At the moment direct payments are made to successful applicants of carers on low incomes and sick/disabled persons with personal care and mobility needs. This Green Paper seeks to change the system and give the funding to local authorities to adminster care and mobility needs.
Except local authorities don’t have a good track record of adminstering other schemes and the services they would provide would not necessarily replace how people are able to use their payments currently.
You can read the MEA’s concerns in their response here and they are concerns I share. So I wrote to them to lend my support and also to give some examples of how I rely on my DLA to help with a lot of things that Social Services couldn’t give me assistance with – so I effectively would lose my assistance from the government.
I would also give a huge thanks to Benefits and Work and their continuing efforts to rally support in opposing this Green Paper. Without them many people would be unaware of the implications of these proposals and many groups would not be so actively engaging in the debate.
Dear Friends at The ME Association
I am writing to lend my support to your response to the Green Paper on ‘Shaping the Future of Care”,
I am a member of the ME Association. I have ME and have been ill for 4 years.
I am in receipt of DLA lower rate mobility and middle rate care awarded in October 2007 to October 2009. I am in the process of re-applying for DLA as my award is coming to an end. I am fortunate to have a supportive GP who added weight to my last application.
As someone with ME in receipt of DLA I support your response to the Green Paper and echo what you have said.
My husband works to support us both. I do not earn a wage, I do not claim Incapacity Benefit or Jobseekers benefits. I do a little part time self employment as an artist, working when I am able to, but my income from this is very small and would equate to working just a couple of hours each month in a conventional job.
My DLA is my main source of income and means to support my personal care, mobility and medical needs.
I rely on my DLA to pay for many things for my care, mobility and medical needs which would not fall under the remit of service provision from Social Services.
Here are some of the things things I rely on my DLA to pay for:
- prescription medication (a yearly certificate)
- over the counter medication
- suppliments (eg. fibre suppliments, vitamins and energy suppliments) which help with symptoms
- help with gardening as I am unable to do any myself
- upkeep/maintenance of my wheelchair which I rely on when I have to go anywhere when I need to stand or walk for longer than a few minutes
- help with fuel bills as I am virtually housebound, being sedentary and having trouble with temperature regulation due to ME
- thermal clothing to help keep me warm as my mobility problems mean I am sat still for long periods and also for when I do go out in my wheelchair (assisted) during autumn and winter
- help with broadband which allows me to stay in touch with family and friends which would otherwise be impossible due to my mobility problems and problems with communication over the phone and face to face
- earplugs for noise sensivity
- eye glasses which I require because ME affects my ability to focus when I am very ill
- help with delivery for shopping as I am unable to go out to the shops and so rely on using online shopping and paying for postal delivery
I am delighted The ME Association wil be responding officially to the Green Paper and fully support your stance.