Benefits, contributions and inflation. What help is... - Mencap

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Benefits, contributions and inflation. What help is out there?

Galwaybay2
Galwaybay2

Is Mencap or any other group campaigning to protect disability benefits from inflation and clawbacks from Social Services? My adult son is in supported living, I still manage his money and have seen how it is becoming less easy for him to replace items, (he has to buy furniture etc), access some social events, (like others in society), and pay for modest holidays when any benefit increase is lost to increased contributions to social services. Of course he can rely on family to help, but why should he and what if it's not available?

This is a downward trajectory into poverty. I have seen this decline over recent years as my son's direct payments have stopped, his much needed one-to-one support hours have been reduced and as his mental ill health meant that need for extra support, increased. All the hile household bills and outgoings have been increasing. I am deeply concerned that without a concerted effort this will be overlooked and that this may be a good time to bring this to the attention of government forced to look at social care costs. I have always been grateful that we live in a society that looks after its vulnerable but I'm really worried.

15 Replies

Speak to Mencap does he have an Advocate as well as yourself it might be worth seeking one out for him to give you some moral support as well and join any LD carer groups and try and find out what they’re doing or where you can go to challenge these things

Galwaybay2
Galwaybay2 in reply to Jofisher

I'm pretty much on top of those things having been doing this for 33 years. It is a general issue that needs some urgent attention.

Dolton
Dolton in reply to Galwaybay2

You are absolutely right. This is a crisis of massive proportions and "talking to Mencap" will not solve it. I too am interested same position with my son. I manage his finances and recently saw on here someone from mencap actually advising people to approach Client Financial Services at their local council to have them manage money for their learning disabled relative. That is the worst piece of advise I've ever heard- like asking the fox to look after the chickens. A few years ago I was desperate to be relieved of the pressure of handling my son's finances and CFS just took thousands of pounds from my son's savings to give to the "Fairer Charges Unit" - these are the people who claw back money for the "services" provided to them by Social Services. No-one asked his Care Manager, me or the Service Provider about Disability Related Expenditures which reduce the amount they can claw back. I found out purely by chance and it took me 2 years to get that money back. It won't go down so well on this forum but I really think some charities have become part of the problem is some ways. This is an attack on the most vulnerable in our society and there are precious few voices out there sounding the alarm. A whistle blower in one local authority about this abuse was hounded out of his job and the forced 'inquiry' which resulted from the massive financial abuse he uncovered was a total whitewash. It led to some monies having to be repaid but the one who led the inquiry was paid a fortune to do the systematic cover up by pretending it was a number of errors rather than a systematic and regular occurrence across that authority snd other across the country. That person was a former director of social services so there we have a fox looking after the chickens. Much like the police investigating their own crimes which of the 1000s of deaths in police custody have never yet resulted in a single police officer being prosecuted. It's a national disgrace and should be addressed now more than ever.

FragileXmum
FragileXmum in reply to Dolton

Reading your response concerned me greatly. We are a family with two adult learning disabled sons whose finances we have to manage as they are unable to. Moving forward we have no family who can take this over when we're no longer able to/around and it has been troubling me for some time to know what to do about it.

Jofisher
Jofisher in reply to Dolton

I couldn’t agree with you more the financial abuse that was going on it my sons previous care home was criminal and I reported it to cqc and safeguardings and. O body seemed interested it’s like the bosses of these big corporations somehow know the bosses of social services and the cqc and it’s all hidden away it’s a disgrace

Dolton
Dolton in reply to Jofisher

The advocacy services have been defunded by local authorities. They don't want eyes on what they're doing.

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Dolton

Hello

Mencap do not offer an advocacy service, but if you contact our Learning Disability Helpline (0808 808 1111 or email helpline@mencap.org.uk) we may be able to put you in touch with someone who does.

Here is a little more about advocacy on our website in case anyone wants to know more about what it is - mencap.org.uk/advice-and-su...

There are also some other websites/charities that have useful information -

> disabilityrightsuk.org/advo... - do have a look at all the links at the bottom to other places that offer advocacy

> pohwer.net/

> voiceability.org/about-us

Best wishes

Sarah

Not sure the issue is personal. I am worried that inflation and cutbacks are impacting on all people with disabilities who rely on social services support. It needs a serious campaign.

Dolton
Dolton in reply to Sarah_Mencap

We are well aware of what services have been cut my councils and we all know the reason why since the swingeing cuts came into force in 2010. Advice isn't whata needed- a service is whwts needed and I don't think Mencap should be an apologist for local councils either. Can you explain why Mencap don't offer an advocacy service in lieu of the ones that have been cut by councils? Its absolutely crucial. Councils also cut the welfare rights service too at a time whe they're needed more than ever and CAB is collapsing under the strain. Paret s like us feel were drowning under these ever I creasing pressures . Please don't cut this reply as you have done others I've made.

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Dolton

Hello

Thanks for your reply. I have raised your question about advocacy with our campaigns and policy team.

Many people using this community do want information, so I post links when I have some that people may find helpful.

You are welcome to share how you feel on here, and other parents will really value your posts and to know that they are other people in similar situations.

I can't offer immediate answers to your questions, but I will try my best to get feedback from other people at Mencap who may know more than me.

The only immediate thing I can offer you is our Learning Disability Helpline if you, or someone else reading this post, would like to talk to someone about advocacy or any other issues raised on here.

Best wishes

Sarah

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Hello

Looking after someone else's finances is a stressful task, particularly when you are concerned that they are short of money. Have you talked to anyone/got advice about this locally?

As I understand it many benefits are inflation linked. This means that they will rise by 0.5%, in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation in September 2020. I found this information here - commonslibrary.parliament.u...

After a bit more digging it goes on to say that this includes Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support and Universal Credit.

I am sorry that your son's direct payments have stopped- it there a reason for this?

If you have any questions about this, or any other questions, do get in touch with our helpline on 0808 808 1111 or email helpline@mencap.org.uk (mencap.org.uk/advice-and-su...)

I will raise your question with our campaigns team too.

Best wishes

Sarah

I think my point is missed in this. Thanks for your help though.

Dolton
Dolton in reply to Galwaybay2

Yes I think your point has been missed.

class9F
class9F in reply to Sarah_Mencap

ESA is increased in line with inflation but any increase is immediately taken by the Local Authority as part of the contribution towards services received. The weekly amount left has been fixed at £24.90 for years, from which toiletries, clothes, hairdressers, days out, clubs etc has to be paid. If they’re lucky and get the mobility part of PIP there is enough money but if not it’s a case of relying on relatives to help out.

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to class9F

Hello class9F

Thanks for posting about this - I didn't know this. That must be very difficult for many families where relatives can't help out.

I am looping in our policy and campaigns team to these posts.

Best wishes

Sarah

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