Select Committee on Social Security Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum from the British Council of Disabled People (BCODP) (SG42)

I hope the following is useful to you.

Q. 138

  The question was around the training requirements for Personal Advisers on the single gateway. I feel that they are going to be expected to be expert in understanding a range of issues faced by a cross section of claimants. Disabled people's situation is possibly more complex than that of other claimants. We often draw on a range of services which, collectively, contribute to our ability to live independently in the community. In addition to understanding benefits such as DLA or IB we need information on other resources such as: Direct Payments from Local Authorities and support that is also available under the Access to Work or New Deal schemes. Very often, disabled people do not know about these schemes and this is highlighted by the fact that only some 1,500 disabled people (UK) are currently taking advantage of Direct Payments which allow them to arrange their own support requirements. I also feel that Disability Equality Training should be an essential requirement for the Personal Advisers. It might also be useful if they could spend training time with local disability organisations who already have a major role in providing information to disabled people.

June 1999

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