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Disabled people slam planned changes to benefits.

A BLIND Solihull woman says she will lose her independence if the Coalition Government’s plans to phase out the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) go ahead.

A BLIND Solihull woman says she will lose her independence if the Coalition Government’s plans to phase out the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) go ahead.

Jean Volante, aged 55, said of the changes, which the Coalition claims will give disabled people ‘autonomy over their own lives and care’ will in fact curtail her freedom.

“DLA is my lifeline. It’s my only income,” she said.

“I don’t get any more benefits and to lose this would mortify me. It gives me some independence.”

The Coalition plans to replace DLA with Person Independent Payment (PIP).

PIP will be focused on ‘those who need it most’ says the Department of Work and Pensions and people will have to undergo regular reviews and assessments, which will look at ‘individual needs.’

Another Solihull resident, Gordon Percival, is a carer for his son, Timothy, who has schizophrenia.

The 77-year-old said: “My concern is for those who are suffering with mental health problems. I am very concerned for carers, this is quite a serious thing.”

Manager of Solihull DIAL (Disability Information & Advice Line), Alice Singleton said: “It appears that the low level of the care component of DLA will be abolished.

“People who currently receive this rate include those with learning disabilities and those who are unable to cook a meal for themselves.

“These people are extremely vulnerable members of our society.”

However Solihull MP Lorely Burt said: “We are going through a process of reassessing people.

“This is important because some people have not been reassessed for 10 years and their needs have increased, so they should be getting more whereas some people’s needs have decreased.

l Anyone with concerns can call DIAL on 0121 770 0333.

 

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