Socialist Worker

Two million disabled people face new benefits test

Issue No. 2341

Any disabled person capable of walking a measly 20 metres is set to lose their mobility payments when the Tories scrap the disability living allowance (DLA) on 1 April.

It is set to be replaced by the new personal independence payment (PIP). But this will push thousands of people off the higher rate of mobility support.

This helps pay for everything from wheelchairs and mobility scooters to specially adapted cars.

It is a vital part of life for many disabled people, without which they could easily find themselves isolated.

Claimants are to be tested on their eligibility for PIP by Atos Healthcare—the same firm behind the notorious work capability assessments. There have been more than 1,000 cases of people dying after being found fit to work by Atos.

Now they have two million DLA claimants to assess—and to make the kind of savings the government expects, they are expected to cut half a million people off the benefit altogether.

That’s why Disabled People Against Cuts is one of the organisations backing the benefit justice summit.

Disabled people will often be among those hit by the bedroom tax. For example if they have made alterations to their homes or sometimes require someone to stay over and help with care.

In fact over two thirds of those affected by the cut are disabled.

Dpac is also fighting to save the Independent Living Fund, which the Tories plan to scrap. It provides a high level of support for a priority group of 19,000 disabled people with complex needs.

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