Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Ultimate Betrayal ; of Our Disabled Children and their Families

No ones talking about it yet as Universal Credit still seems a long way off for some people. I make it my business to look into what is on the horizon with the DWP as I need to prepare for the next shock my family could face, but more importantly I need to make others aware of what they could be facing also.

Many families with disabled children have at least 1 working parent. My son is autistic aged 14. I work 10 hours a week Self Employed to fit round my caring duties. My husband is also Self Employed, Low Paid and on average works 25 hours a week. We receive Working and Child tax credits to top up the low pay. We obviously do not lead an extravagant lifestyle but we do our best for our 4 sons. As my youngest son is disabled he is able to receive an extra disability element for tax credit purposes.

All disabled children whose parent(s) receive Working Tax Credit currently, get a top up disabled child tax element of £57 per week. This is payable to ALL disabled children regardless of the severity of disability as long as they are in receipt of DLA. Gordon Brown was instrumental in knowing implicitly it costs a lot more to raise a disabled child, and families who are struggling on low pay need  a bit of extra help.

Not so David Cameron and his able henchman Iain Duncan Smith. While millionaires enjoy a  £100,000 tax cut this month, they both believe DISABLED CHILDREN, arguably the most vulnerable section of society should "shoulder some of the burden" - their poor lowly paid mums and dads should be made to "work  a little harder" "strive more" and so no longer receive the £57 extra across the range of disabilities that children may have.

Now the Government have decided in their wisdom there are some children "MORE DESERVINGLY DISABLED" than other children! Under Universal Credit the £57 pw will now only be awarded to children receiving the High Rate component of DLA. Those receiving either the Middle Rate or Low Rate Component will now be reduced to HALF the amount at £28 pw - smacking of being "less disabled" than those on the High Rate. If DLA was a specific amount for a specific condition, this charge at the disabled tax element may have a little justification. But no! It depends on how well you filled in your child's initial DLA claim form! I know of some autistic children with severe autism - 1 receives High Rate Care and High Rate Mobility of DLA, and the other receives Low Rate Care and no mobility. There is no science to it! If your DWP advisor, checks the conditions book , they can then make up their own minds what the award should be taking into account your claim form, which you could have hastily filled in after a night without sleep, or if you are lucky enough your local CAB advisor could have filled it in for you. It's definitely a hit and miss affair!

How dare this Government think that the MOST vulnerable, the MOST deserving, the helpless disabled children of our society should bare ANY burden for the misery inflicted on us by millionaires and "Robber Barons"? And what of their parents? Already struggling with low pay, working to survive and then saving the Government a royal fortune on providing 24/7 care themselves get this kick in the teeth.

And the biggest sickener for me: Knowing that David Cameron himself had a disabled child he claimed DLA for. Damn it man, you know how bloody hard it is don't you to work and care? Or at least your Mrs does! Many people ask how you sleep at night Mr Cameron on a daily basis - I really don't know or care.

But I care passionately about those disabled children and their parents who WON'T be sleeping at night when Universal Credit comes in. These people matter to me : for I am one of them too.