Author Topic: DLA changes by the government  (Read 11140 times)

Offline Alec

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DLA changes by the government
« on: Jun 23 2003, 11:54 PM »
Extracted from an article in a magazine for people with ME.
Sent in by Jackie.
 
"The Government has announced proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance regulations which it estimates will save approx. 35 million a year.  
 
The new rules relate to the lower rate mobility component, which is paid to people who can walk, but who are unable to walk outdoors in unfamiliar places unless they have someone with them (for example, because of a visual impairment).  The alterations are in connection with claims based on fear and anxiety.  A new clause 12(7) is to be inserted into the DLA regulations stating that people who cannot take advantage of the faculty of walking outdoors without guidance or supervision from another person, because of fear or anxiety, will not be eligible for the lower rate mobility component.
 
A second clause 12(8.) will state that clause 12(7) is to be ignored if the fear or anxiety is a symptom of a mental disability and so severe as to prevent the person from taking advantage of the faculty in such circumstances.  The intention is that people who claim on the basis of fear or anxiety because of, for example, agoraphobia, will still be able to do so.  But people who cannot demonstrate that their fear or anxiety is a symptom of a severe mental health problem will not be eligible for lower rate mobility component.  The Government claims that it is simply clarifying the law, rather than making changes.  But, the new rule means that the often severe, psychological effects of physical impairments must in future be ignored for the purposes of lower rate mobility component.  This is an entirely new rule.
 
It is difficult to say at this stage how widespread the effects of the new rule will be.  Amongst the many people who are very likely to lose out are those people who, in the Government's words, could take advantage of the faculty of walking outdoors alone but simply choose not to do so.  This includes anyone with a physical impairment which also has psychological effects such as:
 
a) People with conditions which affect continence, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, who are too anxious to go outdoors alone in strange places because of a fear of an episode of incontinence.
b) People who have serious heart conditions and are too anxious to go outdoors alone in strange places because of fear of a heart attack when there is no-one on hand who is aware of their condition.
 
In addition, the change of wording from 'cannot take advantage of' to 'prevent the person from taking advantage of' may mean that the test is going to be a more severe one in the future.  This could mean that other groups will be affected, including people who experience mental health problems such as anxiety or panic attacks who are currently eligible for lower rate mobility but who have not had a diagnosis of agoraphobia.  Because their condition is not directly related to walking outdoors they may be seen as choosing not to do so, rather than being prevented from doing so.
 
People who are already in receipt of the lower rate mobility component may not be affected until their claim comes up for renewal.  However, a change in the law does count as a change in circumstances and decision makers will, therefore, have the power to look again at existing claims in the light of the new laws.  It will be up to ministers and the Benefits Agency to decide whether or not they do this.  New claimants will be affected as soon the new regulations come into force (probably in the autumn).
 
Lower rate mobility component is currently paid at a rate of 14.65.  However, people who only receive that and no care component, but who also receive income support, may also lose their disability premium, worth an extra 22.50 for a single person and 32.25 for a couple.
 
For further information visit the SSAC website at
 
http://www.ssac.org.uk/current_con/dlareg/agoramem.pdf
 
 
where you can download a 32 page pdf file with a copy of the new regulations and more information about the changes."
Alec (forum Moderator)

Whenever I hear the term, 'let's go for a spin', it makes me cringe.

Offline Quietly_Loud

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Re: DLA changes by the government
« Reply #1 on: Mar 19 2010, 03:55 PM »
Oh God this is probably going to sound awful, but I would much rather be at risk of incontinence than having to live with the symptoms of MD when I am out and about. Then again the stress and anxiety that living with MD causes can result in periods of irratable bowel syndrome as can the medication for MD. I guess it is going to depend on how people describe their symptoms and in what order.

Forwarned is Forarmed so thank you Alec.

Offline Frances

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Re: DLA changes by the government
« Reply #2 on: Mar 22 2010, 09:34 PM »
Thank you Alex, At least now we all know about this. 
End the struggle and dance with life!

Offline Helenbell

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Re: DLA changes by the government
« Reply #3 on: May 30 2012, 01:51 PM »
The subtext then is "we can get away with saying you need get a grip because we can't see your disability" One up for scientific empiricism....  Yes, I would swap for incontinence too - not that I'm saying that isn't a really miserable disorder.  Like you Quietly, I'm suffering from urgency bouts right at onset along with something like a flush of anxiety or panic.
Thanks for posting Alec.