Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

DLA reforms could force people into poverty

Proposed cuts to disability living allowance (DLA) could mean people with learning disabilities would not have enough money for basics like food and transport, a new survey has warned.

A survey of some 2,200 people by support provider Papworth Trust found that if payments were reduced or stopped under the personal independent payment (PIP) – which the government plans to replace DLA with in 2013 – 86% of disabled people will have to cut back on essentials such as food or being able to get out and about. As part of the move to PIP, all 3.2 million people currently receiving DLA will be reassessed to determine their eligibility. The government has also stated that in the move to PIP, they plan to cut 20% of the amount spent on it.

Papworth Trust’s chief executive Adrian Bagg said: “Disabled people’s daily costs are typically 25% higher than those of non-disabled people. For example, not all public transport is accessible. This means that some people have to use accessible taxis to be able to leave their home, which cost significantly more than non-accessible taxis. “We know that all parts of society are facing cuts. Our survey shows that for 5% of disabled people these cuts would have little or no effect, but given the Government is seeking a 20% reduction, this will mean real-terms cuts that further disadvantage many disabled people. “The people who participated in this survey have many concerns about the proposed changes, but they are particularly anxious that the new PIP Assessment will be unfair. We urge the Government to learn the lessons of the work capability assessment and ensure that if they make this change, the assessment will be fair and the implications clearly explained.”

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