Okay here's what I sent, ta for the contributions, it was much easier that way
Dear Michael Meacher,
I am sorry about this and appreciate that you are incredibly busy. Having contacted you a few weeks ago with regard to prioritising HMS as a condition through the system, I feel really cheeky contacting you again. However, I have applied for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA), as I am struggling so much. I am waiting for their decision at present, which is why I am writing to you now.
The Government currently have a green paper which has revealed proposals to stop paying â€˜disability benefits, for example, attendance allowanceâ€™â€™ and hand the cash over to social services instead.
Under the plan, current claimants would have their disability benefits converted to a â€˜personal budgetâ€™ administered by local authorities and used to pay for services â€“ not to spend as they wish.
It is a ridiculous proposal... they seem to be saying that instead of giving people money to help them look after themselves, they will send a professional round to do the looking after (after an assessment of needs). This strikes me as MUCH more expensive for the government than simply doling out the cash to each individual. We all know that family carers save the government billions of pounds every year, and if carers were paid the 'going rate' then the government would be spending much, much more than they are currently spending on DLA/AA/CA. (Carers Allowance).
So the amount of money earmarked for each person by social services if these plans go ahead, very likely will not pay for the amount of care needed. So people will go uncared-for and also be financially worse off.
Also, if a person has a trusted family carer, the likelihood is that they will want to be cared for only by that person. What I can see happening is a social worker saying "We'll send someone over to get you up in the morning" and the person saying, "No thanks, I'd rather my spouse did that" etc. Then the person will be taken as refusing care, and of course they won't get the money either way.
Because what the gov-t don't seem to realise is that people don't necessarily use AA or DLA to pay for a professional carer to care for them. Quite a lot of people, especially those including myself who can't work, use it partly to live on, because IB (Incapacity Benefit, Or Employment Support Allowance)is such a tiny amount of money. It can also supplement a loss of earnings in a partner (for example) who might have to go part time in order to be a carer. There are a myriad of ways that DLA/AA can be used to make a person's life easier or more enjoyable, and the government are reducing it to just one use, and a very inefficient one at that.
On the NHS, sick and disabled people are ALREADY entitled to free aids and adaptations from Occupational Therapy. Now, it seems from this green paper that the government are proposing that social services pay for these items out of your DLA/AA allowance. So they are proposing making the individual pay for something that is currently free!
These proposals make no sense. They will syphon money away from sick and disabled people, and put it into a very inefficient system of sending out professional carers. The result is that many people will end up much poorer. Even if they only do this to AA, that will mean millions of disabled old people being even worse off than they are already.
DLA specially was set up not to cover health care and carer costs but as a separate source of funding to allow access to a more normal life (transport etc..). when it was introduced it was made plain that is was not to cover care costs. I can only see this as a flawed way of reducing budgets.
Cut copy and paste the bits you want, go to mysociety.org, our projects, write to them, enter your postcode and hey bingo there you go!!
Professional Hypochondriac and Attention Seeking mother! Familial JHS/EDS3, F/M, 22/3/2010
Skake(Thats the Tremor) Rattle(That's the tablets) and Roll(in and out of anything) all the way.Hypermobile 2005