Redbridge disabled uncertain of cuts to disability living allowance

DISABLED people and their carers have spoken of the “stress” and “uncertainty” dominating their lives as they wait to hear final details of the government’s multi-million pound cuts to the disability living allowance (DLA).

People in care homes will lose the mobility section of their allowance under the plans and all DLA recipients between the ages of 16 and 64 will be reassessed.Dozens of people were involved in passionate exchanges with a representative from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Thursday, as they aired their fears during a question and answer meeting.

Some raised concerns the government’s reforms would leave people “trapped” in their homes while others questioned the format of re-assessments.But speaking at Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford, on Thursday, Fiona Walsh, from the DWP, said the government would listen to concerns and take heed of feedback from its consultation.

Evette Saffron 42, of Barkingside, whose 15-year-old daughter has Down’s syndrome, told the Recorder after the meeting: “This is extremely stressful and very worrying.

“At the moment there are three levels which determine your allowance.


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“Now it seems like it will be reduced to two levels, so it will limit what you may get and you might end up being put into the lower level.”

Speaking of the reassessment plans, Mark Goldstein, whose nine-year-old daughter has the condition, said: “It’s something that will never change. She’s not going to get better and what I think most people are worried about is the reassessment process.”

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The 50-year-old of Clayhall added: “Call me naive, but I think generally, people who need it (DLA) will still get it.”

Last week’s meeting, which was followed on Friday by a second gathering due to high demand, was organised by the Redbridge Local Involvement Network – a health and social care group.

Frank Spring, chairman of The Friends of Dunelm,fundraisers for a nursing home for adults with severe learning disabilities in Grove Road, Chadwell Heath,said proposals to abolish the mobility element of the DLA for people living in care homes was “totally wrong”.

He said: “It will seriously impact on what they can do, and I’m very concerned about it.”

The consultation on the plans runs until February 14.

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