Close Encounters of a Tory Kind

Close Encounters of a Tory Kind

I’ve been waiting to use this title for a while, I’ve nicked it from an ex-colleague from Tourettes Action, and she came up with it to describe her come trip to the Tory Part Conference. This was an off the cuff kind of meeting whilst on Facebook this morning I found out that Dan Byles, my local MP was holding a surgery at my local community centre, so me being me thought this would be an ideal opportunity to put across some issues. So here goes:

•PIP (Personal Independence payment) my concerns are that many people with TS won’t be eligible for PIP, this of course apart from the financial support there are the benefits that are pass ported (bus passes etc) being able to be identified as being disabled and of course the issues that I have with regards to the assessment criteria and the difficulties that having TS can cause, namely difficulty in being able to cook safely and the fact that the assessment criteria doesn’t recognize the fact that for us ticcers making a sandwich can be just as dangerous as cooking.

•Media Portrayal of People with disabilities and Benefit Claimants – He hopes that the Levinson Enquiry will have some impact on this issue as many of the issues that are arising from the Welfare Reform bill are grossly misrepresented in the press, this was a hot topic yesterday at the conference I attended, but more of that in my next blog post.

•The dreaded ATOS – he’s for services being outsourced, I’m not, I believe that assessments should be “in-house” and be carried out by the DWP. I believe the whole thing needs overhauling as many people are being assessed incorrectly.

•The Work Related Activity Group doing work experience – Personally I think work experience should be optional to this group, nobody should be coerced and the placements should be appropriate and their doctor’s advice should be adhered to, also there should be NO SANCTIONS for this group. With regards to this issue and ATOS and the Work Capability Assessments we both agreed that staff dealing with clients with disabilities should have more specialist – more knowledge and experience in dealing with people with certain disabilities, such as TS.

Unfortunately, time was limited and no doubt I’ll probably see him again at some point, but it was good anyway to be able to put these points across.

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