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16th May 2013
Changes to the assessments for those wishing to receive Disability benefit have been dismissed as unfair by a former employee of Atos Healthcare.
In 2010 fit to work tests were brought amid a raft of controversy. However this is the first time that criticism has been levelled from an ex disability benefits assessor.
Doctor Greg Wood resigned from his position as an assessor having worked with them for over two years. Levelling criticism of a number of the tests as 'dubious concepts and shaky reasoning'.
Atos Healthcare have responded stating that they are following government guidelines and are a professional and ethical organisation.
Whatever the impact of these claims it certain that there a many people with disabilities including those who need mobility aids that are experiencing tougher testing in order to receive disability benefit entitlements.
13th April 2013
As of April 2013 the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is to be begin to be replaced by the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and will affect all people of working age. By June 10th all claimants will be a part of the new scheme.
Designed to cut the governments annual costs by approximately £2bn it is expected that 20 percent of existing recipients of this benefit will be affected. This is seen as a serious attempt at cutting the significant rise in costs associated with disability benefits funding and aimed at stopping unnecessary and false claims.
It is expected that within the next two year there will be winners and losers with numbers in the range of 150 – 170,000 either having their benefits cut or will soon receive the full disability benefit available to them. However in the next five years half a million people will have their benefits cut and three quarters of a million will receive their full benefits.
Whist the government states that the PIP will work to smooth out and simplify the previous DLA disability groups are up in arms believing its solve motive is to cut costs and will penalise many genuine claimants.
Further details can be found here
31 December 2011
Mobility Scooter Passport Introduced
Retired Mobility Scooter user Gwynneth Pedler has become the first person in Oxfordshire to make positive use of the newly introduced mobility scooter passport.
Gwyneth was quoted as saying that previously she had been refused access to buses in and around Oxford because bus drivers had been concerned that her scooter would fit safely on the bus.
The new nationwide scheme aims to prevent such confusion and ensure that mobility scooter users are able to make good use of the bus networks.
The scheme is accepted by most major companies and means both they and their drivers can be confident that the mobility scooter is of a suitable size and weight to be used safely on the buses.
15 December 2011
Supercharged Mobility Scooter Seized
A modified and mobility that was seized by Doncaster Council has been returned to its owner following its recent seizure.
The mobility scooter had been adapted and supercharged with a 140cc petrol engine, off road wheels and a racing exhaust
Its 24-year-old owner for spotted by council officers riding the mobility scooter in a field in Bentley at speeds of up to 60mph and was responsible for scaring wild life and being of annoyance to residents.
The mobility scooter which has clearly had a significant amount of money spent on its modifications was released to its owners following payment of impound and administration fees. They also agreed that they would cause no further nuisance.
Councillor Cynthia Ransome, stated that "Whilst it may look like a lot of fun to ride, this type of noisy vehicle annoys residents immensely and terrifies local wildlife and walkers.
"We don't want to stop people having fun and this is obviously quite a feat of engineering, but when they build machines like this they should be used at licensed tracks and not in areas where they annoy others."
It is believed that the owners of the mobility scooter do not use the scooter to aid with a disability
5 December 2011
Mobility Funding Reprieve
The announcement by the Government that it will no longer continue with plans to remove mobility transport funding for people who receive the Disability Living Allowance has been welcomed with open arms by Norwood the Stanmore based Learning disability charity.
Maria Miller the Work and Pension minister confirmed this week that the proposal is no longer to remain part of the forthcoming Welfare Reform Bill.
Claims made by the Government that the allowance was no longer required due to provision for mobility costs being made by local authorities were countered by Norma Brier former chief executive of the Learning disability charity when she met with Ms Miller to discuss the proposals.
It was argued by Mrs Brier that the majority of the 250 people who live in Norwood’s residential care homes are currently not in receipt of any contribution.
Currently acting in her role as the Charity Patron of Adult Services Mrs Brier has been quoted as saying she is delighted with the u-turn made by the government.
She stated “The likely changes to welfare benefits in the future will affect people with disabilities harder than many as they are already struggling to cope with very limited resources.
"However, the retention of the mobility allowance for those in residential homes will at least ensure that those people with severe and complex disabilities can retain their dignity and continue to enjoy reasonable access to their community, friends and family”
27 June 2011
The mother of a Leicestershire family is considering taking legal action after a budget airline refused to carry her disabled son and his wheelchair.
Alexandra Spencer of Syston, explained how Easyjet staff told her that it would not take her 12-year-old son on a holiday flight to Cyprus due to his 95kg powered wheelchair being too heavy for their baggage handlers.
Her son Declan, has muscular dystrophy and has flown before with other airlines without any restrictions.
In an official statement Easyjet stated that it will regularly carry powered wheelchairs but only those that have parts weighing less than 60kg. They reasoned that this is in order to protect the health and safety of their employees.