Government announces new medical assessments for Disability Living Allowance
Wednesday 23 June 2010
Esther Foreman, Mencap's campaigns and policy manager said:
"The Disability Living Allowance recognises the extra costs of having a disability regardless of whether or not social services deem the individual eligible for support. With the increasing pressures to social care this means it is often the only financial support people with a learning disability receive. We want to ensure that any medical assessment does not unfairly squeeze people with a learning disability out.
"The Chancellor's commitment to take tough action to reduce public spending must not lead to tough consequences for people with a learning disability. We recognise that cuts have to be made but it is vital that we protect frontline public services enabling people with a learning disability to live independently. These services are not a luxury but an essential part of their lives.
"Rising inflation and continuing growth in numbers of people with a learning disability means that, even if budgets standstill, people with a learning disability are going to be seriously affected. We fear that short term cost savings could have long term implications for people with a learning disability and their families and carers."
For more information and to arrange an interview please contact Jenny Brannan on 020 7696 6017 or 020 7696 5414. Out of hours please call 07770 656 659.
Notes to editor
- About Mencap
Mencap supports the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and their families and carers. Mencap fights to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
We are also one of the largest providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. See http://www.mencap.org.uk/ for more information.
- About learning disability
A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong and affects someone's intellectual and social development. It used to be called mental handicap but this term is outdated and offensive. Learning disability is NOT a mental illness. The term learning difficulty is often incorrectly used interchangeably with learning disability.