|The Iain Duncan Smith Legacy.....|
A wheelchair bound blogger provides a valuable resource for those (and their families) sucked into the disability benefits merry-go-round...
Rolling with the Punches
Iain Duncan Smith Legacy.....
On November 7th 2016 the UN found the UK guilty of grave and systemic violations of disabled people's rights.
The following is a list of policies and damning court decisions and findings undertaken under the watch of Iain Duncan Smith (emphasis on those affecting disabled people):
- April 2011: LHA (Local Housing Allowance) is reduced to 30th percentile of local housing market instead of 50th with immediate effect. Affects 775,000 households.
- April 2011: Uprating of benefits is changed from RPI to CPI (a cut expected to save £6 billion).
- January 2012: LHA single room rate is extended to under 35s instead of under 25s. Disproportionately affects disabled people who cannot flat share due to disability but do not meet the stringent criteria for exemption (mid rate care DLA).
- April 2012: Contribution based ESA WRAG is time limited to 1 year (out of work benefit for those too sick/disabled to work), affecting 700,000 disabled people.
- April 2012: The "Youth Provision" is abolished. This allowed young disabled people to access contributory benefits. It results in loss of income for 80% of those benefitting from it and total loss of income for 12.5% of those.
- May 2012: LHA regulations are found to discriminate against disabled people for failing to allow an extra bedroom for overnight carers or children who cannot share due to disability.
- December 2012: New Sanctions rules are introduced, allowing sanctions to start sooner and for longer.
- 2012-2013: Remploy factories are closed down. Iain Duncan Smith famously says workers sit around making cups of coffee. 3 years on less than half have found employment.
- January 2013: ESA regulations are amended, making it harder to qualify. Assessors may make a decision based on therapy or aids a claimant *could* have whether or not they do or whether it is in fact available, possible or (in the case of treatment) they have given consent. Physical impairments may no longer award points in the mental health and cognitive section and vice versa. Eg a physical injury causing cognitive impairment would have all such symptoms ignored.
- April 2013: Legal aid is abolished for welfare cases.
- April 2013: DLA is begun to be replaced with PIP to make 20% savings (benefit to cover extra costs of disability). 500,000 disabled people are expected to lose their benefit. By 2016 14,000 disabled people have had their motability car repossessed. This is just the start as most people have not yet been assessed due to errors and delays.
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