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PIP - Carers UK Forum


Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.


What is the real motive behind Personal Independence Payments (PIP) ?

The introduction of PIP would see the end of the automatic right to DLA that some people have because of their medical condition.
Some carers could lose access to carer's allowance as this is awarded to people on the basis that the person they care for claims DLA or attendance allowance
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles ... budget.htm

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011 ... ule/1/made
The schedules are interesting if a little simplistic, and most people with disabilities will score on a range from moderate through medium to total inability of function; just as they do at the moment: what does this prove? The forms are certainly going to be easier and quicker to fill in.

If the system is designed to save money, then that is what it can do merely by setting the bar higher: again, there is no real change there unless the system is going to have a wider sliding range of benefits than the current higher:lower mobility and low:medium:high care.

No, the really interesting thing will be what is the goverment going to do to help people who may have even quite a moderate disability (such as for example someone with a severe facial disfigurement, which is not even mentioned in that list - neither are most mental health issues properly represented either) to get a fair crack of a whip in the workplace through decent pre-employment and life-long employment support. And will employers be willing to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace? Some do, and some dont, the sanctions are still very weak.

So, if despite this people with disabilities are unemployed then they will still need enough money to help them enjoy a reasonable quality of life, and their carers will still need a break/respite.
But that presupposes an attitude that sees it that way, rather than "life is too cushy on benefits" for those people - which has been the media/Tory viewpoint.
But that presupposes an attitude that sees it that way, rather than "life is too cushy on benefits" for those people - which has been the media/Tory viewpoint.
If only it were so simple.
Moving beyond narrow party agendas, far too few people with disabilities are enjoying the benefits of full employment in the UK, and other countries results shame our appalling peformance.
The first thing the government should do is to create tough targets for public services to employ a quota of people with disabilities, and fine them if they fail.
There's never been the political will to do that. The nearest they came was in 1944 when certain occupations (lift attendant and car park attendant - not handling money) were "reserved" for disabled people and all companies with more than 20 workers had to employ "registered" disabled people to make up at least 3% of their workforce.

It was never enforced, even in the beginning. The whole point of that particular law was to make sure that the lads who came back from the war were trained in the "Adult Training Centres" and then sent out to work. No employer - in theory - could employ a "fit" person if they didn't meet the quota, unless a Disability Resettlement OFficer gave permission for up to 6 months. Which was done almost automatically. A football club actually told us that all their staff had to be 100% fit. The temptation to respond that the team was not playing up to that target was very strong. Instead I suggested to my boss that the club be informed that there are other jobs in the club besides footballer. I was told to "Forget it. It isn't worth it - there's never been a prosecution and never will be." True to my occasionally contrary nature, I've never forgotten it.

One of the most embarrassing points was when an MP asked questions in the House about this in the 80s. The Department of Employment, then responsible for enforcing this legislation, fell alarmingly short of the 3% and following that major embarassment there was a massive exercise where Disability Resettlement Officers were taken off the "front line" (working with disabled people to get them into work) so they could trawl through the Dept of Employment workforce and register as many staff as possible so they met the 3%!!

Introduce a quota system and it will be the most stupid system available, operated in the most haphazard and lackadaisickal way.
Maybe then the answer is to offer some decent money to employers, on a sliding scale up to 100% of earnings for the most disabled people - as an incentive to recruit disabled people and pay them the going rate for the job.

Now that would start to see a seismic change in attitudes to employment. It really is time that something was done to get us out of this utterly negative rut - and thats not coming from a Tory who is whipped into a froth about "scroungers", its coming from a taxpayer and someone who is passionate about inclusion and the rights and dignity of disabled people to be properly valued.I dont want my son to be on benefits for life, I want him to earn a wage.
There was a scheme like that in the 80s, introduced by Mrs Thatcher. It was scrapped as too expensive by John Major (although Mrs T had already earmarked it for destruction). The idea was that the funding would taper off as people became more able to do the job and become more productive, but frankly that was a major assumption bearing in mind the jobs situation then (similar to now) and the administrative nightmare to sort it out. One of those cases took me three months to do the background work and get the funding approved - spending up to two full days a week on nothing else. By which time the employer decided to scrap the idea... Image
I don't know where the funding comes from, probably European ESF funding, but my lad has a real paid job one day a week at a local printers and he is supported by a vol org worker who works alongside him for free, despite the fact that he also has a college placement three days a week. He's only 16, but he is already getting a taste of real work, and he looks forward to it too. I agree it can be tough in some cases, but it can also be very rewarding: ultimately though there have to be real incentives for everyone involved in the process: the employer: the employee: the support agency. This was fairly quick and easy to set up, it took two or three meetings and a few phone calls, but obviously it helps if you know how to network effectively and know and have links with your business and civic community. And no, I'm not a Mason or a member of Rotary or even a church: no funny handshakes or brown envelopes were involved !!!!
We have a project in our area that aims to get people with LDs into voluntary work as a stepping stone for paid work. The project is funded by the council but is likely to be under threat before long as there is little movement into paid work and it's all about targets.

It seems to depend in part on the imagination of the local authorities in what they will try to do. A few years ago at a meeting about getting more people with LDs into paid work I asked the question "how many people with LDs work for the city council?" There were none. I pointed out that it would be difficult to encourage others to do what they wouldn't. And to be fair they agreed and did something about it.

Now the council does employ people with LDs - about a dozen, I think. And they can look other employers in the eye. The local Sainsbury's has taken on a few people with LDs, too. It certainly isn't all doom and gloom - we're just very slow off the mark when it comes to looking at ability first.
I was told by the disability adviser at our local jobcentre to contact Remploy, as they help the sick and disabled back into work.

According to their website they have just won a contract under the work programme, so it would be of interest to find out how many disabled people actually find sub-stained full employment now that they only get paid on this criteria.