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‘Don’t penalise the blind’

SOLIHULL Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt has called on the Government to change the rules for Disability Living Allowance to help the blind.

SOLIHULL Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt has called on the Government to change the rules for Disability Living Allowance to help the blind.

Mrs Burt has signed a cross-party motion in Parliament to enable people with severe sight loss to claim the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Mrs Burt highlighted the campaign by the RNIB, launched in August 2006, which aims to allow people with severe sight loss to claim DLA at the higher rate.

“DLA helps disabled people who have difficulty getting out and about safely and independently. However, despite being blind and facing some of the biggest barriers to independent mobility, people with severe sight loss are only able to claim the lower rate mobility component of DLA (£17.75 per week).

“The RNIB believe this is unfair and that blind people should be able to claim the higher rate like wheelchair users, who receive almost £46.75 per week.

“The RNIB believe that £17.75 is not enough to enable people with severe sight loss to go out to do the things that we all need to. With the higher rate (£46.75) people would be able to do more of the things that others take for granted such as going to the doctor, shopping on their own, looking for work, meeting friends, being a member of groups or attending adult education courses. Not being able to do these things has a profound impact on people’s lives.

“It is unfair that those with severe sight loss are unable to gain adequate financial support from the DLA. That is why I am supporting the RNIB campaign to secure justice for this group of my constituents, and I pledge my support to this group of people when the matter is determined in the House of Commons”.

 

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