Welfare Reform and Work Bill Committee

Written evidence submitted by DisabledViewUk (WRW 76)

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Introduction

Our group established four month ago out of discussion between 30 Disabled P eople and C aregivers . We were raising concerns with regards to the common problems we are facing in all aspect of life at present .

In these four months DisabledViewUk has now grown to over 1700 member s and counting to date .

W e are proactive in supporting Disabled Pe ople, Ca regivers and welcome all positive A dvocates to our group .

We have had members come to us at :

· C risis point

· S uicidal

· Facing H omelessness and other housing issues

· Care Provision

· Care issues

· S anctions

· N ot being i n recite of the right allowance

· Given the wrong award

· Placed into the wrong group for ESA

We are supporting our members in navigating a complex system, which we feel needs to be reformed.

We are supporting members in their appeals who are needing urgent support with application s due to time factors . Also the re is a long waiting time s to see other benefits advisor.

I’ m sure there are many more issues we have not covered that have already been raised by other G roups/ O rganization / C harities and Non-G overnment B odies who are supporting Disabled People and Caregivers at the grass roots level.

We are requesting and proposing that the C ommittee take in account all the issues raised when considering this B ill at present.

T he re has been a lot of uncertainty which has arisen due to the curren t reforms.

We have given assurance in M edia and from the G overnment that V ulnerable P eople will be protected and supported .

Despite this Disabled P eople and Caregivers are being failed at present .

We propose that this needs to be addressed before any further changes in law should occur as a matter of urgency .

W e feel due to current failings a full review need s to be launched.

W e are proposing for this C ommittee if possible start this process of review or appoint a Committee to take forth this task.

That findings of the said review could then be considered and consulted upon , before any further amendments in this Act is passed in L aw.

We would propose the coming together of all P olitica l Parties, G roups and C harities to make the positive reform possible that is required for all .

Our member s are generally fearful of the current reform proposed in this B ill at present due to fundamental failings:

· P rocessing D ocumentation , Waiting times, Time Scale given in applications,

· M edical examinations ,

We have also firsthand seen inaccuracy in DWP Medical Report, w hich have effect ed the award levels, there for c are provision and care support that the applicant should receive .

T here are coun t less failing s with regard s to lack of service, requesting a member travel distances even when its known that this would worsen or aggravate pain for applicant. Not mention the mental distress of currently having to be reassess for life long Disability or Chronic illness. Our member feel they are facing enough and we feel that this needs to be taken into account and changed .

With Members being misplace into the wrong award s , on top of waiting time s both with in the NHS , Local Authority Ca re . Disabled People and Caregiver throughout the UK are in fact being failed at present and being left in more vulnerable state than prior to this reform and the launch of PIP.

This also compacted by the closure of ILF.

We propose the Failings of PIP need to be addressed for certain D isability C onditions and Mental Health Disability that amendment s in policy are required b efore it should be further rolled out .

F rom the proposed review we could then look at what amendments are re quired moving for ward in positive way from here.

We feel the committee need s to look more in-depth and seek personal account s of the errors that have occurred . Ensuring these problems are logged i n Parliament for further debate to prevent such situation from ever occurring again.

Our long term organization goal is t he establishment of the I ndependent D isability C ommission .

We purpose that this could enable and e ncompass the views of all creating a positive policy for those who really are vulnerable through no fault of their own .

We are seeking the Commission to consist of Disabled People, Caregivers, Charities, National Government, Local Government Bodies, Employment Sectors, Health Sector, NHS, wellbeing and Social Care Agencies within the UK.

Our group oppose the bill the in a whole on the following grounds :

That not enough consideration or deliberation has taken place at a grass route level and the implications of this not being done , will have long and profou nd negative effect on Disabled people, C aregivers and their families .

We oppose classifying Disabled P eople/ Caregiver families in th e Troubled F amilies Pr ogram .

We find this unacceptable on many levels , as many D i sabled P arents who have C hildren are outstanding P arents who care and support their children.

They show their Children that no matter what happens in life or what is thrown at you , you can with the right support carry on. I nstall ing true H uman strength in the face of adversity and promoting self-worth into their own Children.

That Children of our members are excelling in E ducation and not failing as is stated in many of report s. C hildren who are Adults now of m any of our M ember s have in fact became productive and constructive members of society.

Some D isability are genetic sadly and yes some Families may have mult iple Disabled members in their F amily. We object to this being a reason for any family to be placed in The Family Troubled Program.

A family that require s support to enable equality and prevent issue of isolation should not be stigmatized . We do not consider this as a failing of the family but a failing in Social Mobility of many Disabled People in Society.

Given the Right chances and support Disabled People and Caregiver would only strengthen the UK Society as a whole.

We object to being classified with A ddiction I ssues , as being a D isabled Person or C aregiver is not a matter choice.

We also feel T he Tr oubled F amilies P rogram name itself is counterproductive and should be reconsider at this stage.

We request Disabled P eople/ C aregivers Families are removed from this classification .

If it is req uire to provide additional care /resources . We would support an d purpose a consolation exercise to take place to enable a new classification .

We propose that further consolation takes place diligently throughout the UK to enable all issues to be taken into account .

We propose a National Disability and Care Givers Day , to raise awareness of positive programs that are established to support equality for Disabled People and Care g ivers.

We would also propose that number of Disabled People support ed back into work , long-term are given stunnable permeant employment. Not into Workfare, or Zero hours contracts.

We would welcome allocation of a percentage of Apprenticeships for Disabled Young People and also retraining for n ewly Disabled People.

That it is insured t hat investment is made in infrastructure to enable greater social mobility f or all Disabled People and C aregivers .

The re is a larger underlying is sue that has not been addressed. That is the provision of suitable housing for Disabled People and Caregivers. Th is could make the difference between enabling a Disabled Person or Caregiver back into sustainable employment or not.

We propose t hat investment is made into infrastructure throughout society with regards to providing reasonable access to public services for all.

We would welcome all feedback from the committee and hope that our proposal will be genuinely support ed as a positive wa y forward to ensure the best outcome .

October 2015

Prepared 20th October 2015