National deafblind charity Sense has responded to the government announcement that it will push forward with plans to change the eligibility criteria for people applying to receive the Personal Independence Payment.
Under the proposed changes, people who qualify for the benefit due to their use of ‘aids and adaptions’ will be far less likely to score enough points to qualify for the benefit.
Sense has raised concerns that the proposal will adversely affect the lives of the deafblind and disabled people that the charity supports.
People with sensory disabilities often rely on a range of aids and adaptions to help with daily living, including items such as hearing aids, long canes, vibrating alarms and magnifiers, and many will face significant additional costs because of their impairments.
The government has focused on achieving short term savings by seeking further reductions in PIP expenditure without considering the longer term consequences. If people are left without this essential support to meet the extra costs of their disability, they will inevitably become more dependent on other services in future.
Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:
“We are concerned that changes to the PIP assessment criteria will mean a reduction in vital financial support for many people with sensory impairments.
A reduced income may mean that some individuals will be left without the essential support they need to pay for the extra costs of their disability. This may include communication support, technology to access information and the costs of basic daily living.
People with sensory impairments often depend on aids and appliances to live an independent life and play an active role in their community. The government must urgently consider the likely impact of these changes on people with sensory impairments and introduce concessions.”
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 5 funny ways to use captions!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people