Move from DLA to PIP leaving many struggling

The move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is leaving many people struggling

Leading UK poverty charity Turn2us is highlighting how the move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is leaving many people with a disability struggling to pay for their basic living costs. The charity says that many people who have been receiving DLA, but have not passed the PIP assessment, are contacting it for help as they have been left struggling to make ends meet. The charity says that many people report that they find the assessment very difficult and that it appears that people are more likely to pass the assessment if they have someone to advocate for them.

Disabled Person

Pip replacing DLA

PIP is the benefit which is replacing DLA, extra money for adults who have care and mobility needs as a result of their disability. People already in receipt of DLA, aged between 16 and 64 on 8 April 2013, will eventually have to make a new claim for PIP, even if they have been given an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA. Those aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will carry on getting DLA.

There were a total of 3.7 million claimants of PIP and DLA in August 2016. This was an increase of 87,000 on the previous year. The number of people claiming DLA has fallen by 350,000 in the year to August 2016 to 2.7 million. During the same period the number of people claiming PIP has increased by 430,000 to 980,000, and 370,000 of these claims were reassessed DLA claims.

Turn2us Director of operations comments

Outlining the charity’s concerns about the consequences of people who had been receiving Disability Living Allowance failing the Personal Independence Payment assessment, Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us Operations, said: “This will result in a significant drop in the income of someone who has an illness or disability and represents the loss of genuinely valuable support. Not receiving Personal Independence Payment after previously receiving Disability Living Allowance can have sudden and devastating consequences at a time when people are least resilient.”

Turn2us has also emphasised the importance of anyone struggling with accessing benefits to seek its help at Turn2us.org.uk. It says that it can help people understand and access what they are entitled to.

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Autistic children being subjected to ‘mate crime’

Sarah Cassidy writes in The Independent – Children with Asperger’s syndrome and autism are being bullied, abused and even robbed by people they think are their friends, according to a study revealing the horrific extent of so-called “mate crime”.

A staggeringly high number of people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome are subjected to mate crime, a form of disability hate crime in which a vulnerable person is manipulated or abused by someone they believed to be their friend, a survey by an autism charity found.

autismThe research uncovered heartbreaking stories of abuse – including one vulnerable young person who was tricked into giving his debit card and pin number to a so-called friend who then used it to run up huge bills.

The parents of one 17-year-old told researchers how their daughter was robbed of her IPod and phone by classmates at school – and now had a boyfriend who “always turns up when it is her payday for her DLA”.

A parent of a 14-year-old boy who responded to the survey said, “My son is absolutely harmless and extremely vulnerable. It is so hard explaining that people are making fun of him.”

The report was based on an online survey of nearly 150 people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome or their carers conducted by Wirral Autistic Society earlier this year.

Robin Bush, chief executive of the society, said: “Mate crime is morally reprehensible and these people are cowards. People with autism struggle enough with the complexities of daily life without having to live in fear that people who pretend to be their friends will steal from them, assault them or encourage them to commit crimes on their behalf.”

The report found that 80 per cent of respondents over the age of 16 felt they had been bullied or taken advantage of by someone they had thought was a friend. This compares to a figure of 49 per cent when the National Autistic Society asked the same question of over-18s in a nationwide survey last year.

The most vulnerable age group was 16 to 25, while eight out of ten said that fear of bullying had led them to turn down social opportunities.

“People who scheme and bully for self-gratification should crawl under a stone and stay there”