I feel the changes to Disability Living Allowance announced in this afternoon's budget have raised more questions than they have answered.
For those that missed it the rates will remain the same but in 2013 a medical assessment will be used to simplify the current autobiography you need to fill in, which on paper looks fine and can be viewed as ensuring those in genuine need receive as much support as possible, however in our current financial position, with a huge national deficit, it is likely that they will be looking at reducing the number of recipients.
Now some of us think we know somebody who gets full disability and they can walk and do their own shopping and do all kinds of things. Whereas in some cases I am sure this is true there is still the assumption that its not a disability if you don't use a wheelchair or a cymbal cane. I also worry that those with hidden disabilities such as Aspergers Syndrome or mental health issues will be overlooked in this medical assessment procedure which may concentrate on physical need.
Also who will carry out the assessment and what is their agenda? Where there is a financial implication will there be a government financial target and will that take precedent over ensuring those in need receive support?
Its a bit early to say but bitter experience leads me to believe that fewer people will be in receipt of DLA in the future in an attempt to capture those trying to cheat the system, but even if that is successful there will be a significant number of genuine disabilty cases left out in the cold.
I hope I'm wrong!!