Disabled benefit spared the axe

Disabled benefitCampaigners have hailed a Government U-turn over the scrapping of benefit payments for disabled people living in residential care homes.

Ministers are expected to confirm on Thursday that the mobility element of disability living allowance (DLA) will be spared the welfare reform axe.
Up to 80,000 people benefit from the £51-a-week allowance but it was targeted as part of efforts to slash billions from the welfare bill.

Critics had warned that removing the payments would have robbed some of the most vulnerable people of their independence.

The Turning Point health and social care provider welcomed the change.

Director of learning disability services Adam Penwarden said: "We are reassured by the fact the Government has listened to those who need support the most and has decided not to remove the mobility component of the disability living allowance.

"This benefit is integral to the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, allowing them to access and be part of their local community. The removal of this vital resource would have rendered many of them housebound, robbing them of the chance they would otherwise have to lead fulfilled and independent lives."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We have always been clear that we will not make any changes that stop disabled people in care homes from getting out and about.

"Our officials have spent the last few months gathering information and evidence, including visiting disabled people in care homes to find out from them and their families about their mobility needs.

"The Low Review also looked at some of the same issues and so we have been reflecting on the outcome of this work before we announce the final decision tomorrow."

© 2011 Press Association
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