Original Article Removed

Original Article Removed

Welfare Reform
Earlier this week LDAS published an report from a Whistleblower that said there was a developing of a new approach in the assessment of current applications for the Personal Independence Payment.  This centred around instructions being given to ATOS Health Professionals about how they should carry out face to face interviews. LDAS is an independent campaigning organisation that believes information should lead to action.  Our intention in publishing this article was to inform people so that they could help change the approach of ATOS to this.  It is always better to stop things before they become entrenched. A number of people have been in contact to say they have felt scared as a result of the information and blamed LDAS for making it available.  As a result of this, we…
Read More
Defend Independent Living: Save the Independent Living Fund!

Defend Independent Living: Save the Independent Living Fund!

Welfare Reform
Closure of the Fund breaches the human rights of disabled people as enshrined in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities: - Article 19 – right to independent living - Article 28 – the right to an adequate standard of living and protection Closure of the ILF will cost jobs: - Thousands of Personal Assistants employed through the ILF will lose their jobs - Disabled people will not have the support they need to be part of the community and to take up training, education and employment - Staff employed by the ILF will lose their jobs The ILF is an effective and efficient way of providing support to disabled people with complex and high support needs: ILF has higher satisfaction rates amongst disabled service users…
Read More
New Advice Support to cope with benefit changes

New Advice Support to cope with benefit changes

Welfare Reform
New funding of £5.4 million from the Scottish Government will be directed at benefit advice services who support an increasing number of people hit by welfare changes. This will include: · Immediate cash injection of £300,000 for services such as those provided by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) · Setting up a new £1.7 million fund providing direct support to advice services - we think this will be open to all organisations to apply for. · A further £3.4 million to be spent over the next two years on helping organisations mitigate the impacts welfare reforms". We think this is a good step forward that we have been calling for over the last few months.  We will publish more details when they become available.
Read More
The Bedroom Tax – A terrible attack!

The Bedroom Tax – A terrible attack!

Welfare Reform
Alan lives in Dumfries and Galloway and has recently received a letter from his Social Housing Landlord  to tell him he has been identified as being affected by the proposed changes to Housing Benefit.     Andrew lives with his wife in a 2 bedroom property.  Alan and his wife both have Learning Disabilities. They are supported by a national voluntary organisation. Alan has lived in this house for around 15 years.  He first moved into this house with someone else who had a learning disability as co flatmates.  After this person moved out, Alan married and his wife moved in. Alan has never asked for this property.   This is where he was “placed” many years ago.  Alan and his wife do not particularly want to move. They are happy living in…
Read More
Where are we on the Bedroom Tax

Where are we on the Bedroom Tax

Welfare Reform
The House of Lords proposed a number of changes to this but they were dismissed when the proposals came back to the House of Commons. A concession was made that people in supported or sheltered accommodation would not be adversely affected by this. Clarification on this has not yet been given but at the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland we are worried that this concession is much less than it at first appears. The Current Position The only exemptions included in the legislation are •Where a person requires a spare room for a unpaid carer to provide overnight care ( they receive the mid or high rate CARE component of Disability Living Allowance AND need overnight care AND a non-household member uses a bedroom to stay overnight to provide care) •The…
Read More
New Map of Welfare Rights Advice Offices

New Map of Welfare Rights Advice Offices

Welfare Reform
We are aware of an increasing number of problems that people with learning disabilities are experiencing in the welfare benefit system. Some of this is linked to the use of targets by the Department of Work and Pensions. Other problems are linked to the complexities of letters and forms sent to people to fill in. Some support staff are no longer filling in forms because the consequences of getting this wrong can be very difficult and worrying for the people we support. Our advice for everyone is involved is to get good advice if you are not sure what to do. You can use our new map of welfare right advice centres to track down your local advice shop. Take your letters and forms along and get the right help.
Read More
New Training Courses on PIP

New Training Courses on PIP

Welfare Reform
The Ayrshire Stronger Together group has been working on personal Independence Payment for a while and has put together a training course to help make sure people with learning disabilities get the right help in applying for the new benefit. From October 2015 the DWP will be asking everyone with Disability Living Allowance to apply for Personal Independence Payment.   Many people with learning disabilities are worried that they may not get the help they need to apply. Some people will be able to get professional help but many others will depend on family members and support staff to complete their forms with them.   We would like to invite  families and paid staff who support people with learning disabilities to a training course to help complete the application forms…
Read More
What’s going wrong with Personal Independence Payment?

What’s going wrong with Personal Independence Payment?

Welfare Reform
Tens of thousands of people have been waiting over ten months to get the new benefit for the first time—without any payments in the meantime. By December 2013 there had been 229,000 claims but only 43,800 decisions. A fall in success rates Under DLA 45% of claims were successful before appeal but under PIP only 37% of claims have been successful before appeal. The problems The Length Of Time Taken To Do Assessments.  The new PIP assessment is more complicated than people realised and is taking twice as long to complete as thought.   Making A Claim -  New  people have to make a telephone call to make a  claim. People are struggling to get through and, once they are on the phone,  the call can take half an hour…
Read More
New Scottish Independent Living Fund Announced

New Scottish Independent Living Fund Announced

Welfare Reform
Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP spring conference in Aberdeen on Saturday that the Scottish Government would set up new fund to help disabled people, to take the place of the Independent Living Fund, which she said was being closed by the UK Government. The Scottish Independent Living Fund will support more than 3,000 disabled people, and a £5.5 million investment will mean it will be open to new claimants, as well as those who benefit from the existing scheme. The new fund will be managed by the third sector. The UK Government's support scheme has been closed to new applicants since 2010 and is due to close altogether in June 2015. The Scottish Government's version of the fund will come into effect in July that year, subject to the full…
Read More
10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care

10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care

Welfare Reform
Community Care Magazine have suggested that there are 10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care over the next financial year. They checked local council plans all over England and found evidence for each.  Read the original article here.   We think there might be similar things going on in Scotland.  Why don’t you email us with your examples. Reducing care and cutting personal budgets Delegating budget management to frontline staff Increasing charges for social care Cutting the hours of care people receive Reablement Replacing home visits with telecare Changes to the assessment process such as reviews over the phone Squeezing providers  by renegotiating contracts Cutting back on mental health support   Reducing ‘double-up’ homecare by use of new technology
Read More