By Simon Sansome
People in the UK who have a disability are facing a national crisis thanks to this Conservative government. They are causing a culling of the disabled community.
The government has admitted that nearly 8,000 people died within six months of being rejected for a crucial disability benefit.
New figures reveal 7,990 people had applications for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) turned down – only to die within six months of the rejection – since 2013. 3,680 of them were turned down less than three months before their death, the Mirror reports.’
In the last few years we have seen people with disabilities committing suicide. Lets face it, in the UK disabled people are faced with some pretty terrible obstacles. For example: there is no private disabled rental accommodation in the market throughout the UK, access to corner shops, restaurants, public areas, public spaces are very restricted. People are being left isolated in their homes because they cannot afford the wheelchairs, mobility aids or walkers they need as the NHS only provides standard equipment and not specialist equipment. More often than not, disabled people and in particular parents with a severely disabled child often turn to fund raisers like GoFundMe and charities.
For a disabled person ,loneliness is also a massive problem as often, they are not able to access their communities.
A report published a few days ago said that one applicant who is deaf had applied for over 1000 jobs and got rejected from them all.
Companies are not employing people with disabilities as it is easier to employ someone who is fully abled, even though having a person with a disability would change the perspective of the workforce and change the perspective of the company. It would most likely lead to improving services and productivity for everyone because if you make one thing available for a disabled person you make it available for all.
The government needs to invest in adapted housing within the private market. People with disabilities should not have to rely on charitable organisations, housing association or local councils, for accommodation that may never materialise, or wait years for accommodation because there is no adapted accommodation within the private market.
The disability benefit Universal Credit is an absolute disgrace to British society and should be abandoned immediately and replaced with something that is more respectful to the disabled person. The time it takes for families to change over to Universal Credit is totally unacceptable with a waiting time of 6 to 8 weeks can lead to extreme poverty and hardship. The use of Food Banks has never been greater.
Every day there are reports that disabled peoples mobility cars are being taken away when transferring from DLA to PIP leaving people isolated and in great difficulty.
It appears that this government is more interested in saving money than caring about the disabled community.
The Guardian reported this week that a benefit claimant was denied an essential benefit only for it to be overturned by the courts seven months after he died from a heart attack.
In the last few months it’s also been established that councils across the UK have failed to inform residents that they are entitled to a band reduction in the council tax. If disabled people have an adapted room in their home, use a wheelchair indoors or have a medical room then they can claim this reduction. Ability Access posted this information online and it was picked up by the BBC locally but never hit the national headlines. There were reports that people have claimed back well over £1000 in overpaid council tax.
There is not one wheelchair user in the House of Commons sitting as an MP. The reason for this is because there is very little funding available for people who want to stand for election. One of the main issues is that in an election, the main campaign is delivering leaflets and speaking to people in a community. This is one of the most important parts of an election. However to do this you need to be to knock on someone’s front door and if you’re in a wheelchair it is not always possible to get to a front door let alone reach it to knock on it and there are no funds available and no assistance.
Until we see a major shift where government are actually listening to people with disabilities and listening to their communities there will be no real change for people with disabilities and the culling of disabled people will continue.