA was introduced to help to pay for the extra costs associated with having a disability, such as paying for support to cook a hot meal, or to pay for accessible taxis to get out and about.
However, from 2013, the government plans to reassess everyone who is currently on DLA and replace it with a new benefit - Personal Independence Payment (PIP). In doing so, it plans to cut the overall cost of the benefit by 20%.
The survey shows that if payments were reduced or stopped under PIP, 86% of those who currently receive DLA will have to cut back on everyday essentials, such as food and transport. Some 36% are concerned that the reassessment process for PIP will be unfair.
Mencap has been campaigning to protect the mobility component of the DLA against cuts. Jane Alltimes, senior campaigns and policy officer for Mencap, says that the latest results correspond with Mencap’s own research: “We are not surprised to hear about disabled people's concerns,” she said. “The government has not done enough to consider the true implications of their proposals on disabled people, or indeed on services provided by local authorities or the NHS, where the knock-on effect is likely to be extra demand for support.
“It is clear that the proposals have caused an enormous amount of distress and anxiety among disabled people and their families.”
Find out more about the Papworth Trust survey, read the news and a summary of its results