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Peers to vote on changes to disability living allowance

Emma Emma | 13:30 UK time, Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The government's proposed changes to disability living allowance (DLA) will be debated in the House of Lords later on Tuesday. This comes after peers voted down three other elements of the welfare reform bill last week, relating to changes in eligibility criteria for employment support allowance.

The BBC reports that many campaigners and disability organisations feel the welfare reform bill has been rushed through parliament to meet Treasury targets. Charities and concerned disabled people have asked for a delay in changes to disability living allowance, saying new medical assessments are not ready.

In light of last week's government defeats, the Guardian foresees a rebellion against the reforms to DLA during Tuesday's debate. The paper reports that Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson "will seek to amend parts of the bill with provisions that mean that there would have to be a pilot scheme before a tough new assessment regime for claimants is introduced".

In defence of proposed DLA reforms, the Daily Mail points out that DLA costs have trebled in the 20 years since the benefit was introduced and that 3.5 million people could be claming disability allowance by 2015 unless reforms proceed.

DLA is a working age benefit, designed to finance help with extra costs incurred due to difficulty getting around or with care tasks such as washing or dressing. The Guardian has been exploring what the proposed replacement of this benefit with personal independence payments could mean for disabled students and families with disabled children.

Disability campaigners have also been posting personal accounts of experiences of applying for and receiving disability living allowance on a dedicated blog.

In addition to a government U-turn late last year on the proposed removal of the mobility element of DLA from disabled people living in residential care, BBC News reports that further concessions have been made by government over changes to DLA ahead of Tuesday evening's House of Lords debate. Ministers have opted to reduce the period before people can claim disability living allowance from six months to three.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Really crucial day today. We must be strong and stay together and not let them win. This is a fight for our rights and freedoms. I am disabled and I have rights TOO!

  • Comment number 2.

    DLA is Not just for peaple of working age,I am 68 and recieve the Higher Rate of
    DLA, I have secondary progressive MS plus esciemic heart desease and without
    the HR component i would lose my little car,thus my indipendance.The house of Lords is debating DLA tonight but obviously are not in posesion of all the facts.

  • Comment number 3.

    I don't think the house of lords have actually thought this one through to be honest. I know of someone with MS and this is going to affect them dearly.
    Neil Adams

  • Comment number 4.

    As is always the case, those who need it most are the ones who end up suffering. It's wrong what the government is doing by putting so many disabled peoples' lives on hold and this is certainly not helping their health. Lack of understanding by the government is clearly showing in their measures.

  • Comment number 5.

    Such A shame that the people who require this allowance more than any others have to suffer.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

 

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