Please protect people with Parkinson's from losing their vital benefit

Sent E-mail to MP about changes to DLA this is his reply

Thank you for contacting me about the Personal Independence Payment
and how it will support people with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is a difficult and debilitating disease and it is vital
that sufferers of Parkinson’s disease, and their families, have access
to high standards of care and support.

However, this does not detract from the need to reform Disability
Living Allowance (DLA) and make it fit for purpose. DLA is an outdated
benefit which has not been properly reassessed since it was first
introduced twenty years. The vast majority of people (71 per cent) get
the benefit for life and the DWP have identified £630m of overpayments
where conditions have changed over time but people have not had their
cases reviewed. This has also led to a situation whereby some disabled
people are not receiving what they should do because their health has
deteriorated. I think this is particularly important because
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition as you highlight in your

In this context, I think the case for replacing DLA with the Personal
Independence Payment is clear. I would also like to add that under
PIP, figures show that Ministers are protecting the most severely
disabled with a greater proportion getting the higher rates compared
to DLA

To address the points you have made specifically, it is important to
recognise that the key change with the criteria for PIP is that it
treats people as individuals. The Government doesn’t want to label
people by their disability and assume that everyone with the same
medical condition will respond in the same way.

This obviously isn’t accurate and that is why a new face to face
consultation and regular review process is being introduced. The
guiding principle of the new consultation is to focus on the barriers
that people encounter when engaging with society. I believe this
represents a significant improvement on the current assessment process
for people with fluctuating conditions, mental health problems and
cognitive impairments because the old assessment tended to focus on
physical disabilities.

The Government will make sure that staff are properly trained to
deliver the consultation and that they can give awards for sensible
periods of time to avoid people being reviewed unnecessarily. It is
possible, for example, for people to receive five and ten year awards
of PIP as well as indefinite awards if they need it. Finally, I want
to assure you that Ministers are determined to make sure this new
benefit is effective and provides people with the support they need.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

This is from a Tory MP who has voted twice agaist the goverment

1 agaist wind turbines

2 agaist House of Lords Reform

Both to keep the local Bigwigs happy and keep them in the house of lords and no view of wind turbines out of his kitchen window.
Hi Gloriana,

We are seeing a number of people getting the same standard response from MPs about PIP.

This is really disappointing as the letters back do not address the specific issues that PIP raise, not just for people with Parkinson's but also for the 500,000 disabled people who will lose their benefit, something the responses omit to acknowledge.

Unfortunately there is nothing individual about what the government want to do, the intention to cut the DLA bill and remove 500,000 people from receiving the benefit was announced without consultation and then what we have seen in the past two years is retrospective policy making trying to put this in practice.

We are part of the Hardest Hit campaign and helped write this "mythbuster" document which addresses some of the most popular myths peddled on the need to reform DLA and does a substantial demolition job on them.

I hope that's of interest,

Social Care and Welfare policy and campaigns advisor
You know, I could agree with all that Tory MP said....if the assessment was fair and fit for purpose, but it isn't. The whole process is flawed and this Government will simply not accept that. God help us all!!!

Hi there, isn't it just an indication of the abuse of citizens by people in power, having been put there to serve the general public, when in fact, they just help themselves. That's got that of my chest, now for some points of discussion.

One of the things i have noticed over the years, is that in any "examples" of a disabling disease, whether it be on a form for declaration, a statistic, in quotes etc., the list or example will contain, MS, Alzheimers, Dementia, Muscular Dystrophy, etc. etc., obviously not always the same ones, but almost hardly ever do you see Parkinson's Disease. Why is this? Now this may not sound very serious, but the majority of people who either ask you questions about your illness or are trying to get information from you still do not understand Parkinson's Disease. Now whose fault that is I, am not making any judgements about it. There is also another reason, closely linked, I believe and that is the actual diagnosis of PD itself. The usual description of the way to diagnose PD is that you look for signs of other things and eliminate them and what you have left is PD. If the diagnosis is regarded as a "leftover" then maybe that's all we'll get, "leftovers". This has surely got to change?

I also believe if this and any other Government who believes in welfare reform should have come up with some sort of definitive tests that would conclude that the person they were examining was disabled, making it more effective when dealing with other public bodies. The fact that you might be given PIP doesn't categorically say you are disabled and conversely, just because you may not be in receipt of PIP doesn't mean you are not disabled.

Lastly, the "Bedroom Tax". this is contained in the Welfare Reform Act and will only affect people on Housing Benefit. Now we all know it is more costly to live if you are disabled and that sometimes you need to have a spare bedroom to give our partners a restful nights sleep. So what has David Cameron done. He has levied a 14% cut (tax) in housing benefit. This action only affects the poorest people in society and also quite blatantly, disabled people who by having their wives as carers, save the Government an absolute fortune. Come on Parkinson's UK, let's see some action on these things