Carer Watch are fully supportive of our sister group The Broken of Britain’s’ blogswarm this weekend regarding the changes to Disability Living Allowance proposed by the government.  Whilst we are primarily a carer campaigning group, many persons who live with disability are also members.

For disabled people and carers tied to the home, the World Wide Web is a great campaigning tool and we intend to continue using it as so. We have all found each other on the web so we decided to work alongside each other on issues that will affect our lives, and to make ourselves heard.

The blogswarm is an excellent initiative of Emma Crees, and full details of support given to date can be found here on One Month Before Heartbreak blog.

A master list is available and is being updated constantly.

It has most definitely been a weekend to remember – to witness many individuals, groups, bloggers all joining together to support One Month Before Heartbreak.

Face book and Twitter were inundated with posts/tweets and hash tags used included #ombh and #TboB.

The petition re DLA has been well supported too.

 What is DLA? 

DLA is an essential benefit that was specifically designed to provide financial support towards the extra costs incurred by people living with a disability.  DLA payments have enabled hundreds of thousands of disabled people to maintain a degree of independence and quality of life that would have otherwise been lost to them. DLA has nothing to do with employment – it is a benefit to support disabled people meet the genuine costs of living with a disability. Cutting or reducing DLA will in many cases have a reverse effect on employment and remove the financial support that helps some disabled people get ready to go out to work.

Because Middle and Higher rate DLA are both also passport benefits to enable family members to claim Carers Allowance, removing or reducing DLA will not only have an enormous financial impact on disabled people it will also impact on their carers – a double blow which will especially hit hard those families on the poverty line.

Carers have been completely forgotten as benefits are changed around them.

Many disabled people and carers feel that for them, the covenant on welfare seems to have been broken. They had never expected that the Conservative, Labour and LibDem Parties would all abandon them like this.  No party is demonstrating any understanding of their situation or offering them any reassurance or protection. Unrealistic and cavalier talk of ‘helping’ them in to work is ill informed and adds to their fears that politicians do not understand the reality of caring, illness and disability.

It is even more alarming that the Coalition plan a new regime of  ’non medical tests ‘ as happened with Employment Support Allowance. A ‘test’, which was designed to throw 1 million people off sickness, benefit altogether. It is a ‘test’ you are planned to fail.

Of course we want the aspiration of work to be open to disabled people and carers, but with rising unemployment coupled with cuts to social care support services, the abolition of the Independent Living Fund, realistically how many will find work and how soon?

We are concerned that the most severely and enduringly ill people will be subject to threats and sanctions for not finding work and have incomes reduced as a result.  

Over 100 comments from individuals can be found here and also here 

Kaliya Franklin blogs at Benefit Scrounging Scum and as she explains here

It might seem too dull or difficult to think about but, remember, we disabled people are the same as you, it’s just that we’ve already experienced our life-altering situation and you are yet to do so.

Please support The Broken of Britain with their submission to the government and forward your testimony to Rhydian Fon James – rhydian@thebrokenofbritain.org

Carer Watch  would like to congratulate all those that organised the One Month Before Heartbreak event. Their passion and commitment made it a great success.